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

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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."
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