Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC), China’s largest chip maker, has started construction of its new 12-inch wafer fab in Tianjin, even as the northern city remains under a partial lockdown to battle the latest wave of COVID-19 infections, reports the South China Morning Post. The project, with a total investment of $7.5 billion, began construction last Saturday, according to a report by Tianjin Daily, the city’s official newspaper. Tianjin has been under partial lockdown to combat COVID since late August.
SMIC said on August 27 it had entered into a cooperation framework agreement with two local government authorities in the Xiqing district to build the new fab.
The latest coronavirus outbreak is believed to have started at a football game in the city, where two thirds of participating players were infected, according to local authorities. Up to 252 cases of the Omicron variant of the virus have been traced to a shopping center in the Xiqing district, marking the largest transmission chain during the latest wave.