China’s imports of integrated circuits (ICs), another term for chips, fell 15.3 percent in volume in 2022 from a year earlier, a sharp reversal from strong growth in the previous two years amid supply chain disruptions as a result of the country’s zero Covid approach and U.S. export restrictions.
Chinese chip imports rose 16.9 percent in 2021 and rose 22.1 percent in 2020.
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Meanwhile, integrated circuits remain China’s biggest import item. China’s payment for imported integrated circuits was equivalent to its combined crude oil and iron ore imports in 2022, according to China’s customs data, demonstrating Beijing’s determination to boost domestic production to substitute certain imports.
China’s chip imports began to shrink in early 2022, with numbers for January and February marking the first year-on-year drop since early 2020. In November, the volume of imported chips fell 25.3 percent to 40.5 billion units.
China’s total exports rose 7 percent in 2022, while imports rose 1.1 percent, representing an annual trade surplus of $877.6 billion, according to China’s customs data.
China’s domestic IC output in November fell 15.2 percent from a year earlier, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics. While IC production in November fell to 26 billion units, marking the slowest year-on-year decline in the past five months.
The statistics agency is expected to release IC production figures for December next week.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, explore the SCMP app or visit SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Source: South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd