In October, China's imports of semiconductor-manufacturing equipment increased by nearly 80% from the previous year, reaching a total value of US$4.3 billion, up from US$2.4 billion in the same period last year. This surge in demand is attributed to Chinese semiconductor companies stockpiling chip-making tools ahead of the updated US tech export controls, which took effect a month after the announcement.

The US Bureau of Industry and Security added less-advanced lithography equipment and certain advanced tools to a list of restricted items for export to China in an effort to tighten controls that were enforced a year ago. These restrictions also limit the range of chip lithography equipment that Netherlands-based ASML Holding can export to China, affecting ASML's ability to supply advanced extreme ultraviolet lithography machines to China, a market ASML has not served since 2019 under pressure from US sanctions.

Despite a decline in the first two months of 2023, China's chip imports have gradually improved. The total number of integrated circuit (IC) imports from January to November decreased by 12.1% compared to the same period last year, and the total value of chip imports for the same period was down 16.5%. However, this marks an improvement from previous drops in value earlier in the year. This recovery in the domestic market is particularly notable in the consumer electronics sector, with smartphone sales in China rising by 11% in the first four weeks of October compared to the previous year. This trend underscores a revival in the world's largest smartphone market, led by Chinese handset vendors like Xiaomi, Honor, and Huawei Technologies.