Bulletins

Shanghai is courting semiconductor talent and companies with loads of money

The municipal government wants to bolster its semiconductor sector.

A close-up of a circuit board

China needs more chip talent. Shanghai's answer: cold, hard cash.

Photo: Comezora/Getty Images

Shanghai’s municipal government on Wednesday announced new policies meant to bolster China’s advanced chipmaking capabilities.


Shanghai, the largest Chinese city and the country’s financial center, has spelled out plans to woo R&D talent in integrated circuits, industrial software, emerging technology software, and cybersecurity software.

To support semiconductor companies, the Shanghai government will match 30% of the investment in new semiconductor material and equipment projects and chip-software projects such as electronic design automation tools, up to 100 million RMB ($15.8 million).

Shanghai is also investing in creating a pipeline of talent for the chip industry. The government is pushing to institute a major called Integrated Circuit Science and Engineering in the city’s universities and colleges. It's also requiring schools to expand enrollment of undergraduate and graduate students in microelectronics and software-related majors.

As China continues to seek to build its homegrown technology sector and reduce its reliance on U.S. tech, central and local governments have rolled out similar policies to boost the semiconductor industry. Though the country faces an uphill battle in manufacturing advanced chips due to a lack of know-how and trained talent, it has shown the capability to spur chip output when facing a prolonged chip shortage. Last year, semiconductor factories in China produced 359.4 billion integrated circuits, up 33.3% from a year ago, according to data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. This accelerated pace compares with the 16.2% growth in 2020.
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