The sanctions from the United States not only disrupt the supply side of chips, but also bring considerable changes to the demand side. "Nihon Keizai Shimbun" reported on the 19th that China's Huawei, which has been sanctioned by the United States, plans to reduce its smartphone production in 2021 to less than half in 2020. As a brand that once occupied the top spot in global mobile phone shipments, Huawei’s disappearance of chip demand should have released a large amount of related production capacity, but beyond the industry’s expectations, due to the superimposed influence of various factors, the contradiction between global chip supply and demand has increased. Increasingly, starting from the automotive field, many industries such as mobile phones, computers, and game consoles have successively encountered the problem of "lack of cores".
After sorting out, the reporter found that since the United States had included Huawei on the "Entity List" as early as May 2019, although the temporary export license to Huawei has been extended many times since then, the crisis awareness has caused Huawei to stock a large amount of chips, including chips, from 2019. Components. According to data disclosed by Huawei, the company invested 167.4 billion yuan in reserves for chips, components and materials in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 73%. Before the U.S. formally implemented a full-scale "cut-off" of China's Huawei on September 15, 2020, Huawei was also continuing to "stock up" and occupied TSMC's 5nm production capacity for a long time.
Some analysts believe that this has caused other consumer electronics factories to begin to change their inventory strategies. For example, Xiaomi and OPPO have also begun to actively place orders with wafer foundries to grab production capacity in order to ensure that their products are as little affected as possible in the future. A recent report by the French Broadcasting Corporation also believes that Trump’s "technological war" against China is an indirect driver of the current chip shortage. Since Huawei has been seizing chip production capacity since 2019, Huawei’s competitors are vying for market share. They also began to rush to buy chips, making the already tight chip production even more "stressful".
In addition to mobile phones, cars are also grabbing chips. Beginning in the fourth quarter of last year, many automakers have burst out of insufficient supply of chips. German Volkswagen, Ford, Toyota and other auto industry giants have announced production cuts. According to a report released this week by research institute IHS Markit, due to the shortage of automotive chips, the global production of nearly 1 million cars is expected to be reduced in the first quarter. The analysis believes that as the automobile market represented by China gradually recovered from the epidemic in the second half of last year, the demand for automobiles increased substantially, and this recovery cycle conflicted with the growing demand of the consumer electronics industry, making chip manufacturers more willing to increase production capacity. Assigned to smart phones and 5G-related fields with greater profit margins, the problem of automotive chip supply has not been effectively alleviated
TMT industry analyst Wang Xinxi told the "Global Times" reporter that chip companies such as TSMC are making every effort to break out of 5nm and 3nm chips. They are used as basic new energy vehicles and traditional fuel vehicle automotive chips (28nm, 48nm process chips) The willingness is not too high, if you do, you may ask for a price increase.
The problem of insufficient supply of chips, which was first revealed from the automotive industry, has become industry-conducted and spread globally. Xiang Ping, director of a chip design company in Shenzhen, told the Global Times reporter that the problem of chip shortages has spread widely from advanced processes of 5 nanometers and 7 nanometers to mature processes of 28 nanometers, from fabs to packaging and testing plants. Even to the consumer level.