3-29 #Rage : Tianma has announced a new CFOT foldable display; BOE is building a new 12” micro-OLED production line in Dianzhong New Area; Huawei has obtained a payment license by acquiring 100% equity of Sharelink Network; etc.

For trailing edge foundries, the supply tightness may sustain throughout 2021 with growing power mgmt. IC demand from 5G smartphones. UBS believes that pricing for 8” inch foundry is increasing as much as 15-20% YoY. 8” equipment availability remains a challenge for most foundries to expand capacity. Foundries also remain more focus on de-bottlenecking 12” trailing edge capacity, shifting products allocation, as opposed to adding full lines. This is because the economics of moving from 8” to 12” for those products may not add up in all cases, for themselves and ultimately their customers. Should tightness continue for much longer, UBS believes this may have to be re-assess. (UBS report)

OPPO’s self-developed chip project dubbed Mariana is coming out, and it is not currently applied to the core SoC. “Project Mariana” is OPPO’s first self-developed chip plan publicly announced on 16 Feb 2020. OPPO has applied for a trademark named “OPPO M1” at the European Union Intellectual Property Office. (CN Beta, Sina, ICSmart, MyFixGuide)

MediaTek has surpassed Qualcomm to become the biggest smartphone chipset vendor in the world in 2020. According to Omdia, MediaTek’s chip shipments grew 48% YoY in 2020 to reach 352M units. The company has captured 27% of the global market. By contrast, Qualcomm sees an 18% YoY drop in shipments in 2020. It has only managed to ship 319M units of its Snapdragon processors in 2020, coming second behind MediaTek with a market share of 25%. (Android Headlines, Omdia)

Tianma Microelectronics has announced a new CFOT foldable display, which arrives with various improvements like lowered power consumption. This development would be further backed by the establishment of an innovation center, which will focus on research and development of advanced technologies including foldable displays, HTD, CFOT, MLP, and under display camera technology.  (Gizmo China, Sina, ChinaZ, Sohu)

Yunnan Chuangshijie Optoelectronics Technology, a subsidiary of BOE, is building a new 12” micro-OLED production line in Dianzhong New Area. The 12” project is implemented in 3 phases and is expected to be completed in Jan 2024, with a designed annual production capacity of 5.23M pieces. The construction of the first phase of the project started in Aug 2020. (Laoyaoba, Yunnan.cn, ZOL, IT Home)

Tesla is likely buying a 460,000 square-meter plot of land to the south of Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai. The plot of land will cost the owner CNY14,925 (~USD2,308) per square meter, with the total plot expected to cost over USD1B with buildings included. (CN Beta, Tesla North, Inside Evs, Tesmanian)

Facebook has said it is planning two new undersea cables to connect Singapore, Indonesia and North America in a project with Google and regional telecommunication companies to boost internet connection capacity between the regions. Facebook Vice President of Network Investments, Kevin Salvadori has revealed that the cables are named Echo and Bifrost, which will be the first two cables to go through a new diverse route crossing the Java Sea and they will increase overall subsea capacity in the trans-pacific by about 70%. (CN Beta, Reuters, BBC)

UBS’ revised procurement estimates call for 55M / 42M total Apple iPhone units in 1Q21 / 2Q21, and a range of 220M-230M in 2021. Some suppliers to OPPO / vivo / Xiaomi have seen some their orders (when in the upper band) adjusted post Chinese New Year, but since, suppliers are not seeing any signs of inventory correction, with demand remaining strong.  (UBS report)

vivo Y30g is launched in China – 6.51” 720×1600 HD+ v-notch, MediaTek P65, rear dual 13MP-2MP depth + front 8MP, 8+128GB, Android 11.0, side fingerprint, 5000mAh 18W, CNY1,499 (USD228). (Gizmo China, vivo)

In Feb 2021, UBS Evidence Lab completed its latest semi-annual proprietary global PC consumer survey of 1,500 PC owners in the US and China, providing a timely update to gauge consumer PC demand amid Covid-19. The key findings are: 1) the consumer PC replacement cycles appear to be shortening from 3.5 years in Feb 2020 to <3 years in Feb 2021, 2) PC budgets increased, especially in the US, 3) a strong improvement in PC purchase intent in US, and 4) PC usage for gaming increased substantially, which bodes well for companies geared towards gaming. Although ~70% consumers said they would consider pushing out PC purchases due to Covid-19, UBS believes positive survey results could offset the concerns. In addition, they are cautious about a potential demand cool-down after Covid-19 vaccines prevail, starting in 2H21 and 2022. (UBS report)

UBS Evidence Lab’s survey results showed Apple is the most-preferred PC brand (23% of total respondents in China and the US were most likely to purchase this as their next PC), followed by Dell (16%) and Lenovo (13%). In China, the survey results indicate Lenovo’s brand recognition is decreasing with only 20% of respondents intending to buy a Lenovo PC, down from 25% in Jun 2020. (UBS report)

Based on the positive survey results, UBS believes strong global PC demand could continue into 1H21 or possibly 2H21. Adjusting their 2020 PC shipment forecasts to actual shipments, they raise our global PC shipments (including Chromebooks) by 14.4% / 8.7% for 2021 / 2022 to reflect the stronger-than-expected demand. UBS now projects 2021 global PC shipments including Chromebooks to rise 5.3% YoY after 10.7% YoY growth in 2020. They project 2021 global notebook shipments to reach 209.5M units, up 5.8% YoY (versus 22.1% YoY in 2020), Chromebook shipments to increase around 30% to 40M units, and desktop shipments to continue to decline (-5.2% in 2021 to 75.8M) after 2020’s -20.4% YoY decline. (UBS report)

Huami Technology has announced a partnership with Amazon Could. The two firms entered into a strategic partnership to ‘improve global competitiveness’. Huami would be using Amazon Cloud Technology’s to leverage its global infrastructure and ‘industry leading security’, along with its cloud technology and services. Amazon will provide global cloud services for Huami with operations in 70 countries and regions. (Gizmo China, Shine.cn, IT Home, Sohu)

Huawei has obtained a payment license by acquiring 100% equity of Sharelink Network.The business scope of Shenzhen-based company includes electronic payment, Internet payment, computer technology services, database and computer network services, online data processing and transaction services, information service services, etc. (CN Beta, NBD)

Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company, has announced it has closed on USD100M in Series D financing, doubling its valuation to over USD2B. The New York-based company provides data, software, services and research to government agencies, exchanges, financial institutions and insurance and cybersecurity companies in more than 60 countries. (TechCrunch, CNBC, Coin Desk)

Visa has announced a major industry first in bridging the worlds of digital and traditional fiat currencies: the use of USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin backed by the US dollar, to settle a transaction with Visa over Ethereum. Visa is piloting the capability with Crypto.com, a Visa partner and one of the world’s largest crypto platforms, and plans to offer the USDC settlement capability to additional partners later in 2021. (CN Beta, Business Insider, Business Wire)

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