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US-China tensions

Eyeing US, China wields $33bn subsidies to bolster chips, defense

State spending raises concerns as Washington weighs similar program

China has ramped up subsidies to boost domestic chip production.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- China spent a record 213.6 billion yuan ($33 billion) in industry subsidies in 2020, eager to shore up key sectors including semiconductors and defense in its heated technology race with the U.S.

The figure represents a 14% increase from a year earlier, with payments to 113 businesses in the semiconductor sector totaling 10.6 billion yuan, or a 12-fold expansion from a decade ago. The figures were compiled by Nikkei based on listed companies' earnings data obtained by information firm Wind.

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