Year after year, we hear about China’s ambitions to become a leading contender in the global chip race. Yet time and again its companies and government make decisions that seem destined to ensure the nation remains an also-ran.

Latest among the befuddling choices is the Shanghai government signing on to own up to 25% of a massive new factory that Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co. intends to build. The $8.9 billion budget for this facility adds to a $2.35 billion plant that SMIC is already planning 800 miles south in Shenzhen. That earlier project will also be minority held and funded by the local government.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.