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China more reliant on Taiwan's chips after US sanctions: South Korean study

Taiwanese exports of memory chips to China increased by 57% between 2018 and 2021

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Computer chips on a circuit board.  

Computer chips on a circuit board.   (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A study released by a South Korean research institute shows China’s reliance on Taiwanese chips has increased substantially since the U.S. imposed sanctions on Chinese chipmakers in 2019.

The report, released on Monday (April 25) by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) shows that Taiwanese firms’ share of China’s semiconductor market grew by 4.4% between 2018 and 2021. FKI concluded that China had rapidly bought more chips from Taiwan due to the U.S. sanctions, per a KBS World report.

The report compared the market share of various chipmakers from Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, the U.S., and several Southeast Asian countries in the aftermath of U.S. sanctions on both Huawei and China's largest contract chipmaker the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation. Over the same period, Japanese firms' market share in China grew by 1.8%, while South Korea’s dropped by 5.5%.

The increase in demand from Taiwan and Japan has been most notable in memory chips, which South Korea often dominates. FKI said China’s total imports of memory chips between 2018 and 2021 increased by 37%, with orders from Taiwan rising roughly 57% and from Japan around 35%.