WUXI, China -- Yao Lijun knows how important it is for China to break the dominance of U.S. and Japanese companies in making materials for chip production. "Otherwise, other countries could easily seize us by our throats and cut the lifeline anytime," said the chairman of Konfoong Materials International, one of China's largest suppliers to the chip industry.
Konfoong Materials (KFMI) is China's largest maker of ultrapure titanium, copper and several chipmaking materials. When Yao Lijun founded the company in 2005, he says he had already realized the importance of developing self-sufficiency in semiconductors. Yet few of China's business leaders or government officials shared his vision.