For a handful of its chip companies, China is facilitating easier access to subsidies and more control over state-backed research, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Chipmakers such as Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC), Hua Hong Semiconductor and Huawei, as well as equipment suppliers like Naura and Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc China, might benefit from the policy said the report citing people familiar with the matter.
Beijing has been working on a more than 1 trillion yuan ($145.34 billion) support package for its semiconductor industry, amid tightening US restrictions aimed at slowing China’s technological advances.
The chosen firms will have access to additional government funding without having to achieve previously necessary performance goals. They will also be allowed to play a bigger role in state-sponsored research projects.
The report comes as some sector analysts have started to argue that money alone is not enough for China’s chip industry to catch up with Western rivals, who are generations ahead.
Some people in the industry have urged a complete rethink in the way China can catch up, by focusing on what the next era of chipmaking could look instead of competing with overseas peers by attempting to make existing chip models more and more advanced.
In February, two senior academics from the Chinese Academy of Science published an article advocating the re-focus of efforts on research and development for new technology and materials.
By amassing patents and managing their use overseas, the authors wrote, “We can set our own chokepoints and barriers in the global chip supply chain, create countermeasures, and hopefully resolve the current technological pain points.”
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena