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Korea, Taiwan companies far exceed China in semiconductor capital investment

A recent research report has shown that the semiconductor capital spending of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company exceeds that of Chinese companies.

According to IC Insights, Samsung remains the world’s biggest spender since 2010 and together with TSMC, both companies are expected to be responsible for 43 per cent of the global total expenditure this year, reported Nikkei Asia.

Both companies have dominated the global chipmaking industry over the last two decades.

Though China’s public and private sectors have made efforts to ramp up the country’s chipmaking industry since 2014, domestic chipmakers’ capital expenditure between 2017 and 2020 has amounted to only USD 44.7 billion. Samsung has invested nearly twice that amount.

“For China, even if the money were available, they (chipmakers) would certainly be hindered by trade issues prohibiting some of the most critical pieces of process equipment from being sold into the country,” said the IC Insights report.

Chipmakers other than Samsung and TSMC have been cautious about capital investment due to the high costs of building factories, Nikkei Asia reported.

Meanwhile, US tech titan Intel has also announced plans to spend USD 20 billion by 2024 to build two new chipmaking facilities in Arizona. IC Insights says that the Intel figure is nowhere enough to take on Samsung and TSMC.

On the other hand, TSMC plans to invest around 20 billion yen (USD 189 million) to set up a facility for research and development in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture, which is a small amount for the company. AsianPolyGlotView

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