SEMI forecasts that China will be the top spending region in the world in 2020 with more than $20 billion being invested in memory and foundry projects and being funded by multinational and domestic companies.

China’s position as the top manufacturer of electronic equipment is also helping to fuel China’s IC design market, worth $31.9 billion in revenue in 2017. And China’s maturing domestic fab infrastructure is benefiting domestic semiconductor manufacturing equipment and materials suppliers.

The renowned National IC Fund being used to drive China’s rise in semiconductors and reduce its semiconductor trade deficit has accumulated more than RMB140 billion (US$21.5 billion) and spurred rapid gains throughout the region’s IC supply chain. A second phase is aiming to raise another RMB150-200 billion ($23 to $30 billion), SEMI said.

Chinese semiconductor policies are also helping to persuade overseas talent to return to China, triggering an explosion of fabless chip startups, that are more likely to succeed than the first wave of academic spin-offs in China that occurred in the first decade of this century.

SEMI is monitoring fab construction in China and counts seventeen 300mm wafer fabs projects being brought up aimed at foundry, DRAM and 3D-NAND production.

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