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Key semiconductor trade fair in China cancelled amid surging Covid cases

Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), a global chip industry association, has cancelled a major trade fair in China, as the country battles a spate of Covid-19 outbreaks.

SEMICON China, a three-day event that was scheduled to begin in Shanghai on October 5 after being pushed back from June 15, was once again called off amid strengthening pandemic controls, a SEMI representative confirmed to the Post on Friday.

The conference was originally set to take place concurrently with FPD China, a trade fair for display and touch screen manufacturers that is also organised by SEMI.

SEMICON China, which was first held in Shanghai in 1988, is widely regarded as one of the semiconductor industry’s most important events. This year’s edition, for instance, counted Dutch chip-making equipment giant ASML as one of its exhibitors.

As China rushes to contain a surging number of local Covid-19 infections, which have been detected in 29 out of 31 provinces this month, however, several upcoming tech industry events have been postponed.

In recent days, organisers announced the delay of two chip summits scheduled for this month in the southern metropolises of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the latter of which has imposed strict lockdowns in some districts after daily cases rose into the double digits.

On Tuesday, Shanghai, which had just held the country’s biggest artificial intelligence forum under strict pandemic measures, called off the city’s most important financial gathering – the Lujiazui Forum – a day before it was expected to start. It happened after the city discovered its first new infection in a week.

Local governments across the country are on high alert, as the Chinese Communist Party is set to hold its twice-a-decade national congress in Beijing in mid-October.

In a press conference on Thursday, central government officials encouraged people to avoid travelling during this weekend’s Mid-Autumn Festival holiday and next month’s National Day holiday. Those who need to travel outside their residing province were urged to take a Covid-19 test on arrival at their destination. South China Morning Post

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