The global sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment grew by 19% from $59.8 billion in 2019 to an all-time high of $71.2 billion in 2020. China, for the first time, was the largest procurer of chipmaking equipment, with an annual growth of 39% in spendings to $18.72 billion. Chinese manufacturers are back on track with their fabrication programs as the limits of the trade war have become relatively clearer.
Furthermore, the Chinese government is offering significant tax incentives to promote the development and production of domestic products. Experts believe that as long as companies avoid advanced process nodes such as 7nm and 5nm, and don’t indulge in military applications, they should fly under the radar of the US department of defense. The Chinese government is offering a ten-year tax exemption for local semiconductor companies leveraging the 28nm, 65nm, and 0.13um process nodes, allowing for faster development and production of chips based on these processes.
On the other sales, Taiwan, the second-largest market for lithographic equipment saw a flat 2020 with a sales figure of $17.15 billion. Korea saw strong growth, with an increase of 61% to $16.08 billion, coming in third. Japan and Europe also saw modest growth of 21% and 16%, respectively, after a stagnant 2019. North America, however, saw a drop of 20% with respect to the semiconductor equipment market after three consecutive years of positive growth.