The value of semiconductor equipment sold to China in the first quarter dropped by 23% compared to the year before after the Biden administration imposed restrictions on the export of certain technologies to the country. Dylan BUtts and Ann Cao report in the South China Morning Post:
Semiconductor equipment sales to China fell in the first three months of the year – a sharp contrast to increased shipments to North America and global markets in the same period – as the world’s second-largest economy grapples with intensified trade restrictions imposed by Washington and its allies.
During the March quarter, sales of chip-making equipment to companies in China were down 23 per cent year on year and 8 per cent from the previous three months to US$5.86 billion, according to data released on Tuesday by SEMI, a global industry association.
Despite the drop, China was still the world’s second-largest market for semiconductor equipment, behind Taiwan and ahead of South Korea.
For comparison, semiconductor equipment sales to China in the first quarter of 2022 surged 27 per cent year on year to US$7.6 billion, SEMI data showed. At the time, the country was the world’s largest market for semiconductor equipment.
Under expanded trade restrictions imposed by the Biden administration last October, Chinese companies are barred from buying advanced chip-making tools from the US without special permission. Japan is set to impose similar export curbs in July to restrict the sales of 23 types of advanced chip-related equipment and materials.
While companies in China have been scrambling to stockpile chip-making equipment ahead of the Japanese ban and potential curbs by the Netherlands, the country logged a fall in semiconductor equipment imports from key supplying nations in recent months, according to Chinese customs data published earlier.
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