01-16: Sunoco China Holdings, a Chinese property developer has invested a cool USD2.2B in to LeEco; South Korean prosecutors have announced that they are seeking a warrant to arrest Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong; etc.


Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to increase 2.9% in 2017, to USD69.9B, according to Gartner. This is down from 5.1% growth in 2016. The stronger growth in 2016 was fueled by Increased spending in late 2016 which can be attributed to a NAND flash shortage which was more severe in late 2016 and will persist though most of 2017. (Gartner, press, Laoyaoba, 199IT)


Touch / Display

Hon Hai’s Guangzhou plant will be jointly funded with the area’s government and cost around JPY1T (USD8.69B). It is slated to begin operation in fall 2018. Foxconn and Sharp have already notified Japanese suppliers of production equipment and other necessities of its intention to build plants in India and the U.S. Now, Hon Hai Precision Industry and Sharp are considering building a liquid crystal display panel plant in India. (Laoyaoba, China Times, Asia Nikkei)

2016 thanks to a number of investment, China display panel industry is growing fast, especially for TFT-LCD, which is reaching its new peak. At the same time, BOE, CSOT, and EverDisplay are pouring investment in OLED. (Laoyaoba, article, Glass)



CEVA, the leading licensor of signal processing IP for smarter, connected devices, announced that Altek Corporation, a leading Taiwanese imaging systems provider, has licensed CEVA’s imaging and vision DSP to add power-efficient, enhanced imaging and deep learning capabilities to its imaging solutions and dual camera technologies targeting smartphones, ADAS, AR/VR, drones and other smart camera devices. (Laoyoaba, Yahoo, 4-Traders)


NAND Flash has been in shortage especially in 4Q16, which pushing up the prices.  Phison Electronics chairman Pan Jian-cheng indicates that due to the increasing demand of mobile phones, PCs, automotive and other CE products, and also not so smooth transition from 2D-NAND to 3D, it increases the NAND demand. He indicates that 2017 will be severely shortage with NAND flash, especially for 2Q/3Q17. (Laoyaoba, China Times, China Post)

Phison Electronics held an opening ceremony for its new NTD780 million factory in Miaoli, Taiwan. Phison currently has 1,200 employees, and once the new factory launches in 2Q17, it plans to expand its staff up to 2,300 people (Laoyaoba, China Times, Laoyaoba)



DRAM and NAND flash are at shortage during off-season at the same time, especially DRAM price is raised fiercely, bringing a lot of profit to the memory vendors in 2017.  China domestic DRAM vendors have already withdrawn from standard contract supply, to benefit quarterly negotiation on the cost with their customers. Therefore, those customers who cannot benefit from Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron would be impacted directly. Taiwan memory vendors including Nanya, Winbond, Powerchip would be beneficial from this trend. (UDN, Laoyaoba)


Stanford University has created lithium-ion batteries with built-in fire extinguishers. They added a component called “triphenyl phosphate” to the plastic fibers of the part that keeps negative and positive electrodes separate. If the battery’s temperature reaches 150°C, the plastic fibers melt and release the chemical. Based on the tests, the method can stop batteries from burning up within 0.4s. (Engadget, Science, OfWeek, CN Beta)


Sunoco China Holdings, a Chinese property developer has invested a cool USD2.2B in to LeEco, this is in addition to a separate investment that has been pumped in to LeEco’s driverless car project. For their investment, Sunac will receive a 33.5% stake in LeShi’s Smart TV company and a 15% share of LeShi pictures. (GizChina, Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Vice-Chairman Lee Jae-yong of Samsung Electronics had to show up to Special Prosecutor Park Young-soo’s office as a possible suspect. Samsung is taking a stance that it had no choice but to support them due to pressures from Senior Secretary An Jong-beom to the President for Economic Policy. (Laoyaoba, Tencent, Huanqiu, Yonhap News, ET News)


South Korean prosecutors have announced that they are seeking a warrant to arrest Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong (aka Jay Y. Lee), the electronics giant’s effective leader, over accusations of bribery and other misdeeds. (CN Beta, Engadget, Bloomberg)


According to Apteligent, it shows traffic from only 29 unique models of Apple iOS devices. The majority of users are still on the iPhone 6/6S and iPhone 5S models, representing over 52% of global usage. (Apteligent, report, 199IT, IT Wire, TechNews)


Huawei mobile phone sales target in 2017 is to exceed USD33B (about CNY228B), which will be a 28% increase on the estimated sales in 2016 (CNY178B). (Laoyaoba, Sohu, TechWeb)


The risk for the global handset industry to brace for a shortage in supplies of some key components, including displays, memory products and optical sensing devices, in 2017 is rising due to strong demand from China-based smartphone vendors, according to Digitimes. Taking cue from OPPO and vivo, most smartphone vendors in China have been moving to focus on mid-range and high-end models with high price/performance ratios in order to raise the product ASPs. (Digitimes, press)


The research, from Flurry, indicates that overall app usage grew by 11% and time spent in apps grew by 69%, compared to 2015. A decade on from their creation, mobile apps usage is growing more than ever. (TechNews, Net Imperative)


Internet of Things

McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates automation could significantly enhance the performance of companies and raise productivity growth globally by as much as 0.8%~1.4% annually. Overall, McKinsey estimates that 49% of the activities people are paid to do in the global economy have the potential to be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technology. That amounts to almost USD16T in wages. (MIG, full report, TechNews, News Bytes)


Lily Robotics is shutting down its drone company after failing to secure financing needed for manufacturing and shipping. Emails were sent out to customers, and anyone who has placed a pre-order will be given a refund over the next 60 days. (TechNews, IEEE, SF Gate, TechCrunch, Lily Robotics, WSJ, VentureBeat)

After 15 years of development, an Israeli tech firm Urban Aeronautics is optimistic it will finally get its 1,500kg passenger carrying drone off the ground and into the market by 2020. The Cormorant, billed as a flying car, is capable of transporting 500kg of weight and travelling at 185 km/h. It completed its first automated solo flight over terrain in Nov. 2016. Its total price is estimated at USD14M. (TechNews, MSN, NBC-2, Aero News)


India’s automobile sales fell the most in 16 years in Dec. 2016 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unprecedented clampdown on cash prompted consumers to delay their purchases of cars, motorcycles and trucks. Automobile sales fell 19% to 1.2M units in Dec. 2016, the biggest drop since the same month in 2000, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in New Delhi. (TechNews, Bloomberg, Yahoo)


The world’s 62 richest billionaires have as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population, according to a new report from Oxfam International. The top 62 saw their net worth rise by more half a trillion dollars between 2010 and 2015, while the 3.6B people in the bottom half of the heap lost a trillion dollars. Each group has USD1.76T. (CN Beta, CNN)


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