Chinese policy could benefit semiconductor industry

Gartner advises manufacturers to work with Chinese stimulus policy

Semiconductor vendors should increase their efforts to work with Chinese manufacturers to benefit from the rise in domestic demand that is being driven by the Chinese government’s subsidy program for home appliances, according to Gartner.

The Chinese central government has taken significant steps to counteract export declines arising from the worldwide economic slowdown. The trial subsidy program, literally translated as Electronics Go to Farmers (EGF), was extended from three provinces in late 2007 to all of China in February 2009, and product categories that have now been certified and approved include TVs, refrigerator/freezers, washing machines, mobile phones, PCs, heaters, induction cookers and microwave ovens.

Gartner estimates that the 13 percent subsidy that farmers receive for electronic products purchases will likely increase sales of household electronics by 20 percent.

“The 20 percent increase in sales is likely to make up for the reduction in exports to overseas markets hit by the economic downturn,” said Oliver Xu, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Sales figures show that farmers are using the subsidy to select higher-specification and higher-cost products, and with the average income of Chinese farmers on the rise, this trend looks set to continue.”

Gartner advises electronics providers, wishing to take advantage of the increase in product sales that the stimulus has generated, to develop specific features in products for farmers, such as coping with the wide range of power supply voltages, better moisture protection, and rodent-proofing measures. In addition, international providers should try hard to lower costs and provide good after-sales service to farmers using their own or third-party services.

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Chinese policy could benefit semiconductor industry