China is on track to become the world's second-largest semiconductor equipment market amid a semiconductor boom. Two years later, in 2020, it is expected to be right behind Korea, the world's largest semiconductor equipment market.
According to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), a global semiconductor industry association, sales of global semiconductor equipment grew by 9.7% from US$56.6 billion in 2017 to US$62.1 billion (70 trillion won) in 2018.
SEMI released the data at SEMICON Japan held in Tokyo, Japan on Dec. 12. It forecast that the sales record is highly likely to be renewed.
By country, Korea is expected to be the world's largest semiconductor equipment market worth of US$17.1 billion, followed by China and Taiwan.
In particular, the Chinese market surged by 55.7% to worth US$12.82 billion and is expected to beat Taiwan, who was in second place last year. The Chinese semiconductor equipment market has grown nearly double in two years from US$6.46 billion in 2016.
In contrast, sales of Taiwanese equipment market, which was the world's number-one in 2016, continued to decline year-on-year. Taiwan has TSMC, the world's leading foundry maker, and yet, it seems inadequate to compete with China’s semiconductor boom.
According to the Chinese manufacturing 2025 plan, the Chinese government is fueling a "semiconductor boom" by investing 1 trillion yuan (about 160 trillion won) for next 10 years until 2025 and is preparing to start full-scale mass production of memory semiconductors by supporting domestic manufacturers, like Tsinghua Unigroup.
SEMI expects the Chinese semiconductor equipment market to reach US$17.06 billion by 2020 as the country is aggressive in investing in semiconductors. In the same year, Korea’s semiconductor equipment market is estimated to be worth US$18.33 billion, only US$1.25 billion higher than that of China.