Chip-making companies in China are working hard to help solve the global shortage of semiconductor products.
China's output of chips surged by 41.3 per cent year-on-year to a monthly record of 31.57 billion units last month, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the nation's top industry regulator.
The surge helped bring China's total integrated circuits (ICs) output in the first seven months of this year to 203.6 billion units, up 47.3 per cent year-on-year. China also exported 178.5 billion units of ICs from January to July, up 35 per cent year-on-year, official data showed.
Fu Liang, an independent technology analyst, says that, as the global shortage of semiconductors continues to affect automobile, smartphone, PC and other sectors, Chinese chipmakers are beefing up their production capacities.
Originally sparked by the global pandemic, first by lowered production and then a surge in demand for electronic products caused by people working from home, the world's chip problem does not just affect computers.
Semiconductor chips are integral to a wide range of products, from cars to toothbrushes and tumble dryers. Television and home appliance production had been affected while car makers – who rely on chips for everything from the computer management of engines to driver assistance systems, was hardest hit, with factories shut , reduced production and non-inclusion of navigation systems, for example, in cars that would normally have them.
Strong demand for semiconductors and the addition of new production capacity helped fuel the rise in output of chips, Fu says.
To meet the skyrocketing global demand for personal computers amid the Covid-19 pandemic, China has also exported 130 million units of PCs from January to July, up nearly 41 per cent year-on-year, confirming that PCs are back to the center of digital lives.
The PC refreshment cycle has also shortened and penetration rate increased, motivating more Chinese companies to enter the PC sector, experts said.
In July, the output of China's electronic information manufacturing sector increased 13 per cent year-on-year. The growth rate itself increased by 1.2 percentage points year-on-year, according to the top industry regulator.
As the outbreak continues to affect the global supply chain, China is working hard to leverage its manufacturing powerhouse to ramp up production.
Last month, China set out key economic policy directions for the second half of this year, highlighting that the resilience of scientific and technological innovation, as well as industry and supply chains, must be further harnessed, and fundamental research should also be strengthened.
A special action plan for industry and supply chains, with measures to resolve bottleneck problems quickly, will likely be released sometime this year, according to a statement released after the July 30 meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
Qiao Biao, deputy head of the China Center for Information Industry Development, a Beijing-based think tank, said a more resilient and flexible industry chain is an important foundation for the growth of China's economy, as uncertainties continue amid the pandemic.
"China's efforts to ensure the stable operation of industry and supply chains will contribute to the whole world," he says, "given the nation's position in the global industrial economy."