SMIC's revenue fell by nearly $1bn in 2023
China’s biggest chip firm, SMIC, endured a tough 2023 with sales down to $6.32 billion from $7.27 billion a year earlier.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) is China's top contract chip maker, but the firm was hit last year by a combination of soft global demand, intense competition, high inventory levels and US sanctions.
The consequence was a poor set of annual results. Revenue fell by nearly USD 1 billion, while net income plummeted 50.4% to USD 902.5 million. The only positive note was the 4Q performance in which revenue rose by 3.5 per cent year-on-year to USD 1.68 billion.
US sanctions hit SMIC hard. SMIC was placed on a US trade blacklist in 2020 as a potential national security risk, and then lost ground at the more advanced end of the market. That said, a recent Financial Times report claimed SMIC could be on track to mass-produce processors with 5nm-class process technology later this year. It says its primary customer Huawei, which will use the chips in its AI and smartphone processors.
This would be a boost. The smartphone segment has been a bright spot for SMIC. It led the firm's 4Q boost with nearly 5% quarter-on-quarter growth, owing mainly to sales of Huawei's Mate 60 line which reportedly used SMIC's 2nd generation 7nm-class fabrication process.