Chinese Lithography Giant SMEE to File IPO with 28nm Capability

In early September of this year, Shanghai Microelectronics achieved a major milestone with the development of a 28nm immersion lithography machine.


In a significant move that has garnered attention within the tech and investment circles, Shanghai Microelectronic Equipment (Group) Co.,(SMEE) Ltd. has unveiled plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

CITIC Construction Investment, acting as its counseling agency, sheds light on the company’s journey, from its establishment on March 7, 2002, to its current standing as a key player in the semiconductor equipment industry.

Join Our WhatsApp News

Company Overview:

Shanghai Microelectronics has positioned itself as a leading force in the development, design, manufacturing, sales, and technical services of semiconductor equipment, pan-semiconductor equipment, and high-end intelligent devices.

With a focus on a diverse range of manufacturing fields such as integrated circuits, advanced packaging, FPD panels, MEMS, LED, and Power Devices, the company has established itself as a versatile contributor to the semiconductor ecosystem.

Read More: China First Homegrown 28 nm Lithography Tool to Be Delivered This Year

Key Product Series:

The company boasts two main series of photolithography products, each catering to specific manufacturing needs:

SSX600 Series: Advancing IC Front Manufacturing

  • This series features step-scan projection lithography machines equipped with a four-times reduction projection objective lens.
  • Incorporates process adaptive focus leveling technology for enhanced precision.
  • Utilizes high-precision self-ablation six-degree-of-freedom workpiece mask technology.
  • Designed to meet lithography process requirements for IC front manufacturing at 90nm, 110nm, and 280nm key layers.
  • Capable of large-scale industrial production for 200/300mm wafers.

SSB500 Series: Meeting Advanced Packaging Needs

  • Tailored for wafer-level packaging, including re-wire (RDL) processes.
  • Ideal for advanced packaging lithography, covering gold bumps, solder bumps, and copper columns commonly used in the Flip Chip process.
  • Versatility extended to MEMS and 2.5D/3D packaging lithography processes through a selectable back alignment module.

Read More: ASML to Install 600 DUV Machines by 2025 in China

Technological Breakthrough and Future Prospects of SMEE IPO:

In early September of this year, Shanghai Microelectronics achieved a major milestone with the development of a 28nm immersion lithography machine.

The SSA/800-10W lithography machine is poised to be the first domestic offering in this category, with an expected market launch by the end of 2023. This breakthrough underscores the company’s commitment to advancing semiconductor manufacturing capabilities domestically.

Image Credits: SMEE

Shareholding Structure:

Shanghai Microelectronics’ ownership landscape is characterized by strategic partnerships and support from key entities.

The largest shareholder, with a significant shareholding ratio of 34.9099%, is Shanghai Electric Holding Group Co., Ltd. Following closely is Shanghai Science and Technology Venture Capital Co., Ltd., holding a stake of 14.4434%.

This diverse ownership structure reflects collaborative efforts and support from both industry and venture capital sectors.

SMEE IPO : Transparency from Chinese Companies

The initiation of the IPO process by Shanghai Microelectronic Equipment (SMEE) marks a significant development not only for the company itself but also for the broader landscape of China’s lithography programs.

The move toward becoming a public company carries several implications, especially in terms of increased transparency and potential utilization of IPO funds for strategic initiatives.

1. Enhanced Transparency in China’s Lithography Programs:

  • As a public company, SMEE will be subject to regulatory requirements that mandate the disclosure of financial information, revenues, and progress on active projects. This increased transparency is crucial for investors, stakeholders, and the industry at large.
  • Investors will have access to detailed financial reports and updates on SMEE’s ongoing projects, providing insights into the company’s financial health and operational efficiency.

2. Strategic Use of IPO Funds:

  • IPOs are often accompanied by fundraising initiatives, and the capital raised can be instrumental in funding various strategic objectives.
  • In the context of SMEE, using IPO funds for capital expenditures (capex) related to increasing production of front-end scanners aligns with the company’s commitment to advancing semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.

3. Accelerated Production Capabilities:

  • The decision to increase production of front-end scanners suggests a proactive approach to meeting the growing demand for advanced semiconductor equipment.
  • With additional capital from the IPO, SMEE can potentially accelerate its production capabilities, contributing to the scalability and efficiency of its operations.

4. Market Validation and Investor Confidence:

  • Going public is a testament to SMEE’s confidence in its business model, technological prowess, and growth prospects.
  • Investor participation in the IPO reflects market validation and confidence in the company’s ability to deliver value and remain competitive in the semiconductor equipment industry.

SMEE’s IPO initiation represents a pivotal moment for the company and the broader semiconductor industry. The increased transparency and potential capital infusion can propel SMEE’s growth and contribute to the ongoing evolution of China’s semiconductor landscape, with potential implications for global competition and collaboration within the industry.

Investors and industry observers will likely closely monitor SMEE’s journey as it progresses through the IPO process and beyond.

Read More: 10-15% Sales Hit For ASML in China Amidst US Ban

Financial Growth and Industrial Changes:

In a noteworthy development on September 6, 2023, Shanghai Microelectronics underwent industrial and commercial changes, marking a significant shift in its financial landscape. The registered capital surged from 17,435.9934 million yuan to an impressive 26,612.4 million yuan, indicating a substantial increase of 52.6%.

This financial restructuring positions the company for robust growth and increased capabilities in its quest to contribute to the rapidly evolving semiconductor industry.

Implications for China:

Technological Independence:
  • Shanghai Microelectronics’ breakthroughs, particularly in the development of a 28nm immersion lithography machine, signal China’s progress towards achieving technological self-sufficiency in the semiconductor sector.
  • Reduced reliance on foreign suppliers enhances China’s strategic autonomy, especially in the context of global technology supply chain disruptions.
Economic Growth and Competitiveness:
  • The IPO indicates the company’s confidence in its growth prospects and suggests a positive outlook for China’s semiconductor industry.
  • Increased competitiveness in semiconductor manufacturing can contribute to China’s economic growth and reinforce its position as a global technological hub.
Investment Opportunities:
  • The IPO provides domestic and international investors with an opportunity to participate in China’s semiconductor industry growth.
  • Increased investment in the sector can fuel further innovation, research, and development, strengthening China’s overall technological capabilities.

Read More: How Huawei Could be a Winner in US Ban of Nvidia GPUs?

Implications for the United States:

Competition in Global Semiconductor Market:
  • Shanghai Microelectronics’ advancements add to the growing competition faced by U.S.-based semiconductor companies.
  • Increased competition could spur innovation and drive advancements in semiconductor technology on a global scale.
Impact on U.S. Semiconductor Exports:
  • As China strengthens its domestic semiconductor capabilities, there might be implications for U.S. semiconductor exports to China.
  • U.S. semiconductor companies may face heightened competition in supplying advanced semiconductor equipment to Chinese manufacturers.
National Security Considerations:
  • The development of advanced semiconductor technology in China could raise concerns about national security, especially if the technology has dual-use applications or if it involves critical components for military and defense applications.
  • This may lead to increased scrutiny and potential regulatory actions to safeguard U.S. interests.

Read More: Intel Lost Decade: 5 Reasons Why Chip Giant Did Fall Behind

Global Semiconductor Ecosystem:

Diversification of Global Supply Chains:

  • Shanghai Microelectronics’ progress contributes to the ongoing diversification of the global semiconductor supply chain.
  • A more diverse supply chain can mitigate risks associated with disruptions, geopolitical tensions, and supply chain vulnerabilities.

Collaboration and Innovation:

  • Increased competition between China and the U.S. may also foster opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange in the semiconductor sector.
  • Collaborative efforts could drive innovation and the development of cutting-edge technologies.


Shanghai Microelectronics’ journey, marked by technological innovation, strategic partnerships, and financial restructuring, exemplifies its commitment to pushing the boundaries of semiconductor manufacturing. As the company gears up for its IPO under the guidance of CITIC Construction Investment, industry observers will be keenly watching its trajectory, anticipating further contributions to the ever-expanding landscape of semiconductor technology.


Editorial Team
Editorial Team
Articles: 1800