Leading Chinese Chip Maker SMIC Records Stellar H1 2021 Growth, Despite Sanctions

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) has released its report for the first half of 2021, revealing a 278% year-on-year increase in net profits compared to the same period last year, even while U.S. regulators continued to impose restrictions on the firm’s global operations.

China’s top chip maker also achieved total revenue of 16.09 billion yuan ($2.49 billion) – an increase of 22.3% – and a gross profit margin of 26.7%.

Semiconductors are required for the manufacturing of a wide range of electronic devices, including smartphones, cars and home appliances. Recently, a global chip shortage has placed pressure on tech companies around the world and raised the stakes in the technological competition between major economies.

Amid this shifting context, SMIC aims to shore up its development of more complex chip technology, which the firm believes will offer the most demand in the future. During the first half of the year, the company’s investment in research and development accounted for 12% of its overall revenue, and it obtained a total of 373 invention patents.

SEE ALSO: UK’s Largest Chipmaker Acquired by Chinese-Owned Nexperia Amid Ongoing Semiconductor Crisis

2020 was a busy year for SMIC. In July, the firm successfully completed China’s biggest IPO in a decade, listing to Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR board and raising funds totaling $7.6 billion. In September, the Trump administration declared sanctions on SMIC, requiring U.S. suppliers to obtain a license prior to engaging with the company. In December, it was included on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Entity List, adding further restrictions on SMIC’s trade networks.

Founded in Shanghai in 2000 and incorporated in the Cayman Islands the same year, SMIC is now China’s leading chip maker, supplying major electronics firms such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments with advanced semiconductor products.

Monday trading in Shanghai saw stocks in the company rise 1.88% to around 59 yuan per share at midday, with an overall market cap of 232.63 billion yuan.