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Applied Materials to spend $615 mln to expand in China market -China Daily

SHANGHAI, March 15 (Reuters) - Applied Materials Inc , the world's largest supplier of equipment used to make semiconductor chips, plans to invest 4 billion yuan ($615 million) to expand in the China market over the next few years, the China Daily quoted company CEO Gary Dickerson as saying.

China has been ploughing tens of billions of dollars into building a competitive chip industry in a bid to cut down on imports and support domestic demand.

"China's pro-innovation environment for high-tech industries has given the semiconductor and display industries tremendous opportunities for companies such as Applied Materials," it quoted Dickerson on Tuesday as saying in an interview.

Applied Materials did not respond immediately to voicemail and email requests for comment outside regular business hours.

The company last month forecast higher-than-expected profit and revenue for the current quarter, helped by rising demand in China.

($1 = 6.4984 yuan) (Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)