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Challenges to Foreign Investment in High-Tech Semiconductor Production in China

Author(s)

Falan Yinug


Abstract

This article seeks to explain the limited level of high-tech semiconductor production by foreign investors in China. First, the article briefly summarizes the evolution and current state of China’s policy efforts to promote foreign investment in its semiconductor industry. Second, the article shows that foreign front-end semiconductor production in China remains relatively small, despite the lure of the government’s promotional policies and the fact that China is the world’s largest market. The article concludes by identifying two major factors discouraging foreign front-end semiconductor production in China: (1) China’s uncertain business environment for front-end semiconductor production, punctuated by lax intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement; and (2) restrictive investment and export control policies by foreign governments.