Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) Taiwan was the world's second-largest buyer of semiconductor production equipment in the third quarter of 2022, according to data released Friday by the trade association SEMI.
In a statement, SEMI, which represents companies in the electronics manufacturing and design supply chain, said that Taiwan spent US$7.28 billion on semiconductor equipment in Q3.
However, despite the 9 percent quarter-over-quarter increase, Taiwan slipped down one place in the SEMI's rankings, finishing behind China, which spent US$7.78 billion.
According to market analysts, firms in Taiwan have continued to invest in innovative technologies in the search for long-term growth, despite the global semiconductor industry turning cautious amid fast-growing inflation and worldwide interest rate hikes.
During the July-September period, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, increased its capital expenditure from NT$21.772 billion to NT$26.597 billion (US$869 million), with a large part of this going toward equipment purchases.
In the third quarter, global semiconductor equipment spending totaled US$28.75 billion, up 9 percent from a quarter earlier, according to SEMI.
China's expenditure saw a 19 percent year-over-over increase in the third quarter to push the country up the rankings, SEMI's data showed.
Analysts said Chinese firms had rushed to install production equipment before more restrictions on equipment exports became effective in the fourth quarter amid an escalating tech war between Washington and Beijing.
South Korea came in third after spending US$4.78 billion, down 17 percent from a quarter earlier, followed by North America, with US$2.61 billion, down 1 percent, and Japan with US$2.55 billion, up 55 percent, from a quarter earlier.
In September, SEMI forecast that Taiwan would spend US$30 billion on semiconductor production equipment this year -- the most of any country in the world, and up 47 percent from last year.
South Korea was forecast to come in second with US$22.2 billion, a 5.5 percent year-over-year decline, ahead of China's US$22 billion, which would have been an 11.7 percent drop from 2021.