Intel began to fear competition from Chinese processor developers. This statement was made by Rui Wang, senior vice president and head of Intel’s China division. In their opinion, Chinese developments could catch up with Intel processors in the next 3-5 years.
The statement was made in an interview with Ms. Wang on Guancha.cn, quoted by the Digitimes news agency. She specifically said:So far, there hasn’t been a single company in China that poses a threat to Intel. But in 3-5 years local companies will become strong competitors“. Wang further developed her point of view, pointing out that Chinese competitors should not expect an easy victory. Intel will fight hard for market share, and the Intel spokeswoman hopes for a fair fight. Intel has something to lose: meanwhile, the Chinese market is earning up to a quarter of its total sales.
The interview does not reveal which competitors Intel is particularly wary of. In the Chinese market, several well-known players are involved in the development of processors. First, Shanghai Zhaoxin Semiconductor and Hygon, which license and customize x86 cores for local customers. Second, Huawei HiSilicon and Phytium Technology, which design their own processors based on the Arm architecture. And thirdly, Loongson and Sunway Microelectronic are working on their own processor architectures.
The head of the Chinese Intel expressed confidence that the Wintel ecosystem has firmly established itself on the market and that it will be difficult to counteract anything. However, do not forget that, for example, the Chinese Lenovo is already releasing Kaitian N7 laptops based on Zhaoxin processors, equipped with an operating system developed in China.
In addition, Digitimes journalists recall that in 2014, IBM servers in the national banking ecosystem were replaced by internal products from the state-funded company Inspur, which the American company did not expect at all.
Though many Chinese tech companies are under sanctions, fabless processor developers manage to overcome production difficulties by turning to local semiconductor fabs. Chinese processors are not made using the most modern technical processes, but this does not prevent developers from moving forward and creating new generations of chips. According to statistics from the Ministry of Information and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, the volume of domestic production of chips in the country increased by a third in 2021.