Intel Opens Its First Chip Plant in China. What Would Andy Grove Say?

Intel (INTC) turned on the lights Tuesday at its first chip plant in China, setting the stage for increased business with its customers in Asia. The $2.5 billion factory in Dalian, according to a Reuters report, will also serve as a potential economic boost to China and further its efforts to create a semiconductor industry that goes beyond stamping out chips to one of designing the silicon wafers.

As China builds up its tech base, the government has been seeking to become a developer of cutting-edge technology, rather than merely a center for inexpensive manufacturing.

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Ironically, Intel's unveiling of its plant in China comes just a week after the company announced it would invest $6 billion to $8 billion to retool four manufacturing facilities in Arizona to accommodate its next-generation 22-nanometer manufacturing process and also build a new fabrication plant in Oregon.

"The most immediate impact of our multi-billion-dollar investment will be the thousands of jobs associated with building a new fab and upgrading four others, and the high-wage, high-tech manufacturing jobs that follow," Paul Otellini, Intel CEO, said in a statement regarding the State-side projects. Intel expects to create 6,000 to 8,000 construction jobs and 800 to 1,000 high-tech jobs in the U.S.

Intel's announcement last week is more in line with the thought-provoking essay penned by its renowned former CEO Andy Grove earlier this year, which appeared in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, titled "How America Can Create Jobs."