China admits local semiconductor industry can't match world class reliability

Wants administrators, manufacturers, and the software they use, to be better

China wants its manufacturers to become more reliable, after finding that three key sectors – machinery, electronics, and automobiles – aren't at levels that match global standards of excellence.

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The nation’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology yesterday published an interpretation and implementation guide for recently released "Opinions on Manufacturing Reliability Improvement."

The guide opens with the observation that Chinese manufacturing has made significant progress, but "there is still a gap between the reliability of my country's manufacturing industry and the advanced level of foreign countries."

"Advanced semiconductor materials, and automotive-grade automotive chips" are named as fields in which Chinese firms don't operate at levels matching the best the world has to offer.

Some of the gap is caused by Chinese authorities and managers not being up to speed on how to monitor and manage quality processes.

Beijing wants those gaps bridged – quickly – so that China moves from middling sophistication to high-end work.

To get there, China wants consideration of tech elements such as human-computer interaction, and the software used by manufacturers. Authorities always want products to be more reliable in all phases of their lifecycles – even unto eventual disposal.

By 2025, the Ministry has vowed to run 100 demonstrations of how to improve reliability, and for at least 1,000 enterprises to have shown tangible results. A second phase of action, due to end in 2030, should see China fully adopt reliability standards across ten key products.

Administrators are also expected to be ready to enforce reliability standards by 2030.

Electronics was chosen as a target industry due to its vital role providing components to others, and also because Beijing feels it is sufficiently mature to respond to a call for improved reliability. The automotive industry was named due to the importance of transport and the obvious negative impacts that flow from sub-optimal products. Machinery was nominated as it's an enormous and important industry that China thinks needs to reach an improved level of operation.

News that China thinks its semiconductor sector trails global reliability standards will be welcomed in Washington and other nations that have sanctioned the Middle Kingdom in the hope of slowing its development of such goods. Those who see China as a key supplier of other goods may wonder what they've been paying for. ®

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