How the US is trying to maintain dominance of the advanced semiconductor industry and limit China’s ability to develop its own

The US has long dominated the advanced semiconductor industry and is expending great effort and expense to prevent China from catching up.

The tiny computing components are essential to almost everything powered by electricity today – from home appliances and consumer technology such as smartphones, computers and cars to defense systems, satellites, AI systems and weapons of war.

Not only has the US pumped billions of dollars in subsidies and other incentives into its industry, but it has also sought to forge alliances with South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands and Taiwan to boost production.

It has also taken steps to drastically limit China’s access to the critical technology, also known as microchips.

But experts warn that the recent spate of US moves in the so-called “chip wars” could also backfire and push China’s industry to develop its own advanced semiconductors.

“You really want to get better chips”

A green, round computer chip
The world’s leading advanced chips are manufactured in South Korea and Taiwan.(ABC News: Mitch Denman Woolnough)

Andrew Kennedy, associate professor at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, told ABC there is a “very big gap between what the top Chinese chipmakers can do” and the world’s top makers.

To give an idea of ​​how massive the push from China is, it has announced a $1.4 trillion plan to boost its chip technology and manufacturing sector.

31 semiconductor factories are to be built within the next two years.