A source at Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance told Nikkei Asia that almost 90% of used machines appeared to be going to China. Another source at a used equipment seller told the publication, “Machines that were basically worthless several years ago are now selling for 100 million yen (~RM3.8 million).”
According to a Bloomberg analysis of official trade data, Chinese businesses acquired nearly US$32 billion (~RM13 billion) of computer chip-making equipment from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere last year – a notable 20% increase from 2019.
For all intents and purposes, China and the US are effectively in a chip-making arms race. The Trump administration enacted sanctions that cut off Chinese manufacturers from US chip-making technology, and President Biden is unlikely to reverse them, for now.
Warning of China’s dominance, US industry groups and politicians are urging the Biden administration to beef up America’s own chip-making capacity. China itself is more determined to ever achieve chip independence after Trump exposed the country’s dependence on US technology.