Feb 12, 2019 05:32 PM

Tuesday Tech Briefing: Huawei Third in Worldwide Semiconductor Consumption

1.Huawei Third in Worldwide Semiconductor Consumption

Semiconductor spending by Chinese telecom equipment-maker Huawei hit $21.1 billion in 2018, up 45% from the previous year, making it the third-largest global chip consumer among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the first time, according to data released by Gartner.

China’s Xiaomi Corp. also made into the top 10 for the first time; its chips spending climbed nearly 63% to $7.1 billion in 2018. Four Chinese OEMs, including Lenovo and BBK Electronics, ranked in the top 10. (Gartner)

2.Apple, Xiaomi Sales Shrivel in Shrinking Smartphone Market

Smartphone sales of global giant Apple Inc. and local rival Xiaomi Corp. in China plunged nearly 20% and 35% in the fourth quarter of 2018, as the domestic smartphone market continued to contract, according to data-tracking firm IDC.

The correction has already claimed several second-tier brands, most notably the bankrupt Gionee and a struggling Smartisan. But even top names like Apple and Xiaomi are starting to feel the pinch.

Homegrown Huawei was the biggest winner. Its fourth-quarter sales grew 23.3% to 30 million units, giving it 29% of the market. (Caixin)

3.Holiday Spending Bodes Poorly for China’s Economy

China’s consumption of food, gifts, and goods reached 1.01 trillion yuan ($149 billion) during the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, growing 8.5% from last year, but dipping below double-digit growth for the first time.

The disappointing festival period reflects the wider deceleration of China’s economy, which recorded its slowest growth in 28 years last year, as the government tries to rein in inefficient spending without spooking companies and investors. (Caixin)

4.China’s Internet Giants Hand Out Billions of Yuan in Digital Red Envelopes

China’s web giants handed out billions of yuan over the Lunar New Year holiday in a bid to lure users to their services.

The country’s dominant search engine Baidu gave 1 billion yuan ($148 million) in virtual red envelopes over the period. Most were given during the Spring Festival Gala, and they netted 300 million active users for Baidu Inc.’s mobile app.

Short video apps such as Bytedance’s Tik Tok and Tencent’s Weishi also joined the race, each handing out 500 million yuan to those who performed certain tasks on the apps. (Caixin)

5.Wanda Film Scales Back Wanda Media Acquisition Plan

A state-owned minority shareholder dropped out of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group’s plans to consolidate its film and entertainment businesses, forcing Wanda to scale back the transaction by almost 10% to $1.55 billion.

Wanda Film said Qingdao West Coast dropped out of a plan to restructure Wanda Media because it failed to obtain approval from its state-owned assets supervisor.

The deal aims to consolidate the group’s cinema operations and content production. Wanda Media has produced a number of box office successes, including “Detective Chinatown 2,” which took in 3.4 billion yuan last year. (Caixin)

Compiled by He Shujing

Contact editor Flynn Murphy (

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