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South Korea and Taiwan elbow out China in chip investment

Samsung and TSMC seen responsible for 43% of semiconductor capital spending

Samsung Electronics' Pyeongtaek plant on the outskirts of Seoul. Investments by Samsung alone has dwarfed those of all Chinese chipmakers over 2017-2020. (Photo courtesy of the company)

TOKYO -- U.S. tech titan Intel has announced plans to spend $20 billion by 2024 to build two new chipmaking facilities in Arizona, but even if it manages to fend off China's growing influence on the global supply chain, it still faces the might of South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

A research report by IC Insights on the industry published in March suggests that that Intel figure is nowhere near enough to take on these Asian giants. "Governments would need to spend at least $30 billion per year for a minimum of five years to have any reasonable chance of success," the report said, referring to the minimum expenditure needed by the U.S., China and the EU to develop chipmakers that are comparable to Samsung and TSMC in terms of production technology and capacity.

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