SMIC prepping Japanese ties after US equipment loan brushoff

March 11, 2005 – With a requested loan to purchase US chipmaking equipment in limbo, China’s Semicondutor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) is preparing Plan B: turning to Japanese suppliers instead, according to reports from the Associated Press and Financial Times.

The US Export-Import Bank has not approved the planned $769 million loan from several banks, to have been used to buy equipment from domestic vendors including Applied Materials Inc., Novellus Systems Inc., and KLA-Tencor Corp. While awaiting a final decision, SMIC has decided to cover its bases by quietly exploring business with Japanese equipment vendors, which could include Tokyo Electron Ltd., Canon, and Hitachi. A syndicate of Japanese banks would provide funds similar to the US proposal, according to the reports citing anonymous inside sources.


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