|Xi Jinping Picks Top Lieutenant to Lead China’s Chip Battle Against U.S.|
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping is renewing his years-long push to achieve technology self-sufficiency by tapping a top deputy to shepherd a key initiative aimed at helping domestic chipmakers overcome U.S. sanctions.
Another government-linked giant, China Electronics Corp., is one of the leaders in third-generation chip development, thanks to its investment in smaller firms including CEC Semiconductor Co. Using its own in-house technology, CEC Semiconductor makes silicone carbide-based power devices that can work at 200 degrees Celsius (360 degrees Fahrenheit) for a number of key industries from telecommunications to electric cars -- reducing China’s reliance on overseas suppliers such as Infineon Technologies AG, Rohm Co. and Cree Inc.
Shares of chipmakers climbed, with SMIC rallying more than 8% in Shanghai, set for its biggest one-day gain since October. Shares of National Silicon Industry Group Co., Will Semiconductor Co. and Maxscend Microelectronics Co. also advanced. Sanan Optoelectronics Co. and Wingtech Technology Co. -- among firms seen as potential beneficiaries of China’s third-generation chip effort -- gained 10% and 8%, respectively.
With traditional chipmaking facing a series of challenges from technology development to heavy capital investment, third-generation chips -- which use compounds such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide to significantly improve the performance of semiconductors that power a wide range of industries and products -- may offer China its best chance to overcome rivals, senior academic Mao Junfa told an industry event in Nanjing earlier this month.