Cooperation for Win-Win: Industry leaders call for global cooperation in chip sector
Wu Bin

China calls for innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development of the global chip industry, according to the Hefei Initiative launched on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the World Conference on Integrated Circuits (IC) 2022 in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province.

The conference is hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and is the first such conference held at a national level.

Industry leaders from international and domestic companies, including Qualcomm, Intel and Tsinghua Unigroup, have gathered to discuss the importance of cooperation for the healthy development of the global IC industry.

"Cooperation for Win-Win" is the theme of this year's conference and the consensus of many industry leaders.

"As the world continues to become more connected, smarter, and more sustainable, there is no doubt that we need more semiconductor innovation to fuel economic growth and transform society for the better," said Christiano R. Amon, chair of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), who's also the CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated.

He further added that forums like IC China will continue to promote industry cooperation and policies that ensure continuous semiconductor innovation and a stable global technology environment.

Amon said that Qualcomm has been in China for nearly three decades, and it has cultivated broad, enduring partnerships with Chinese telecom operators, network infrastructure vendors, mobile and computing device manufacturers, semiconductor companies, internet product providers, and application developers in the Chinese automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) industries.

China is committed to promoting close cooperation within the global industry chain and supply chain in the chip sector. In 2020, the country issued a number of policies to promote the high-quality development of the IC industry and software industry, and all policies are the same for domestic and foreign enterprises.

The global semiconductor market is expected to have another year of double-digit growth in 2022 to reach $633 billion, and is projected to expand further to $663 billion by next year, according to a latest market forecast by World Semiconductor Trade Statistiscs.

But as the world's semiconductor sector continues to expand, competition has been on the rise in recent years.

Some speakers at the conference warn of the trend of "isolation" in the sector and stress the need for cooperation for the entire industry to develop on the right track.

"The IC industry requires the entire industrial chain to allocate resources globally and participate in global market competition," said Wen Bing, co-president of Tsinghua Unigroup, one of China's largest IC companies.

"No single country can own the whole industry chain. So, I believe the main driving force for the sustainable, stable and healthy development of the IC industry is the global allocation of resources and open cooperation," he added. 

Zhu Yiming, chairman and CEO of CXMT, the first Chinese dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chip maker, located in Hefei, said in his keynote speech that some action against the globalization trend in the IC sector will increase the cost, which will increase the price of chip products, and finally pass on the price increase to the consumers.

"That's why we say globalization is the trend of the history," he added. "Although we now have all kinds of problems, we have to encourage win-win cooperation, especially by my fellow entrepreneurs here. We need to follow the right path and promote marketization," Zhu said.

China, as an indispensable part of the global industry chain, is developing fast in the IC sector in recent years. In the first half of 2022, the sales revenue of China's IC industry reached 476.35 billion yuan (about $66.66 billion), a year-on-year increase of 16.1 percent, according to China Semiconductor Industry Association (CSIA). 

(CGTN's Cao Qingqing contributed to the report.)

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