For as much as China has been making electronics a national ecponomic priority for so long I am surprised and puzzled they haven't made more traction. I recall as a reporter in Hong Kong circa 1992 how Shenzhen authorities were trying to lure STM to make a big joint venture fab there while Shanghai Belling was getting started and NEC had an effort in Beijing.
I wonder if the fabless guys will get out ahead of the fabs?
It seems like the big success story has been the OEMs--Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and perhpas a few others.
One other thing that Bill McClean mentioned was that China's fabless chip vendor ecosystem, while they may need to go to TSMC, Samsung or Globalfoundries to get the most advanced technology, does do healthy business with SMIC. Many of these fabless firms design chips that don't require the latest and greatest process technology. In it's most recent quarterly report, SMIC said that revenue from China-based customers contributed 38.6% of its overall revenue in 1Q13, compared to 32.5% in 1Q12 and 34.8% in 4Q12. So SMIC and other Chinese foundries do have a healthy potential customer base.
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