[News] China’s ICs Imports Decrease in 2023, Chinese Manufacturers Focus on Mature Processes

2024-01-16 Semiconductors editor

According to a report by China’s financial media outlet Yicai, in 2023, China’s import quantity and value of integrated circuits experienced a significant decline, influenced by factors such as the overall downturn in the global chip market and the U.S. ban on the sale of chips to China.

The latest data from the Chinese Customs Administration indicates that in 2023, China imported a total of 479.5 billion integrated circuits, a 10.8% decrease compared to 2022, with an import value of $349.4 billion, marking a 15.4% year-on-year decline.

Industry experts suggest that the soft importation of integrated circuits and semiconductor equipment in China reflects the global economic headwinds in 2023, especially the impact of sluggish sales of Chinese smartphones and laptops. Simultaneously, Chinese companies are striving to increase domestic chip production to reduce dependence on imported chips.

Despite the time required for China to achieve mass production in the field of artificial intelligence chips, the push by the Chinese government to establish a more resilient chip supply chain has motivated local manufacturers to actively increase production capacity in mature nodes. These chips are used in devices such as automobiles and home appliances, unaffected by the current U.S. restrictions.

Public information reveals that SMIC, Hua Hong Group, and Nexchip are among the most active in expanding production, focusing on specialty processes such as driver ICs, CIS/ISP, and power semiconductor ICs.

With China’s significant investment in mature nodes, it is positioned at a time when the global chip industry is poised for recovery. According to a recent TrendForce’s data, China currently has 44 operational semiconductor wafer fabs, with an additional 22 under construction. By the end of 2024, 32 Chinese wafer fabs will expand their capacity for 28-nanometer and older mature chips.

TrendForce predicts that by 2027, China’s share of mature process capacity in the global market will increase from 31% in 2023 to 39%, with further growth potential if equipment procurement progresses smoothly.

(Image: SMIC)

Please note that this article cites information from Yicai