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China is working on a more than 1 trillion yuan ($143 billion) support package for its semiconductor industry, three sources said, in a major step towards self-sufficiency in chips and to counter US moves aimed at slowing its technological advances.

Beijing plans to roll out what will be one of its biggest fiscal incentive packages over five years, mainly as subsidies and tax credits to bolster semiconductor production and research activities at home, said the sources.

It signals, as analysts have expected, a more direct approach by China in shaping the future of an industry, which has become a geopolitical hot button due to soaring demand for chips and which Beijing regards as a cornerstone of its technological might.

The plan could be implemented as soon as the first quarter of next year, said two of the sources who declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to media.

The majority of the financial assistance would be used to subsidise the purchases of domestic semiconductor equipment by Chinese firms, mainly semiconductor fabrication plants, or fabs, they said.

Such companies would be entitled to a 20% subsidy on the cost of purchases, the three sources said.

The fiscal support plan comes after the US Commerce Department passed in October a sweeping set of regulations, which could bar research labs and commercial data centres’ access to advanced AI chips, among other curbs.

The United States has also been lobbying some of its partners, including Japan and the Netherlands, to tighten exports to China of equipment used to make semiconductors.

And US President Joe Biden in August signed a landmark bill to provide $52.7 billion in grants for US semiconductor production and research as well as tax credit for chip plants estimated to be worth $24 billion.

With the incentive package, Beijing aims to step up support for Chinese chip firms to build, expand or modernise domestic facilities for fabrication, assembly, packaging, and research and development, the sources said.

Beijing’s latest plan also includes preferential tax policies for the country’s semiconductor industry, they said.

China’s State Council Information Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The beneficiaries will be both state-owned and private enterprises in the industry, notably large semiconductor equipment firms like NAURA Technology Group, Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc China and Kingsemi, the sources added.

Some Chinese chip shares in Hong Kong rose sharply after news of the package. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) added more than 8%, sending its daily gain to nearly 10%. Hua Hong Semiconductor Ltd closed up 17%, while mainland markets were closed when the report was published.

Achieving self-reliance in technology featured prominently in President Xi Jinping’s full work report at the Communist Party Congress in October. The term ‘technology’ was referred to 40 times, up from 17 times in the report from the 2017 congress.

Xi’s call for China to “win the battle” in core technologies could signal an overhaul in Beijing’s approach to advancing its tech industry, with more state-led spending and intervention to counter US pressures, analysts have said.—Reuters

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test May 23, 2023 09:07pm
Invest some 20-30 billion dollars in semiconductor manufacturing inside Pakistan and I hope they will have advantage of microchip manufacturing. Pakistan can produce low end chips if the investment is big and the infrastructure such as powerplay foundries, fabs and fabless are ready to produce semiconductor chips in Pakistan of some 36nm or 30nm.
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