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Multinational chip companies eye huge opportunities in China at CIIE
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Multinational chip companies eye huge opportunities in China at CIIE

Multinational chip companies are highlighting their commitment to the Chinese market at the sixth China International Import Expo, as the country's fast-growing semiconductor sector and digital transformation push are bringing huge opportunities, corporate executives and experts said.

Chip companies from the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea and other countries have set up big booths at the ongoing CIIE in Shanghai. Their large-scale presence reflects their enthusiasm to tap into the world's largest semiconductor market, experts said.

Despite some voices calling for geopolitically driven "decoupling" or "de-risking" in technology, there is a consensus that global cooperation is vital for the semiconductor industry and China's appeal will only grow with its increasing clout in the global semiconductor industrial chain, they added.

Shen Bo, senior vice-president of Dutch semiconductor equipment company ASML, said in an exclusive interview with China Daily that China continues to be one of the company's important business markets, and its local business has grown "very fast" this year.

The company, which is participating in the CIIE for the fifth time, said it is hiring more than 200 new employees in China this year, and its local employment plan for 2024 is also likely to be big.

Though the US' latest chip export control measures could affect the company's China business to some extent, "we are highly optimistic about the Chinese market's performance next year", because the robust local demand is expected to continue, Shen added.

In the third quarter, the Chinese market contributed to 46 percent of ASML's total revenue, up from 24 percent in the second quarter of 2023.

Zhou Bing, vice-president of Intel, which has been present at six editions of the CIIE, said, "The Chinese market is of great significance for Intel's global development", adding that Intel hopes to provide support for the development of China's burgeoning digital economy.

Intel has a very comprehensive business presence in China, including large-scale production facilities in Chengdu, Sichuan province, and a research and development center in Shanghai, Zhou said.

Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, said, "Qualcomm has consistently considered China as a pivotal business partner and valued customer, viewing it as more than just a market or a link in the supply chain."

"As 5G and artificial intelligence continue to transform industries and extend their reach to social and consumer spheres, we identify more opportunities and potential for Qualcomm and its Chinese partners," Meng said.

While visiting the booths of foreign companies during the CIIE, Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said any attempts to fragment the industrial and supply chains are unsustainable and will only undermine technological and innovative development.

China's huge market has brought economic benefits to enterprises and made technology sustainable, Wang said while expressing hope that foreign enterprises can continue to deeply cultivate the Chinese market.

Zhong Xinlong, a senior consultant at the China Center for Information Industry Development Consultancy, said the semiconductor industry is the most globalized sector in the world, and the companies' enthusiasm at the CIIE highlights that geopolitically driven "decoupling" or "de-risking" is unpopular.

As the world's largest chip market, the Chinese mainland consumes more than half of the world's semiconductors, which are then assembled into tech products to be re-exported or sold in the domestic market, according to Daxue Consulting, a research firm.

Thomas Zhao, vice-president of China sales at Analog Devices, which is attending the CIIE for the first time this year, said the event serves as a valuable bridge for cross-cultural exchange and provides a stage for global enterprises to build collaborative partnerships. "As a global semiconductor company, participating in the CIIE is a good choice for us." Yetao

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