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U.S. restrictions on China’s telecom giant Huawei threatens to snuff out a nascent recovery in semiconductor demand, a key driver of economic growth in technology powerhouses including South Korea and Taiwan.
China dominates purchases from Asian semiconductor exporters and bought 51% of their exports in 2017, according to analysis by Citigroup Inc. economists Jin-Wook Kim and Johanna Chua.
China and Hong Kong took 69% of South Korea’s chip shipments, 56% of Taiwan’s, 51% of Vietnam’s, 43% of Japan’s, and 39% of Malaysia’s exports, according to the Citi note. Citi’s Asia Semiconductor Leading Index "significantly stalled" in May having shown signs of recovery since January and could worsen from here if trade tensions deepen.
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