For anyone consumed with China’s future as a semiconductor manufacturing power, this Business Week piece is a must-read.
And be prepared for a debunking of everything you’ve read about the inevitability of China’s future dominance of the sector.
The piece recaps a new book by a pair of University of California-Berkeley professors whose research finds:
- China’s silicon designers haven’t mastered high-end inventions.
- Academic programs produce quantity at the expense of quality.
- The sector suffers from a lack of business success stories.
- The path of government funding toward building plants is rife with local governmental interference and redundant investments.
- Rampant overcapacity.
According to Business Week, the authors compare China’s rise to that of Japan’s, noting certain similarities and a few key distinctions. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m going to.