Increasing bilateral tensions and a nation-wide effort by Beijing to boost its chip sector had been the major factors responsible for the growth, the SIA said in a statement.
It said China's annual semiconductor sales in 2020 had risen to US$39.8 billion (A$55.2 billion), an annual growth rate of 30.6% over five years, enabling Beijing to capture 9% of the global market, ahead of Taiwan for two consecutive years. Sales data for 2021 was not yet available.
The SIA said about 15,000 new Chinese companies had registered as semiconductor businesses in 2020, another starting statistic, with many being fabless and specialising in GPU, EDA, FPGA, AI computing, and other higher-end chip design.
The SIA analysis also showed that China had 16% of the market in the global fabless semiconductor segment, behind the US and Taiwan, up from 10% in 2015. The biggest chip designer, Huawei's HiSilicon, reported about US$10 billion in revenue in 2020 despite US export control restrictions.
Chinese OEMs and their commercially available chip products.
"All indications are that China’s rapid growth in semiconductor chip sales is likely to continue due in large part to the unwavering commitment from the central government and robust policy support in the face of deteriorating US-China relations," the SIA said.
"While there remains a long way to go for China to catch up with existing industry leaders — especially in advanced node foundry production, equipment, and materials — the gap is expected to narrow over the next decade as Beijing sharpens its focus on semiconductor self-reliance during the current 14th Five-Year Plan."
Graphics courtesy SIA