3-3: Xiaomi teases upcoming 40W wireless fast charging solution; Samsung Electronics has started building a USD220M research and development center in Vietnam; etc.

Chipsets

SK Siltron, a global maker of semiconductor wafers, has announced it has completed the acquisition of DuPont’s Silicon Carbide Wafer (SiC Wafer) unit for USD450M (about KRW540B). (YNALaoyaoba, PR Newswire)

360 and Loongson have jointly announced that will deepen multi-dimensional cooperation, carry out research and development and innovation in chip application and network security development. At the end of 2019, Loongson released a new generation of general-purpose processors 3A4000 / 3B4000. The processor uses a 28nm process. Loongson ships more than 500,000 units of its chipsets in 2019. (JRJ, CN Beta, IT Home)

Touch Display

Addor Capital has completed its investment in Wuxi-based Shunxuan New Materials. Established in March 2012, Shunxuan is a leading domestic manufacturer of high-performance polyimide films (PI). Its products are mainly used in flexible printed circuit board substrates for LEDs, and have entered Huawei, Samsung, and Tesla supply chain. The global production capacity of PI membranes is still mainly dominated by a foreign companies such as DuPont and Kaneka. The production capacity of these companies is generally between 2000-3000 tons / year. Shunxuan New Material already has 7-8 formula product categories, and has an independent annual production capacity of 600 tons. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, PE Daily)

Currently, CSOT’s production and operation of t3 and t4 are under normal and orderly progress. TCL CSOT’s large-scale production is normal, and the production or construction of Shenzhen t1, t2, t6, t7 factories and Huizhou module factory is not directly affected. Its Gen-6 flexible AMOLED production line (t4) in Wuhan will enter mass production in Dec 2019. (Laoyaoba, Sohu)

Camera

LG Innoteck, which supplies camera modules for Apple iPhones, shut down its factory in Gumi, South Korea after one of its workers was confirmed to have contracted the virus. The plant will also be closed on 2 Mar 2020 for disinfection. (Apple Insider, Reuters)

Battery

Xiaomi VP Chang Cheng teases the company’s upcoming 40W wireless fast charging solution. The test used a modified version of the Mi 10 Pro with a 4,000mAh battery and the new wireless charger managed to top up 57% of the battery in 20 minutes and reached a full charge in just 40 minutes. (GSM Arena, Weibo, Twitter, Sohu, Sina)

Apple has agreed to pay up to USD500M to settle litigation accusing it of quietly slowing down older iPhones as it launched new models, to induce owners to buy replacement phones or batteries. Apple has denied wrongdoing and settled the nationwide case to avoid the burdens and costs of litigation. (CN Beta, Yahoo, Apple Insider)

vivo has joined the Wireless Charging Alliance (WPC), implying that vivo products that support wireless charging are coming soon. (CN Beta, Tech Post)

LG Chem has acquired a Turkish television assembly factory in Poland for USD31.4M to expand its plant for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. LG Chem has signed the deal with Turkish electronics and appliance maker Vestel. (Laoyaoba, YNA)

Sanyo Chemical Industries has announced today its subsidiary, APB, a pioneer in development of next‐generation lithium‐ion batteries called “All Polymer Battery”, has acquired land and a building for the 1st battery plant in Echizen City, Fukui, to start proof‐of‐concept of mass‐production of the battery. (CN Beta, Sanyo-Chemical)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York state says they have developed a self-healing technique that can clean these dendrites off the anode as the potassium battery is charged overnight, preventing them from ever getting long enough to cause problems. They believe it is now possible to bring cheap, long-lifespan potassium metal batteries into mass-market use. It is essentially blast-charging and discharging at a high rate. (CN Beta, New Atlas, Eureka Alert)

Connectivity

WiFi 6 supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, and has backward compatibility (compatible with WiFi 5 and previous protocol terminal access). Compared with previous generations of WiFi standards, WiFi 6 introduces MU-MIMO, OFDMA, MCS, TWT and other technologies to achieve a comprehensive performance improvement: 1) wide connection, 2) high speed, 3) low latency, 4) low power consumption. (CITIC Securities report)

Phone

The Vietnamese government has indicated that Samsung Electronics has started building a USD220M research and development center in the country. Construction of the center in Hanoi will be completed by the end of 2022. Samsung has invested more than USD17.3B with 8 factories and R&D centers in Vietnam so far. (CN Beta, Reuters, NASDAQ)

Redmi has officially confirmed that the sale of Redmi K30 models have crossed the mark of 1M units in China. The sales number includes both the models — Redmi K30 4G and Redmi K30 5G. (Gizmo China, Sohu, iFeng)

Huawei will reportedly sign a deal with India’s system apps company OSLabs, the maker of IndusOS, to offer a curated Android app store on Huawei and Honor’s smartphones. IndusOS’s app store, App Bazaar, has more than 400,000 regional apps in 12 local languages – such as Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu, besides English – into its own app store. (Android Central, India Times, Gizmo China, My Drivers)

Although the plants have largely resumed operations in China after the outbreak of COVID-2019, they are still running at around 35%-50% of their capacity. Consequently, the cost of some components have already gone up, pushing manufacturers to jack up the prices of air conditioners (ACs), televisions (TVs), and some smartphones by 5%-10% in Feb 2020. (Business Today, Gizmo China)

Strategy Analytics has further lowered 2020 global and China smartphone shipment forecast numbers, from the previous version published on Jan 30, 2020, given the latest available info and the escalating situation in more countries and regions. The global market will ship 10% fewer smartphones than expected in 2020, due to the fear and “paralysis” caused by coronavirus. China smartphone shipments will be 15% less than expected in 2020. (CN Beta, Strategy Analytics)

Huawei Enjoy 10e is announced in China – 6.3” 720×1600 HD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio P35, rear dual 13MP-2MP depth + front 8MP, 4+64 / 4+128GB, Android 10.0, no fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh 10W  (9.04mm thick), CNY999 (USD143) / CNY1,199 (USD171). (CN Beta, GizChina, Gizmo China)

OPPO Reno3 Pro is announced in India – 6.4” 1080×2400 FHD+ Super AMOLED 2xHiD, MediaTek Helio P95, rear quad 64MP-13MP telephoto OIS-8MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front dual 44MP-2MP depth, 8+128 / 8+256GB, Android 10.0, under display fingerprint scanner, 4025mAh 30W, INR29,990 (USD415) / INR32,990 (USD455). (Android Authority, GSM Arena, OPPO)

Automotive

Toyota plans to build a new electric vehicle plant in Tianjin, China with its local partner FAW Group. The joint venture between Toyota and FAW plans to invest around CNY8.5B (USD1.22B) in the planned car plant in Tianjin. The plant will have manufacturing capacity of 200,000 new energy vehicles a year. (CN Beta, Reuters)

Waymo, the self-driving division of Alphabet has raked in USD2.25B in a funding round led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Mubadala Investment Company, the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi. (The Verge, Technology Shout, CN Beta)

Artificial Intelligence

Amazon has announced it has a new artificial intelligence (AI) model that helps convert text to images to aid in searching for products. Generative adversarial networks (GANs), which were first introduced in 2014, have proven remarkably successful at generating synthetic images. A GAN consists of two networks, one that tries to produce convincing fakes, and one that tries to distinguish fakes from real examples. The two networks are trained together, and the competition between them can converge quickly on a useful generative model. (VentureBeat, PYMNTS, Amazon)

E-Commerce

JP Morgan expects 1Q20 revenue of most of the consumer Internet operators to decline 13%-50% YoY with PDD being the only exception (JPMe PDD revenue growth decelerates from 115% in 4Q19 to 22% in 1Q20). In addition, JP Morgan expects such a significant impact on revenue to trigger an even more significant profit decline with JD, Meituan and Ctrip’s Non-GAAP net profit plunging by triple digit percent. (JP Morgan report)

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