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Taiwan’s MediaTek Surpasses Qualcomm as China’s Smartphone Chip Supplier of Choice as U.S. Sanctions Bite

By Ding Yi / Jan 25, 2021 03:52 PM / Business & Tech

Taiwan-based semiconductor producer MediaTek outperformed Qualcomm as China’s largest smartphone chip supplier in the second half of 2020, largely driven by the crippling U.S. campaign aimed at barring Huawei, China’s biggest smartphone maker, from buying components from American companies including Qualcomm.

During the six-month period, MediaTek controlled 31.7% of China’s smartphone chip market, nearly double the market share the firm had in the same period of 2019, when Qualcomm led with 37.9% of the market, according to a report by CINNO Research.

Huawei’s semiconductor design arm HiSilicon came in second with a market share of 27.2% in the second half of last year, with Qualcomm dropping to third with 25.4%, according to the report.

Last year, a total of 307 million smartphone chips were shipped in China, down 20.8% year-on-year, the report said, without specifying how many such chips were shipped in the country in the second half of the year.

MediaTek’s rise to the top spot comes as China’s leading smartphone makers are diversifying their chip supply chains amid tension between Beijing and Washington.

Last week, Xiaomi vice president Lu Weibing said that his company would be the first to launch a smartphone powered by MediaTek’s newly launched flagship 5G chipset named Dimensity 1200. Xiaomi’s peers Vivo and Oppo have also announced similar plans to build products with Dimensity 1200 chipsets this year.

According to CINNO Research, about 22.6% of 5G smartphones sold by Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo in 2020 were equipped with MediaTek’s chips.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Chipmaker MediaTek Launches New Chipsets as Smartphone-Makers Drive Demand Boom


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