This is the first of two papers that analyze China’s semiconductor industrial policies and factors that will dictate their success or failure. China’s attempts since 2014 to support and grow its domestic semiconductor industry have drawn considerable international attention. The purpose of this series is to place into context the various attempts by the Chinese government to support its domestic semiconductor industry, dating back to the 1950s. Part one presents a history of China’s past efforts at semiconductor industrial planning, describes the current plans, and discusses their execution to date. Part two explains why previous plans have failed, how lessons learned from past failures have been incorporated into current plans, and examines their prospects for success, finding that China’s current strategy will likely not achieve its aims.