From January to May 2023, China’s chip imports fell by 20% year-on-year. This is evidenced by the official data of the local customs. This happened in connection with the reduction of China’s trade with South Korea, Taiwan and Japan against the background of the economic war unleashed by the US against China.
In the first five months, chip imports into the country fell 19.6% year-on-year to 186.5 billion pieces. In some cases, the situation even improved slightly in May, since the decline was 21.1% cumulatively in the first 4 months, according to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China. At the same time, the total cost of chips imported over five months fell 24.2% to $131.9 billion. For comparison, in the same period last year, Chinese imports in this segment fell 10.9% year-on-year to $232.1 billion. Copies, although at the same time the total value of imports increased by 9.1% against the background of a shortage of semiconductors and a consequent increase in prices.
China’s total imports from South Korea fell by 26.7% during the period. Imports from Japan and Taiwan fell by 17.6% and 26.2%, respectively. For comparison, China’s total imports of any product (not just semiconductors) fell by just 6.7% over the same period.
The decline in chip imports could continue in the future. For example, in May Japan imposed a restriction on the export of 23 types of equipment and materials related to semiconductor production to China. The new measures will come into effect in July. According to some reports, there is also an agreement between the US and the Netherlands to limit the export of semiconductor production equipment to China. This had an extremely negative impact on China’s ability to produce chips to more modern standards than 14nm. Washington also urged South Korean companies not to make up for memory chip shortages after the Celestial Empire restricted imports of American Micron products into the country due to information security threats.
The global semiconductor market is still suffering from the economic downturn, with April global chip sales falling 21.6% year-on-year to $40 billion, the American Semiconductor Industry Association reported. However, Chinese chip production is recovering as Beijing offers incentives and financial support to local manufacturing. China’s integrated circuit production rose 3.8% year-on-year to 28.1 billion units in April. According to local statistics, the country recorded growth in this area for the first time in 16 months.