Taiwan remains world's No. 1 chip equipment spende…

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) Taiwan remained the largest market for new semiconductor equipment for the fourth year in a row last year, spending US$9.64 billion in chip equipment, according to a report released Thursday by the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) trade association.

Worldwide sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment totaled US$36.53 billion in 2015, representing a year-on-year decrease of 3 percent, the SEMI report shows.

Spending rates increased for Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China, while the new equipment markets in North America and Europe contracted.

Japan spent US$5.49 billion on semiconductor equipment last year, up 31 percent year-on-year, making it the market with the greatest growth in 2015. South Korea and Taiwan saw growth of 9 percent and 2 percent in their respective spending last year.

The expanding markets in South Korea and Japan surpassed the North American market to claim their places as the second- and third-largest markets, respectively, while North America fell to fourth place at US$5.12 billion, down 37 percent year-on-year. China was the fifth-largest market, spending US$4.9 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 12 percent, according to the report.

(By Jackson Chang and Evelyn Kao)
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