It has been revealed that Chinese President Xi Jinping asked an official of Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group (XCMG), China’s largest construction equipment company, “Are you using domestic semiconductors?” The remarks are in line with China’s recent emphasis on self-reliance in science and technology in the face of the US’s massive semiconductor regulation.
According to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) on the 9th, President Xi held a meeting with a delegation from the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Jiangsu Province, where XCMG is located, on the 5th. At this meeting, when an XCMG official stated, “The ratio of domestically produced parts for cranes, which was 71% in 2017, has now reached 100%,” President Xi pointedly asked, “Is the semiconductor used in the crane also domestically produced?” When this official replied, “All semiconductors are domestic,” President Xi also congratulated him.
SCMP commented that this dialogue is a strong signal of President Xi’s emphasis on China’s technological self-sufficiency, and that XCMG is also evaluated as an exemplary case of semiconductor self-sufficiency. In general, semiconductors used in construction equipment have a lower level of technical difficulty than high-tech semiconductors used in smartphones and computers, but Xi gave high marks to ‘complete localization’. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the supervisory body of the CCP, also introduced related content including this conversation on its website.
The United States is regulating the export of high-tech semiconductors and equipment to China to block China’s ‘technological rise’. Accordingly, China is nurturing the semiconductor industry with a focus on the mature process of 28 nanometers (nm · 1nm is 1/1 billionth of a meter) or higher rather than the high-tech process. On the 7th, China proposed a plan to transfer the high-tech management work, which had been supervised by the State Council (the executive branch), to the Central Science and Technology Committee within the Chinese Communist Party. It is interpreted as meaning that President Xi will directly take care of the science and technology field.
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