China's SMIC Sees Signs of Higher Demand for Chips

Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC), China's largest chip maker, raised its guidance for the second quarter, saying demand for semiconductors is growing faster than previously expected. But even if the chip maker's second-quarter results come in at the top end of its revised forecast, sales will still be down sharply over the previous year.

SMIC raised its estimated quarter-on-quarter increase in second-quarter sales to a range of 76 percent to 78 percent higher than its first-quarter sales, from a previously predicted range of 58 percent to 62 percent.

The revised forecast indicates SMIC's second-quarter revenue should be between US$257.9 million and $260.8 million. That means SMIC's second-quarter revenue will be at least 24 percent lower than last year, when it reported revenue of $342.9 million during the same period.

SMIC stopped short of declaring that the uptick in orders signals the coming of an economic recovery.

"It is unclear whether the strong growth in our customer orders seen by the company for Q2 comes from rushed orders by customers to replenish inventory or is an indication of the beginning of a sustainable recovery of the economy in general," the company said in a statement.

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