SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea was the world's second-largest spender on chip equipment in the second quarter of the year, a report showed Wednesday, amid a global semiconductor shortage.
South Korea, home to major memory chip producers Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc., invested US$6.62 billion in chipmaking equipment in the April-June period, up 48 percent from a year ago, according to quarterly billings data from SEMI, a global industry association representing companies in the electronics design and manufacturing supply chain.
But compared with the first quarter, when the country topped the ranking with $7.31 billion, its spending declined by 9 percent.
China reclaimed the top spot with $8.22 billion after its quarterly billings soared 79 percent from a year earlier and 38 percent from the previous quarter.
Taiwan, home to the world's No. 1 foundry maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), maintained the third spot with $5.04 billion, up 44 percent from a year ago. But the country's second-quarter chip equipment billings dipped 12 percent from the first quarter.
Global semiconductor equipment billings surged 48 percent on-year to a record high of $24.9 billion in the second quarter of 2021, according to SEMI, which was also a 5 percent increase from the prior quarter.