News: World going through unprecedented chip shortage, China trade body says.
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The world is suffering from an unprecedented chip shortage, said Zhou Zixue, a senior official with the China Semiconductor Industry Association, on Wednesday after semiconductor sales rose 18% last year.
“If you are a seasoned gamer, you will remember that there was a similar crisis in this industry in 1999, but it was much smaller,” said Zhou, chairman of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), in a comment at SEMICON China.
“We have to deepen our cooperation, we have to pay more attention to innovation. Only in this way can our industry control the challenges we are facing. “
China is the world’s largest buyer of semiconductors, but domestic production is marginal. According to CSIA, sales in China in 2020 rose 17.8% year over year to 891 billion yuan ($ 137 billion).
China’s need to reduce reliance on foreign chipmakers became apparent last year when U.S. sanctions against Shenzhen-based hardware maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd prevented component sourcing and crippled a once booming smartphone business.
Not long after, the spread of COVID-19 disrupted supply chains and eventually caused a chip shortage. Once concentrated in the automotive industry, the crisis has now spread to a wide range of electronic products and reached the top of the chip supply chain.
($ 1 = 6.5 yuan)
Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Letter from Yilei Sun; Arrangement by Clarence Fernandez Nick Macfie
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