The global shortage of semiconductor chips has forced a number of car manufacturers to suspend or reduce production while affecting many smartphone and other smart device companies.

The critical role chips, often likened to “industrial food” or “oil of the digital era”, play has led countries to enhance their chip supply capacity. Being indispensable to the development of 5G, artificial intelligence, internet of things, autonomous cars, and the industrial internet, chips have become a technological bottleneck for China.

There is a huge gap between domestic enterprises and their Western counterparts when it comes to production of raw materials and designs for chips. However, challenges also mean opportunities. The development of China’s integrated circuit industry during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period was very impressive and the industrial scale kept growing.

Technological innovation has led to the emergence of a number of leading enterprises in design, manufacturing, and sealing and testing chains.

The development of the chip industry is driven by demand and application, and the rapid development of the digital economy has facilitated the development of the chip industry, attracting many domestic enterprises to focus on independent chip research and development in an effort to meet the shortfall.

Building a strong and independent chip supply mechanism is not something that can be achieved overnight. Instead, it must be based on self-reliance, which can be achieved by developing the science and technology sector and strengthening the industrial chains. Only after breakthroughs are made in the development of materials, technology, equipment and software can a solid foundation be laid for the chip industry’s continuous development to promote innovation.

The integrated circuit and semiconductor industries have global industrial chains, and chip manufacturing depends largely on global supply chains because of the complex technologies involved in making them.

To promote the healthy and sustainable development of the chip industry, strengthened cooperation on a global scale is needed.

While China strengthens its independent chip research and development capacity, enterprises, universities, research institutions and other innovation-oriented organizations must be encouraged to carry out international cooperation to improve their scientific and technological innovation ability.