China has experienced a notable decline of 14.6 percent in semiconductor imports on a year-on-year basis during the initial nine months of this year, attributed to tightened export controls by the United States, as reported by media outlets on Saturday.
Data released by the General Administration of Customs revealed that China imported 355.9 billion units of integrated circuits (ICs) from January to September, marking a significant drop from the 416.7 billion imported during the same period in the previous year. The total value of IC imports also fell by 19.8 percent to $252.9 billion.
China’s considerable demand for advanced semiconductors to fuel emerging projects in artificial intelligence (AI) has fostered a rapidly growing market for graphics processing units (GPUs).
The decline in chip imports coincides with heightened export controls implemented by the Joe Biden administration. In October of the previous year, the US introduced rules that imposed restrictions on the export of specific advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment and items to Chinese companies. This move was seen as an attempt to slow down China’s technological advancements.
Recent reports suggest that the US is planning to tighten rules further, particularly concerning the shipment of AI chips and chipmaking tools to China. This move is part of the US strategy to curb the growth of China’s artificial intelligence capabilities, as China heavily relies on access to US chips for its AI initiatives. The tightening of these regulations underscores the ongoing strategic competition in the global semiconductor market.