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I'm glad you asked. Because the semiconductor industry is a rapidly moving target. Take a Chinese firm like Yangtze Memory Technologies Corporation. It was only founded in 2016, yet by 2019 -- three short years time -- it was producing 20nm chips, a feat that took Western firms 50 years of research and development to reach. How? It stole the technology outright.If they are so good at stealing why they are still a few generations behind?
In that same year, China's SMIC began producing 14 nm chips -- again, by stealing the technology directly from TSMC. TSMC has repeated and successfully sued SMIC for this theft -- but because SMIC is protected by China, the theft still continues.