China’s largest foundry is Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC). Because it doesn’t have the equipment necessary to manufacture cutting-edge 5nm chips or even 7nm chips, SMIC is not an option that can use right now to churn out its 5nm Kirin 9000 chipsets. TSMC, the world’s largest independent foundry, was producing the Kirin 9000 for Huawei until the middle of last month when a new export rule kicked in. That rule requires any foundry using U.S. technology to manufacture chips, to obtain a license before shipping components to Huawei.
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