Newsletter : 28th nov-4th dec 2022

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New financial support measures for the Chinese semiconductor industry  

In China, the government continues to take measures to support the semiconductor industry. A new development plan has been launched in Hefei, the capital of the eastern province of Anhui. It aims to serve as a high-tech centre of excellence for the downstream manufacturing sector in the supply chain. A new influx of cash is expected with the IPO applications of 9 Chinese companies involved in the supply chain sector. Yet the difficulties of the Chinese industry are likely to persist. The US government is tightening export restrictions and pressuring its allies to do the same. Even a rising star like memory chip maker YMTC, which produces mid-range semiconductors, could be affected by Washington’s policy. YMTC could be placed on a list of Chinese companies that US firms are not allowed to trade with unless they obtain a special licence. Last October, Apple reportedly stopped sourcing memory chips from YMTC. This week, a Canadian microelectronics think tank, TechInsights, claimed that YMTC has just launched “the first 200+ layer 3D NAND flash chip available on the market”. This puts YMTC ahead of the industry’s leading memory chip makers, Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Micron Technology.

TSMC announces first equipment to be installed in its new US factory

TSMC will hold a ceremony on 6 December to mark the installation of the first batch of equipment in its new factory in Arizona, USA. The ceremony will be attended by TSMC founder Morris Chang and US President Joe Biden.

25 November: US regulator sanctions five Chinese companies (Huawei, ZTE, Dahua, Hikvision, Hytera)

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a unanimous order banning the importation of products from five Chinese telecom companies into the US. This decision targets Huawei (telecommunications), ZTE (telecommunications), Dahua (video surveillance), Hikvision (video surveillance), and Hytera (radio equipment), as well as their subsidiaries and affiliates. FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel justified the new restrictions by stating that these companies represent a threat to national security. However, the economic consequences of these new restrictions should be limited for the targeted companies, as they have already largely withdrawn from the US market in recent years due to the multiple sanctions decreed by the US administration. For example, Huawei only generates 4.6% of its turnover in North and South America. As a reminder, these companies were already de facto excluded from most US markets due to previous restrictions decided in 2019.

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