April 14, 2023
BEIJING – Patrick Gelsinger, CEO of Intel Corp, underlined on Wednesday the importance of China in the company’s strategy for sustainable development during his first trip to the country since he took the CEO position in 2021.
Gelsinger is the latest CEO of a major chip company to visit China recently in order to deepen local business cooperation and meet with government officials, thus showcasing the crucial position of China in global semiconductor supply chains, experts said.
Gelsinger said in a speech at an Intel forum in Beijing that China plays an incredibly important role in Intel’s business strategy. The company has established a long-term relationship with Chinese partners and customers, which spans nearly 40 years.
He said Chinese partners’ involvement is important to the research, development and production of IT products.
The remarks came after Gelsinger met with China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao on Tuesday in Beijing. The two exchanged views on maintaining the security and stability of the global semiconductor industry chain, the ministry said.
In the meeting, Wang said China will adhere to high-level opening-up, and the country’s doors will open wider.
China’s development will provide new opportunities for the world and a broader market for multinational companies including Intel, Wang added.
Gelsinger’s trip to China followed those of Cristiano Amon, CEO of the US chip company Qualcomm, and Peter Wennink, CEO of Dutch chip-making equipment maker ASML, who visited the country last month.
Amon said during his stay in China that “Qualcomm has a long history in China that spans nearly three decades. We are proud of the deep relationships we have built over the past 30 years … and the new partnerships we are building today”.
Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center at Zhejiang University’s International Business School, said the recent visits of foreign chip company executives highlight the importance of China in global chip industrial chains.
As the world’s largest chip market, the Chinese mainland consumes more than half of the world’s semiconductors, which are then assembled into tech products to be reexported or sold in the domestic market, said research company Daxue Consulting.
“Access to this massive (Chinese) market is essential for the success of any globally competitive chip firm today and in the future,” the Semiconductor Industry Association, a Washington-based group that represents the US chip sector, said in a report.
Meanwhile, the Chinese mainland is also playing an increasingly important role in the global chip manufacturing layout. It accounted for 11 percent of worldwide semiconductor fabrication capacity in 2019, and the figure is forecast to reach 18 percent in 2025 and nearly 19 percent in 2030, according to the SIA.
Such a position will not be easily altered despite the geopolitical tensions and Washington’s restrictions on exports of crucial semiconductor technologies to China, experts added.