China chip imports shrink as trade ties weaken in the face of US restrictions

  • China’s chip imports continued to slump in the first four months of 2023 amid a global semiconductor industry downturn and continued value chain adjustments in the face of ongoing US restrictions on the export of advanced chips and semiconductor equipment to the country.
  • China imported 146.8bn integrated circuits (IC) between Jan and Apr 23, down 21.1% from the same period in 2022, according to data published by the General Administration of Customs on 9 May. The total value of chip imports slumped 25.6% to USD105.6bn, down from USD141.9bn in 2022, according to the customs data.
  • In contrast, in the first four months of 2022, the total quantity of China’s chip imports dropped 11.4% year-on-year to 186.1bn units while the total value increased 12.2% amid a global chip shortage at that time.
  • The global chip market has seen a shortage turn into a glut since late in 2022, and China continues to be pressured by US sanctions on the export of advanced chips and chip-making equipment to the country, as the US-initiated Chip 4 Alliance – which includes South Korea, Japan and Taiwan – comes into shape.

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