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China attracts chip designers from South Korea

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China attracts chip designers from South Korea

The semiconductor industry is experiencing labor shortages, especially in China
(photo: CC0 Public Domain)

Chinese chipmakers have begun actively attracting skilled workers from South Korea, according to industry sources cited by Business Korea.

The urgent need to bridge the gap in the semiconductor industry from world leaders pushes Chinese companies to actively borrow technology and human resources. Recently, there has been a sharp increase in the number of job postings on South Korean sites posted by Chinese employers. In the same case for the leakage of technologies of particular importance to the Korean economy, Suel provides for criminal liability.

Already in 2015, the Chinese authorities adopted a program in the field of industrial production, which covers two five-year periods. In the chip industry, China expects to reach a self-sufficiency level for key components of 70% by 2025.

By the end of this year, according to Chinese experts, the country’s national semiconductor industry will need 760,000 specialists. Compared to 2020, their number should increase by more than 40%.

Chinese manufacturers are forced to look for specialists for the production of technological equipment and consumables outside the country. Sanctions imposed by the US early last October against China’s semiconductor industry will only increase the need for import substitution.

Although South Korean law criminalizes the unauthorized transfer of important industrial technology to third countries, court practice shows that most investigations into such cases end in suspended or acquittals.

But in Taiwan, additional legal measures passed in 2021 help protect local manufacturers from staff being “poached” by Chinese competitors. Korean manufacturers may need to push for similar changes in local laws to prevent a brain drain to China.

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