US chip giant Micron pushes ahead with new plant in Xi’an, showing foreign firms’ commitment to Chinese market

US-based semiconductor firm Micron Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

US memory chip giant Micron Technology has broken ground at its new plant in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, the company announced on Wednesday.

It’s part of a slew of recent investments by foreign firms that are eager to expand in the Chinese market, showing their confidence in China’s economic growth.

The plant in Xi’an will be used for chip packing and testing. It is also Micron’s first sustainable packing and testing manufacturing center globally, which will contribute to China’s low carbon economy and the green semiconductor supply chain, Micron said.

The new project is expected to start production in the second half of 2025 and it will increase production according to market demand. After completion, the total area of Micron’s Xi’an factory will exceed 132,000 square meters.

The new facility “is an important step in Micron’s global packaging and testing strategy, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to our clients, operations, and teams in China,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO of Micron.

The new plant in Xi’an is part of its 4.3-billion-yuan ($603 million) investment plan announced in June 2023.

Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao met with Mehrotra on Saturday. Wang said that China’s push for new quality productive forces and support for the digital economy will provide broad space for companies around the world, including Micron.

Micron in December 2023 reached a global settlement agreement with chip producer Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. Micron had taken legal action in 2017 against Fujian Jinhua, accusing it of stealing the company’s memory chip trade secrets.

On February 27, 2024, a US District Judge in San Francisco found Fujian Jinhua not guilty following a non-jury trial, clearing the Chinese company of economic espionage and other criminal charges. Fujian Jinhua had been blacklisted by the US Commerce Department for more than five years.

Despite the US government’s decoupling efforts, CEOs of some leading US chip companies including AMD, Qualcomm and Micron are visiting China this week to attend the China Development Forum in Beijing, showing their commitment to the Chinese market and willingness to pursue cooperation.

Apple opened its new store to large crowds in Shanghai on March 21 with a reported whopping investment of over 83.4 million yuan ($11.54 million). On the same day, Panasonic signed a deal to make eco-friendly integrated circuit products in Suzhou, East China’s Jiangsu Province. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on March 1 announced it would invest $475 million in a new drug factory in Wuxi, East China’s Jiangsu Province.

In the first two months of 2024, China’s high-tech manufacturing sector has utilized 28.27 billion yuan of foreign capital, up 10.1 percent from a year ago.

Global Times