Imports of integrated circuits (ICs) into China dropped in volume by 9.6% year-on-year in Q1 2022, a marked difference from the 33.6% increase during the same quarter last year, reports the South China Morning Post. The values of IC units it bought, however, were rising. In the first three months of the year, entities in China paid a total of $107.2 billion for 140.3 billion IC units, up 14.6% year-on-year. The average unit price rose 26% from a year ago.
The figures released by the General Administration of Customs on Wednesday did not include a breakdown by IC type. China is the world’s largest importer of foreign chips, which are used for producing electric vehicles, smartphones and other consumer electronics, many of which are then exported to the rest of the world, including markets where the semiconductors originally came from.
The reduction in import volume comes amid China’s vigorous push towards technological self-sufficiency. But China’s position in the global value chain is also under growing pressure amid rising geopolitical headwinds and Beijing’s dynamic zero-tolerance approach towards the coronavirus.
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