China Launches Massive $47.5 Billion "Big Fund" to Boost Domestic Chip Industry (2024)

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Tuesday, May 28th 2024

by

AleksandarK
Discuss (21 Comments)

Beijing has doubled down on its push for semiconductor self-sufficiency with the establishment of a new $47.5 billion investment fund to accelerate growth in the domestic chip sector. The fund, officially registered on May 24th under the name "China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Phase III", represents the largest of three state-backed vehicles aimed at cultivating China's semiconductor capabilities. The announcement comes as tensions over advanced chip technology continue to escalate between the U.S. and China. Over the past couple years, Washington has steadily ratcheted up export controls on semiconductors to Beijing over national security concerns about potential military applications. These measures have lent new urgency to China's quest for self-sufficiency in chip design and manufacturing.

With a war chest of 344 billion yuan ($47.5 billion), the "Big Fund" dwarfs the combined capital of the first two semiconductor investment vehicles launched in 2014 and 2019. Officials have outlined a multipronged strategy targeting key bottlenecks, focusing on equipment for chip fabrication plants. The fund has bankrolled major projects such as flash memory maker Yangtze Memory Technologies and leading foundries like SMIC and Huahong. China's homegrown chip industry still needs to catch up to global leaders like Intel, Samsung, and TSMC. However, the immense scale of state-directed capital illustrates Beijing's unwavering commitment to developing a self-reliant supply chain for semiconductors—a technology viewed as indispensable for economic and military competitiveness. News of the "Big Fund" sent Chinese chip stocks surging over 3% on hopes of fresh financing tailwinds.

Source:Reuters

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Add your own comment
#1
The Quim Reaper

Who knew stealing others IP was so expensive...

#2
R-T-B

This is just an expansion of a project that's been running for years, not much new really.

#3
Fourstaff

To put things in perspective, TSMC spent 30bln USD in 2023 on capex. They will need to put this amount of money year in year out for a decade before they can reach the frontier I think.

#4
ScaLibBDP
The Quim ReaperWho knew stealing others IP was so expensive...

All major states in the world Do industrial, IP, technology, etc espionage. All of them Do that and West-states are Not exception. China will catch up and who is The Looser in that Chip War? It is West-states because billions of dollars will be lost forever in the long run.

#5
Jism
FourstaffTo put things in perspective, TSMC spent 30bln USD in 2023 on capex. They will need to put this amount of money year in year out for a decade before they can reach the frontier I think.

I'd like to hear from you in now and 10 years.

They will push to technical advancements sooner or later.

Export restrictions will not stop them.

#6
JasBC
The Quim ReaperWho knew stealing others IP was so expensive...

Predictable comment, but they don't really need to steal anything - Huawei's SoCs using ARM-developed cores were on par with Qualcomm or even better at a time when Samsung and Mediatek stood no chance, sure it's different now with both of those having reached parity and Huawei being crippled by sanctions but still.

It'd be nice if you could provide anything deeper and constructive, because if you didn't know - US industry got its start by the illegal import and cloning of British industrial equipment, and my own country's champion Ericsson got its start by cloning German telephones and improving their designs.

#7
64K

I may be remembering this wrong but isn't one of the restrictions on China that companies that build fab equipment can't sell to China?

#8
R-T-B
ScaLibBDPAll major states in the world Do industrial, IP, technology, etc espionage. All of them Do that and West-states are Not exception. China will catch up and who is The Looser in that Chip War? It is West-states because billions of dollars will be lost forever in the long run.

Maybe you haven't heard of this thing in the west called patent-law.

JismExport restrictions will not stop them.

No, but it will slow them and in a race, that works fine.

JasBCIt'd be nice if you could provide anything deeper and constructive, because if you didn't know - US industry got its start by the illegal import and cloning of British industrial equipment

Thing is, its somewhat excusable when a nation is just getting off its feet. Things change when you are a global superpower though.

#9
Easo
R-T-BNo, but it will slow them and in a race, that works fine.

Question is - how long until it stops working? And what to do when they catch up, which looks to be inevitable now, or even worse - surpass you?

#10
R-T-B
EasoQuestion is - how long until it stops working? And what to do when they catch up, which looks to be inevitable now, or even worse - surpass you?

Why is it inevitable? We can spend too.

I really don't see it as inevitable at all, nor worry about it much.

#11
dragontamer5788
FourstaffTo put things in perspective, TSMC spent 30bln USD in 2023 on capex. They will need to put this amount of money year in year out for a decade before they can reach the frontier I think.

USA is making the same mistake as China in some regards... our CHIPS act is just a bunch of money this year but its not looking very good for the necessary year-over-year R&D churn needed to push chips forward.

The good news is that Taiwan is our ally so we can afford to be sloppy. The bad news is that we're going through with this CHIPS act (and China is doing the same on their side) because of the obvious tensions in the region. So we actually shouldn't rely upon Taiwan. (Yes, they are a friend, but China can easily bomb them and mess up their production)

------

We likely will have an easier job than China if only because we can easily talk and communicate with Taiwan / TSMC and import their knowledge.

JasBCPredictable comment, but they don't really need to steal anything - Huawei's SoCs using ARM-developed cores

ARM China is literally stolen tech.: Key Arm China Staff Quit to Create Government-Backed Startup (yahoo.com)

ARM China is a big mistake I hope we don't repeat ourselves with. Remember moving forward: they don't play fair with our IP. The whole ARM vs ARM-China, and then the transfer of technology to Shenzhen has been well documented and followed.

Today: ARM only controls 5%ish of ARM-China. Fortunately, not all of the tech from ARM got stolen into ARM-China but... uggggh. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. China forces a local company to exist (ex: ARM-China getting founded in 2018). A bunch of tech transfers to the Chinese company. The Chinese company uses local laws and regulations to bully the original company and ultimately, the companies break off (ARM vs ARM China), and China ends up with a ton of tech.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

------

Fortunately, Western businessmen are learning and likely won't let these mistakes happen again. Well, at least ARM's business execs won't. Maybe other companies remain ignorant of this pattern. Its well regarded that China doesn't care about our IP laws (I mean... our IP laws suck. So I understand why China dislikes them...). But its important to acknowledge that this is going on.

#12
Dr. Dro
R-T-BWhy is it inevitable? We can spend too.

I really don't see it as inevitable at all, nor worry about it much.

I have another view of this. We can. But will we? Our leaders would sooner pump all this cash into the military industrial complex and go to another proxy war against the next boogeyman than contribute towards the advancement of science, medicine or some other important field that could improve humanity.

I see the Chinese as perfectly capable of catching up and leapfrogging the West within the next 25 years if things continue as they are.

#13
Totally
JismI'd like to hear from you in now and 10 years.

They will push to technical advancements sooner or later.

Export restrictions will not stop them.

Sorry this may be a little off-topic but will they be around in 10 years, export restrictions, those are the least of their worries? That country's literally imploding rn, there's laundry list of self-inflicted crises that are coming to an ahead as if focused through a lens. In our lifetime We may very well see the collapse of the PRC just as the USSR collapsed before it. That's why they're seeking an out from their reliance on low-tech manufacturing, that they need "like yesterday" to whether the coming storm. They're in trouble everyone knows it, Japan just amended their defense bill to delete the "self-defense" part from it and doubled their defense budget while the PM is pushing for further increases because they know a desperate animal is a dangerous one. Once China's cost of labor starts shooting up and it doesn't make sense for Apple, IBM, Foxconn to stick around, with other countries like India actively wooing them, and leave it'd going to get real interesting, real quick. That's why they're spending money that they don't have like no tomorrow to break in the chip industry. Giving them 10 years is very generous and other countries don't need to do a thing as the "China problem" is going to solve itself if the current status quo is kept.

#14
Easo
Dr. DroI have another view of this. We can. But will we? Our leaders would sooner pump all this cash into the military industrial complex and go to another proxy war against the next boogeyman than contribute towards the advancement of science, medicine or some other important field that could improve humanity.

I see the Chinese as perfectly capable of catching up and leapfrogging the West within the next 25 years if things continue as they are.

Thank you, more or less what I wanted to answer. Plus we have seen their progress in the last couple of decades (helps when goverment has more or less clear vision of future and the will to enforce it), why all the doubt?
Imho in some cases it will be just 10 years, in some they are already there - and in some it will be those 25.
Plus people really forget that they are talking about 1.4 billion people in a very large country, more than the entire Western world. There will be boatloads of talent, as well as resources of all kinds - it would be incredibly strange not to see progress. FFS, they literally lifted ~700 hundred million out of poverty in a bit more than one generation - incredible feat.

I think it is really hard to move past stereotypes and accept China as equals (which is what they want and have clearly said so) - especially with all the antagonism. Easier to hate autocracies after all.

#15
ScaLibBDP
R-T-BMaybe you haven't heard of this thing in the west called patent-law.

Intelligence Services do Not advertise what they do in other countries. Watch this video as soon as you have time:

China Launches Massive $47.5 Billion "Big Fund" to Boost Domestic Chip Industry (2)

#16
Fourstaff
JismI'd like to hear from you in now and 10 years.

They will push to technical advancements sooner or later.

Export restrictions will not stop them.

They will put up the money. Their economy is in the order of 10s of trillions per year, 30 bln a year is smaller than rounding error.

#17
Crackong

"Big Fund" and it isn't "Big enough" at all.
Consider their target is to build up the whole supply chain
and be independent from all the suppling countries being 'Hostile' to them.

That includes raw materials, to chemicals, to design, to manufacture the manufacturing machines, to actual manufacturing.
The so-called 'Big Fund' is wayyyyyy too little for that.

95% money scam for the higher-ups again.

#18
R-T-B
ScaLibBDPIntelligence Services do Not advertise what they do in other countries. Watch this video as soon as you have time:

China Launches Massive $47.5 Billion "Big Fund" to Boost Domestic Chip Industry (3)

No. Youtube is not a valid source, and Intelligence Services are not a commercial entity so why the heck are you bringing them into patent law.

#19
Vayra86
EasoQuestion is - how long until it stops working? And what to do when they catch up, which looks to be inevitable now, or even worse - surpass you?

Surpass? Why? China suddenly figures out High-NA's EUV successor prior to anyone else?

And if they do... we'll just steal it from them. Tit for tat

I don't see much of an issue. Time is everything in any market. Everything. China is trying to make up for lost time. They can't time travel to the future. We'll be there too. The net result if China advances and we advance is more competitive chip fabs.

Dr. DroI have another view of this. We can. But will we? Our leaders would sooner pump all this cash into the military industrial complex and go to another proxy war against the next boogeyman than contribute towards the advancement of science, medicine or some other important field that could improve humanity.

I see the Chinese as perfectly capable of catching up and leapfrogging the West within the next 25 years if things continue as they are.

The military industrial complex you say?

www.iiss.org/online-analysis/military-balance/2024/03/chinas-defence-budget-boost-cant-mask-real-pressures/#:~:text=The%20draft%20budget%20revealed%20that,%2Dyear%20average%20of%207.5%25.

So far it seems like Xi needs ever stronger repression and scaffolding under his 'strategy' to keep it afloat. Things are not well in China. They haven't fixed a single economic issue that's plagued them since Covid, so the natural response is to play strong man and silence all opposing voices. Its a one way ticket to failure.

#21
dragontamer5788
JasBCThose cores were neither developed nor licensed to Huawei through ARM China so idk wtf you are on about. . .

#1: I'm pointing out that China regularly bullies and steals tech from Western companies.

#2: You're pointing out that China sometimes develops their own tech.

We're talking past each other. But that's fine, because I'm pretty sure the posters here care more about line#1 moreso than line#2. Ignore line#1 at your own peril to your own arguments.

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China Launches Massive $47.5 Billion "Big Fund" to Boost Domestic Chip Industry (2024)

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