China Trade War: Chinese copies of chip manufacturing expected?

We are restricting shipments of the most sophisticated chips and the equipment to make them to China. They are responding by blocking shipments of rare ingredients gallium and germanium.

Don’t we expect China to respond by building Chinese copies of chip making equipment? So they become a competitor in this field.

How long will this take? A few years? Can they become the leader in advanced chips?


Maybe more time than they have… their country has a lot of problems, including one they can’t fix… demographics.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

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Yes, the one child policy has some consequences.

They also have excellent engineers and many well educated, hard working citizens.

They are working hard to catch up with Boeing. Seem to be doing well on autos. Dominate lithium, solar panels, rare earths, and probably dozens more.

It may not be easy, but they can probably do it if they decide to focus on it.


This is not something they can just “copy”. It would take a long time for them to start building hi tech chips with equipment mostly of their own design and manufacturing.


It’s not at all easy. Not even for the USA. For example, the US government just dumped $50+B into new chip manufacturing and it won’t be nearly enough to get to the current top-tier level of chipmaking. And it will likely take a decade, maybe half a decade if we are very lucky.

Good points Mark. Heck, Intel can’t make current generation chips yet. Let that sink in. China is not going to do this on their own.

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“Can they become the leader in advanced chips?”

Easy! They just have to successfully invade Taiwan.



China and Taiwan strongly feel it is one nation regardless of the argument of how it is run.

Would we bomb and destroy records of a part of handing Taiwan over at the same time, if we suspected a union was in the offing?

“Not something you can just copy”

Agreed. You can copy the hardware and learn the methods of your competitor.

With ultra fine line circuits the issue is probably yield. Clever researchers can probably figure it out in time. It is not an insurmountable barrier.

If humans can do it it is possible.


Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 - Wikipedia
…The Germans had been unable to develop airworthy turbojets with thrust over 1,130 kilograms-force (11,100 N; 2,500 lbf) capable of running for more than a few hours at the time of the surrender in May 1945, which limited the performance of immediate Soviet postwar jet aircraft designs. The Soviet aviation minister Mikhail Khrunichev and aircraft designer A. S. Yakovlev suggested to Premier Joseph Stalin that the USSR buy the reliable, fully developed, Nene engines from Rolls-Royce (having been alerted to the fact that the U.K. Labour government wanted to improve post-war UK-Russia foreign relations) for the purpose of copying them in a minimum of time. Stalin is said to have replied, "What fool will sell us his secrets?"[4]

However, he gave his consent to the proposal and Mikoyan, engine designer Vladimir Yakovlevich Klimov [ru], and others travelled to the United Kingdom to request the engines. To Stalin’s amazement, the British Labour government and its Minister of Trade, Sir Stafford Cripps, were perfectly willing to provide technical information and a license to manufacture the Rolls-Royce Nene. Sample engines were purchased and delivered with blueprints. Following evaluation and adaptation to Russian conditions, the windfall technology was tooled for mass-production as the Klimov RD-45 to be incorporated into the MiG-15.[4]

Oops. To be fair the USSR did promise to “not use for military purposes”. And they didn’t, until later when they did.