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The Investment of Semiconductor Industry in China from the Sales Data of Equipment Enterprises

In recent years, there have been a lot of reports about "China has dozens of semiconductor production lines and investments amounting to hundreds of billions". But behind the news, have we analyzed the real investment of China's semiconductor industry? In 2018, after thorough investigation and careful analysis, Xinmou Research published "Does China's Semiconductor Production Line Investment Really Much?" —— From the regional sales data of semiconductor equipment enterprises, we can see the exaggeration and insufficiency of China's industrial investment. Speaking with data and making facts speak out have caused great repercussions in the industry. And it was presented to the relevant leaders, citing the data and viewpoints in an international occasion to counter the false argument that China has invested too much in semiconductors and brought excess capacity.

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For the above figure, add the following five points:

The above data are from the data published in the annual reports of the five major companies.

Different companies have different definitions of fiscal year, but they can be used as representative research.

Data from mainland China include purchases by international companies and enterprises in Taiwan, China, of subsidiaries in mainland China.

A few company data include non-semiconductor areas such as LED, solar energy and panel, especially application materials.

Each company's financial confirmation income way is not consistent, slightly different in time, but does not affect as a sample of analysis.

In the horizontal comparison among the five semiconductor equipment companies, KLA is mainly based on measurement, taking into account the overlap of Applied Materials, Lam and TEL products, as well as sales in the non-semiconductor field. Therefore, a single analysis of ASML sales is more direct and representative, especially its irreplaceability. (Although there are Japanese suppliers in the field of lithography, most of their customers are Japanese companies, while Chinese mainland and other international manufacturers purchase ASML lithography more often.)

Based on ASML revenue of 10.944 billion euros in 2018, revenue from mainland China is about 1.842 billion euros, or 2.063 billion dollars. Among the 16.8% of the contribution made by the mainland of China, after many surveys, excluding foreign enterprises such as Intel, Hailishi and TSMC, the proportion of mainland Chinese companies is about 58%, which accounts for 9.8% of the global sales of ASML. This means that in 2018, the purchasing volume of lithographic machines by mainland Chinese enterprises is only 1/4 of that of South Korea, less than 1/2 of that of Taiwan.

To cite another example, after in-depth investigation of the five leading global enterprises mentioned above, we subdivide their sales data of "Mainland China", and find that the sales of each pure Chinese enterprise accounted for 50% to 55% of the sales of "Mainland China". That is to say, the purchasing volume of semiconductor equipment in mainland China only accounts for about 9% of the world's total.

Although purchases from China rose from 7% in 2017 to 9% in 2018, there was a significant increase. However, do not look at the river surface as a mirror, to see the depth of the bottom of the water, there are grim and cruel facts behind the figures.

1. Don't look at the surface. 9% is the proportion of sales. Considering business rules and other factors, the real situation may be more "miserable". The price of a single equipment sold to a Chinese company is often higher than that of a first-line international manufacturer, which is a well-known "latent rule" in the industry. If we calculate the number of equipment units, the proportion of units we purchase will be much lower than 9% (because the prices of advanced equipment and low-end equipment are different, we can not simply compare them, only make a rough calculation).

2. Think carefully and fear terribly. South Korean equipment purchases mainly come from Samsung and Hailishi, while most of Taiwan's equipment purchases come from TSMC. Purchase concentration, in which each enterprise's purchasing volume is much higher than the total purchasing volume of the whole mainland of China. Our buyers can "blossom in a hundred flowers": dozens of declared, and dozens of real purchases, diluted to each home, the purchasing power and competitiveness of a single home is self-evident.

3. More than that. We have fallen behind too much in terms of the amount of equipment purchased. If we consider our investment conversion rate, if we consider from equipment to operation, from technology to products, from R&D to industry! How much discount is there for the back?

There is more to think about behind the embarrassing reality.

1. Investment in propaganda is often not real data, and most propaganda has not been done.

If we only read the reports in our media, we'll have a lot of flamboyance. Looking at the headlines, we have become the salvation of equipment manufacturers all over the world and the largest buyer of semiconductor equipment. If we count our declared investments, the cumulative amount may be more than trillions of dollars --- though it's not very high compared with the real investment in the world. In fact, when the United States wants to count the threats posed by China's industries, they either blindly or deliberately take the data we propagandize as "spear of the son, shield of the attack".

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From news to reality. In addition to the real landing of the national large funds and the 50 billion funds in Shanghai, most of them are more said and less done, more promises and less landed. Such "investments" and "news" not only do not help us, but also give people a handle, which has become an international excuse for some people to attack us. Boastful wind, can stop!

2. For China's industry to continue to increase investment, the construction and support of the second phase of the large fund is imperative.

Even if some investments have been implemented and some plans have been put in place, we can still see the problem between the "expected purchasing proportion" and the "actual purchasing proportion of squeezed water". We can see that there is a big gap between propaganda investment, in-place investment and ultimately successful investment. The development of China's semiconductor industry is like sailing against the current. If we don't advance, we will go backwards. Therefore, China's semiconductor industry should continue to increase investment. But it must be a real investment!

After ten years of hard work, the semiconductor industry needs more sustained and strong support and coherent policies. Buying equipment is just the beginning, followed by "equipment to technology", "technology to product", "product to commodity", "commodity to profit", "profit to competitiveness" and other checkpoints. In fact, building factories and buying equipment is the simplest!

Half way up the hill. In the face of further difficulties, we need more coherence in policy, capital and investment. Therefore, the second phase of the National Integrated Circuit Industry Fund is imperative and imminent.

3. Enterprises should be low-key and pragmatic, and the government should strengthen supervision.

Recently, there are many 12-inch and large silicon wafer production lines on the horse news, local government propaganda and publicity one after another. At present, we should be more cautious about "paper plans" and "oral projects", and be vigilant against those "only propaganda, not construction", "only construction, not operation". It is suggested that the government should also strictly supervise the landing of projects. Let the "planned production line" become the "real production line" and the "paper production capacity" become the "effective production capacity".


From news to reality, from feeling real. The data tells us to get out of the impression stream and return to reality. Similarly, we also hope to inform the domestic and foreign industry about the real data and the real situation. This will not only help us to recognize the reality and face up to the gap, but also help the international industry to give an objective and true evaluation of China's industry, rather than emotional and biased conclusions based on wrong data. We hope that China's manufacturing industry can buy enough good equipment and produce enough good chips, so that the real proportion of the five overseas equipment companies can rise to the level of global competitiveness. We hope that China's equipment industry will be self-reliant, have the opportunity to shine in the international arena, and realize domestic substitution in the future, so as to reduce the proportion of the increased "Chinese Mainland Procurement" figure again. But today, we first hope to achieve the "immediate small target", industry abandon exaggeration, refuse impetuosity, do more, say less, and move forward pragmatic. Ultimately, with small goals, the big vision will be formed. Quantitative transformation will be transformed into qualitative change, and qualitative change will be brilliant!