China’s output of integrated circuits (IC) reached an all-time, single-month high in June as the country spares no effort to produce chips amid a severe global shortage of semiconductors , according to data released by the central government on Thursday. China’s IC output reached 30.8 billion units, surging 43.9 per cent from the same month a year ago and beating the previous record of 29.9 billion units in May, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The numbers mark the first time China has produced an average of 1 billion semiconductor units per day in a single month. For the first half of the year, China produced 171.2 billion integrated circuits, up 48.1 per cent year on year, according to the statistics agency. Despite record output, Chinese production alone remains insufficient to meet local semiconductor demand. In the first six months of the year, China imported more than 310 billion semiconductor devices , a 29 per cent increase from the same period in 2020, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs on Tuesday. In June alone, China imported 51.9 billion semiconductor units, nearly twice the country’s domestic output. ‘Supply chain chiefs’ are China’s new weapon in tech war with US China also continues to contend with the global chip shortage that has roiled semiconductor-reliant markets. China’s car output plunged 13.1 per cent in June from the same month a year ago to just above 2 million units, about the same number produced in May , amid a shortage of chips designed for use in cars. However, carmakers continue to pour resources into electric cars. New energy vehicle (NEV) output surged 135.3 per cent to 273,000 units last month. The latest data illustrates how the world’s second-largest economy continues to pull out all the stops in pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency , which has become a priority for Beijing amid a protracted tech war with the US . But as the country continues to rely heavily on imports to satisfy domestic demand, it remains vulnerable to sanctions targeting chips produced using US technologies. Still, China’s chip producers continue to fire on all cylinders to keep up record output, which was 29.1 billion units and 28.7 billion in March and April, respectively. While China’s chip makers are not able to produce high volumes of advanced 14-nanometre node chips or smaller – which are used in powerful gadgets like the latest iPhones – they can produce chips using more mature IC technologies for home appliances and cars. A report earlier this month shows that the number of newly registered chip-related companies in China reached 15,700 in the first five months of the year, more than triple the number in the same period in 2020. The surge in new chip companies and output comes on the back of a wave of investments in the sector, thanks in part to Beijing’s generous subsidies and other incentives. China’s semiconductor industry has been hit with a slew of US sanctions imposed by Washington over national security concerns. Mainland foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) – which has been sanctioned for its alleged ties to the military, a charge it denies – is far behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) in fabrication of advanced chips, while China has been blocked from acquiring advanced lithography tools from Dutch industry leader ASML.