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ECONOMY

By Ding Yi / Jan 12, 2021 05:24 PM / Economy

China’s smartphone sellers experienced a shipment contraction in December as coronavirus infections saw a year-end flare-up.

Last month, China’s smartphone shipments totaled 25.2 million units, representing a year-on-year decrease of 12.8%, according to a report released on Monday by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Despite the shipment drop, the number of new smartphone models released in the final month of 2020 rose 48.1% year-on-year to 40, the report said

Overall, the number of smartphones shipped in 2020 nosedived 20.4% year-on-year to 296 million units, about 55% of which were 5G compatible, according to the report.

The yearly negative figure reflects how the Covid-19 pandemic affected handset makers’ supply chains and consumers’ hesitation to switch to commercial 5G services which were launched in China in late 2019.

Meanwhile, the U.S. restrictions on supplies of handset chips to Huawei, one of China’s biggest smartphone vendors, could also be a major factor behind the shipment slump, as Huawei’s phone production was significantly affected by the crippling American campaign.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Major Chinese Supplier to Apple Raises $2.3 Billion to Boost Production


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ECONOMY

By Yang Ge / Dec 14, 2020 03:44 PM / Economy

Things are looking bright for solar power in China, which is on track to edge past wind to become the nation’s third largest electricity source by the end of this year.

That’s the latest assessment from the nation’s National Energy Administration, which forecast that China will have around 240 gigawatts of solar capacity by the end of the year, representing about 16.2% growth from the end of 2019. That would be enough to push it ahead of wind, which was tied with solar at the end of October in terms of installed capacity.

Both solar and wind currently supply about 11% of China’s total electric capacity, while hydropower is No. 2 at 18%. Dirtier coal-fired power is still the clear leader, accounting for about half of China’s 2,100 gigawatts of capacity.

Solar has surged in recent years as maturing technology makes the clean energy source increasingly efficient while also bringing down prices. The China Photovoltaic Industry Association predicts China could add as much as 70 gigawatts to 90 gigawatts of new capacity annually over the next five years, as the country tries to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide and contribute to global warming.

Over the weekend, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China, the world’s biggest carbon-dioxide emitter, would cut emissions per unit of GDP by 65% from 2005 levels and increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 25% by 2030.

To read the full story, here.

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Nov 12, 2020 05:13 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com have set new sales records for this year’s “Double Eleven” shopping bonanza as the two online retailers have extended the sales window for the shopping event to drive up consumption crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the shopping festival that ran from November 1 to November 11, Alibaba generated 498.2 billion yuan ($74.1 billion) in gross merchandise value, sharply up from 268.4 billion yuan a year ago.

Alibaba said that some 250,000 brands participated in the shopping carnival, about 31,000 of which were from overseas, with livestreaming becoming a key marketing tool for vendors.

Meanwhile, JD.com logged 271.5 billion yuan in transaction volume for the 11-day period, compared with 204.4 billion yuan it registered last year.

JD.com said that the cities with the highest per capita consumption from new users were lesser known ones including Yingtan in Jiangxi province, Tongchuan in Shaanxi province and Chuzhou in Anhui province, a trend implying that the shopping event is used as a way to attract price-conscious new users in lower-tier Chinese cities.

The record sales numbers come days after China’s State Administration for Market Regulation published a draft guideline aimed at preventing monopolistic behaviors by internet platforms, a clear sign of the government’s growing concerns over the risks of digital platforms run by the likes of Alibaba and JD.com.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: ‘Double 11’ Shopping Fest Faces Covid-19 Supply Chain Pressures


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By Nikkei Asian Review / Nov 12, 2020 11:05 AM / Economy

Photo: Visual China

Photo: Visual China

China aims to have vehicles with partial self-driving technology account for 50% of all new-auto sales by 2025, double its previous goal, as the country encourages local companies to pull ahead of the U.S. in the field.

Under a plan released Wednesday, new vehicles with "level 2" or "level 3" automation are to make up 70% of sales by 2030. Level 2 assists the driver with steering, acceleration and braking, while level 3 means vehicles drive themselves under certain conditions such as on highways.

China in 2017 called for level 2 and 3 vehicles to make up 25% of new-car sales in the world's largest auto market by 2025. Beijing considered raising the target to 30% last year, but is hitting the gas pedal now as China positions autonomous and "new energy" vehicles as a strategic emerging industry.

About 10% of new vehicles sold in China during the first half of 2020 carry level 2 automation, local media report.

The new plan also seeks to have level 4 autonomous vehicles, which require no human input except in emergencies, on the market by 2025 and account for 20% of sales in 2030. China looks to expand use of high-level self-driving technology nationwide by 2035 and integrate such vehicles into so-called smart cities.

China will enact policies and legislation based on this road map, released by the National Innovation Center of Intelligent and Connected Vehicles at the direction of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Beijing is counting on Chinese tech companies to make this vision a reality.

Search engine company Baidu has received state support for its Apollo self-driving technology project, launched in 2017. Trials of an autonomous taxi service are underway in Hunan and Hebei provinces and parts of Beijing. Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing company, is testing a similar service in Shanghai.

Tech names ranging from startups like Pony.ai to giants such as Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings are increasing development in the field.

Though Tesla and Toyota Motor have led the way among automakers, Chinese players such as Geely Automobile Holdings, part of the group that owns Sweden-based Volvo Cars, are pushing into the fray as well. Nearly 100 new models with level 2 technology reportedly were rolled out in the first nine months of 2020, according to Chinese media.

On the regulatory side, with the commercialization of level 3 vehicles on the horizon, China is considering easing rules as early as next year to allow self-driving vehicles on public roads.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: Beijing Eyes Commercialization of Self-Driving Technology with Demonstration Zone Plan


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By Anniek Bao / Nov 10, 2020 12:36 PM / Economy

Recent results show a group of Chinese electric vehicle startups are moving into the financial fast lane, as they seek to follow larger U.S. rival Tesla. The race is now on to see who can become the General Motors and Toyotas of a future powered by cleaner-burning vehicles.

Demand for Chinese EV makers’ shares listed in the U.S. have soared in recent weeks, in a sign that investors are betting on long-term prospects for the fast-emerging sector as these startups reported higher-than-expected sales in October.

Nio Inc. almost doubled its share price in the 30 days through Nov. 9, giving the company a market value of $59.96 billion, ahead of the 112-year-old General Motors Inc. at $55.76 billion as of market close on Monday.

Nio’s founder and President Li Bin took the soaring stock prices as a sign that Chinese NEVs will inevitably expand their foothold overseas.

Although the Chinese-based automaker is now more valuable than General Motors, the Detroit-based automaker outperformed Nio in terms of deliveries by a considerable margin. The U.S. giant delivered 771,400 vehicles in the third quarter in China alone, compared with Nio’s far more modest total of 5,055 vehicles for the month.

Read the full story here.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: Almost All New Cars Sold in China Will Be Battery Powered by 2035, Blueprint Predicts


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By Nikkei Asian Review / Oct 23, 2020 11:20 AM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China has achieved its goal of building 500,000 new fifth-generation wireless base stations in 2020 well ahead of schedule, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Thursday.

The country had a total of 690,000 base stations at the end of September, up 70% from June, with more than half a million deployed this year alone. Meanwhile, shipments of smartphones and other devices compatible with ultrafast 5G service topped 100 million in the first nine months of 2020.

China will "continuously deepen" its usage of 5G, industry ministry spokesperson Huang Libin said, citing examples including high-definition video, medicine and autonomous-driving technology.

The 5G drive benefits companies including Huawei Technologies, which is now essentially barred from accessing products made with American technology, as well as blocked from many countries' 5G networks. As tensions with the U.S. continue, Beijing aims to protect China's development capabilities and maintain and expand its edge in telecommunications and information technology.

The city of Shenzhen said in mid-August it had achieved "full coverage" of 5G service, the first in the country. The municipal government partnered with Huawei and Tencent Holdings, both based in Shenzhen, to lay out a plan to test industrial applications for 5G.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: China’s Mobile Tower Giant Reports Modest Revenue Growth


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By Anniek Bao / Oct 22, 2020 06:07 PM / Economy

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They’ve got no experience, no technology and no talent. But that hasn’t stopped a disparate range of firms from charging into the race to be China’s next chipmaking champion.

The nation’s top economic planner is now throwing cold water on the ambitions of some of China’s more shady semiconductor companies, those that are trying to take advantage of generous government funds and “blindly take on projects” that require a high level of technological sophistication.

China has been betting big on funding immature chipmakers to help shake off the country’s dependence on foreign suppliers in the face of the U.S.’s tightened export restrictions.

But the decision to overhaul the industry follows several high-profile collapses of chipmakers that received government funds but never made a single chip after burning through millions or billions of dollars.

Read the full story here.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Oct 19, 2020 05:35 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China is expected to be the world’s biggest purchaser of 5G smartphones in 2020 as handset makers race to roll out cheaper 5G phones in the country.

More than 160 million 5G smartphones will be sold in China this year, accounting for about 67.7% of the global total, according to a report by research firm IDC.

IDC largely attributed the expected sales to the aggressive pricing strategies smartphone makers are adopting in China, where the average selling price of a 5G phone was only $464 in the second quarter, compared with $837 globally during the same period.

IDC also predicted that sales of higher-priced 5G smartphones will continue to grow in China with the launch of Apple’s 5G-enabled iPhone 12 series priced between $699 and $1,099.

In the first half of 2020, some 23.5 million smartphones of all types priced $600 and above were sold in China, with Huawei leading the market with a share of 44.1%. Apple was China’s second-largest smartphone vendor for that price range during the period with a market share of 44%, according to IDC.

As of the beginning of September, China had established 480,000 5G base stations, with the number of 5G terminal devices surpassing 100 million, according to IDC.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: China's Oppo makes play for European growth as Huawei slips


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By Matthew Walsh / Oct 06, 2020 12:36 PM / Economy

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

China’s box office took 2.21 billion yuan ($325.46 million) in the first four days of the “Golden Week” national holiday, around three-quarters of last year’s total, as moviegoers steadily return to cinemas following the country’s coronavirus outbreak.

The takings recorded between Oct. 1 and Oct. 4, which this year encompasses both the Mid-Autumn Festival and part of the annual National Day celebration, came after six new films were released to coincide with one of China’s peak moviegoing periods.

Of those, fantasy flick “Jiang Ziya,” produced by Beijing Enlight Pictures Co. Ltd. and the sequel to last year’s smash hit “Nezha,” topped the box office charts Thursday and Friday before being dislodged by Beijing Jingxi Culture and Tourism Co. Ltd.’s comedy offering “My People, My Homeland.”

As of Monday, “My People, My Homeland” had taken a total of 1.05 billion yuan, slightly ahead of “Jiang Ziya” on 1.01 billion yuan. Both sit comfortably among China’s three highest-grossing movies of the year so far.

Other movies in the current box office top 10 include “The Eight Hundred,” a war epic that unexpectedly became this year’s highest-grossing movie worldwide last month; director Christopher Nolan’s science-fiction thriller “Tenet”; and Disney’s controversial and poor-performing live-action remake of “Mulan.”

China’s leaders are pushing “revenge” spending during the National Day holiday as consumers look to release pent-up demand after months of pandemic-induced restrictions came to an end earlier this year.

Cinemas are doing a brisk trade compared with their overseas counterparts, raking in 742 million yuan on the first day of the holiday — the highest one-day takings since movie theaters reopened in July.

Chinese consumers splurged more than 4.4 billion yuan on movie tickets during the National Day holiday last year. The country’s box office has taken on greater global significance this year after some cinemas in other parts of the world, including Cineworld Group PLC, have temporarily or permanently closed theaters under strain from the pandemic.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com) and editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Sep 14, 2020 04:16 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Beijing plans to build what it calls the world’s first high-level autonomous driving demonstration zone in the hope of accelerating the commercial application of self-driving technology, according to a report by state television broadcaster CCTV.

That was the message delivered by Kong Lei, the deputy head of the administrative committee of Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, during a press conference held in Beijing on Friday.

The demonstration zone will feature a powerful self-driving infrastructure network consisting of a low-latency telecoms system, an accurate obstacle perception system, a high-accuracy positioning system as well as a cloud-based transport network control platform, which are needed for testing the large-scale operation of driverless vehicles featuring Level 4 autonomy and the application of the internet of vehicles, the report said, without providing a specific date for the project’s completion.

The U.S. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) categorizes autonomous driving technology into six levels from 0 to 5. Level 4 technology allows a car to run almost completely independent of human intervention.

Beijing is among the few Chinese cities that allow companies to test their passenger-carrying autonomous vehicles. Last week, the Chinese capital approved Baidu’s Apollo Go robotaxi service in designated residential and business areas that cover 100 pickup and drop-off stations, becoming the third city after Changsha and Cangzhou to be used by Baidu to pilot its autonomous taxis.

According to a development plan released by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China aims to achieve mass production of self-driving vehicles featuring Level 3 technology by 2025 as part of efforts to build a new-generation transport network control system .

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Baidu Expands Free Robotaxi Trial Service to Northern City of Cangzhou


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By Ding Yi / Sep 14, 2020 12:36 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China is expected to be the biggest purchaser of 5G smartphones in 2020, as the country accelerates the deployment of its 5G infrastructure.

Some 172 million 5G smartphones will be sold in China this year, accounting for about 62% of the global total, according to a report by research firm Canalys, which looked at the combined figures for the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Canalys attributed the expected sales to the rapid commoditization of 5G smartphones on the Chinese mainland and Chinese handset makers’ efforts to launch cheaper phones compatible with 5G networks.

In September, Realme, a budget brand of Chinese smartphone maker Oppo, launched the V3 in China, which is the world’s cheapest 5G smartphone thanks to its starting price of $150.

Jin Shengtao, an analyst at Canalys, described the V3’s launch as a milestone in bringing 5G functionality to entry-level smartphones.

“It is expected that by 2021, nearly 60% of 5G smartphone shipments in China will be cheaper than $400, while 5G penetration in China will reach 83% in the next 12 months,” Jin said in a statement.

Jin predicted that it will have a significant ripple effect on other regions such as Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and even Latin America, where Chinese vendors are expanding their presence.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Huawei May Become the World’s Biggest 5G-Phone Maker This Year


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By Lu Yutong / Sep 11, 2020 03:33 PM / Economy

Following the fate of blacklisted Chinese tech firms Huawei and HikVision, Beijing has begun to worry that U.S. sanctions could bleed into other industries like cloud services.

The concern may be justified. In late June, China’s largest server-maker, Inspur, had its supply of chips from American giant Intel Corp. cut off for two days after the U.S. Department of Defense alleged it had military links.

Beijing is now scrambling to protect against such risks.

Enter China Electronics Corp. (CEC), the country’s largest centrally-controlled state-owned IT company, which announced this week it is wading into the cloud services arena — with government support.

On Wednesday, the firm unveiled its “China Electronics Cloud” services with the goal of “guaranteeing the safety of government and companies’ digital transformation.”

The cloud services will exclusively use domestic technologies, and CEC is hoped to be able to offer an alternative to the current Chinese cloud services market, which mostly utilizes Intel’s X86 architecture.

It will also compete with big private cloud providers Alibaba and Tencent.

Read the full story: As Washington Restricts Tech, State-Owned Giant Gets Into Cloud Computing

Contact reporter Lu Yutong (yutonglu@caixin.com) and editor Flynn Murphy (flynnmurphy@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Sep 10, 2020 02:43 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

In the second quarter of 2020, Alibaba maintained its spot as the biggest cloud services provider in China, where total spending on such services climbed to a record high of $4.3 billion due to growing demand amid the Covid-19 pandemic and government stimulus measures.

During the period between April and June, Alibaba Cloud, Huawei Cloud, Tencent Cloud and Baidu AI Cloud collectively controlled 78.7% of China’s cloud infrastructure services market, with Alibaba Cloud accounting for a whopping 40.1% market share, though the figure is 4.4 percentage points lower than its share in the previous quarter, according to a report by research firm Canalys.

Huawei Cloud ranked second with a market share of 15.5%, up from 14.1% in the first quarter, closely followed by Tencent Cloud, which grew its market share to 15.1% from 13.9% in the previous quarter, the report showed. Baidu AI Cloud was the fourth-largest cloud services seller during the period, maintaining its market share basically unchanged at 8%.

Overall, China’s $4.3 billion spend on cloud services, which represents a year-on-year increase of 70%, enabled the country to maintain its position as the world’s second-largest cloud services market in the second quarter after the U.S., home to industry leaders Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

“Momentum in China’s cloud infrastructure services is set to accelerate,” said Canalys analyst Blake Murray in a statement. “An already growing market is being propelled by government initiatives, commitment by cloud service providers to invest, as well as increasing demand for digital transformation and online services in the post-Covid-19 economy,” Murray added.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Alibaba Takes Lead in China’s Cloud Services Market


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By Liu Peilin, He Shujing and Anniek Bao / Sep 08, 2020 02:01 PM / Economy

China's cable television networks were already close to the brink as people ditched old fashioned TV in favor of disruptive new services.

A pandemic that had everyone sitting around at home might have been expected to boost their fortunes.

But as advertisers counted their pennies and the government pushed networks to provide free content in order to keep people at home, cable firm margins dissolved.

All 11 Chinese listed cable network companies reported tumbling profits and revenue in the first half, with some nosediving deep into the red.

Read the full story on Caixin Global here.

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: National Broadband Firm Takes Shape With $3 Billion From Alibaba, State Grid


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By Han Wei / Sep 07, 2020 02:25 PM / Economy

Daily sales since July 1 at one duty-free shop in Sanya, the popular coastal resort city in the southern province of Hainan, surged above 100 million yuan ($14.6 million) as travelers flocked to the island for its unique tropical scenery and greater variety of duty-free products.

Sanya’s Haitang Bay Duty Free Shop, operated by state-owned China Duty Free Group Co. Ltd., served 740,000 customers between July 1 and Aug. 18, 70% more than in the same period a year ago. They purchased 4.58 million items from fragrances to cosmetics to luxury watches and bags, 150% more than a year ago. The store set a global industry record with 5 billion yuan of sales in 49 days.

On July 1 in Hainan, a set of new policies took effect allowing visitors to purchase more duty-free products with fewer limits. Under the new rules, the quota for individuals on duty-free purchases in Hainan was tripled to 100,000 yuan a year while the duty-free product catalogue increased from 38 to 45, adding new options from mobile phones and tablets to wine. Previous limits on the number of items that could be purchased per customer were increased or eliminated. More licensed duty-free retailers are expected to open shops in Hainan under the new rules.

The revamp in Hainan’s duty-free retail sector is part of China’s strategy of transforming the island province into a regional commercial hub that could compete with Hong Kong, Paris and London. It also reflects Beijing’s efforts to bolster domestic consumption to counter economic challenges from pandemic fallout and escalating trading tensions with the United States.

Contact reporter Han Wei (weihan@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com).

Read Full Story: Cover Story: Why China Is Expanding Access to Duty-Free Shopping


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By Hannah Zhang / Sep 03, 2020 04:50 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

After the boom and bust of an earlier generation of financial technology startups, many centered on peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, a new generation of better regulated fintechs is taking their place.

Many of those could be coming to market this year, led by what’s expected to become a world record-setting IPO by Ant Group Co. Ltd.

Buzz coming from the company’s blockbuster dual listing in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland, which could raise up to $30 billion, could encourage some smaller fintech peers to expedite their public debuts as well.

But they are likely to face regulatory headwinds amid signs of tightening oversight of China’s top tech companies, especially Alibaba and Tencent, which wield immense clout in the world’s largest internet market.

So which new fintech companies should investors have their eyes on? Read the full story on Caixin Global to find out.

Contact editor Flynn Murphy (flynnmurphy@caixin.com)

Read full story: In Depth: New Breed of Fintechs Line Up to Follow Ant Group’s IPO


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By Peng Qinqin and Denise Jia / Aug 31, 2020 10:36 AM / Economy

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Chinese authorities are getting more serious about fighting money laundering, or the illegal hiding of the origins of money obtained through criminal activities.

In the first six months of 2020, the PBOC doled out penalties of more than 370 million yuan ($53.89 million) for money laundering violations, exceeding the total for all of 2019, data from the central bank showed.

The significant increase in fines reflects a revision in the way the central bank calculates punishment of financial institutions that fail to effectively guard against money laundering. Such institutions would previously receive only one fine at a time regardless of how many rules they broke. Now multiple penalties are imposed for multiple violations. The largest single fine the central bank imposed exceeded 100 million yuan.

According to a work report of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress released May 25, the amendment of the anti-money laundering law has been placed on this year’s legislative agenda. A public consultation on the amendment is expected to be conducted by the end of this year, Caixin learned.

Read full story: Cover Story: How China Is Racing to Catch Up With Money Launderers

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By Yang Ge / Aug 25, 2020 02:30 PM / Economy

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s dreams of becoming a semiconductor powerhouse could be set for a fresh blow, with word that one of the nation’s most ambitious projects could grind to a halt at any moment.

That’s the assessment coming from a local government agency in the Central Chinese city of Wuhan, which was set to host a 128 billion yuan ($18.5 billion) logic chip maker called Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (HSMC).

The project already ran into trouble last November, when a local court suspended its right to use the land where it was building the plant amid a dispute with one of the engineering firms involved. Now an analysis released by the local government at the end of July is saying the project is suffering from a large funding shortfall that could bring it to halt at any time.

So, how big exactly is the shortfall?

According to the report the venture has yet to receive the lion’s share of its planned funding, or 112.3 billion yuan of the originally planned 128 billion yuan, to be exact, or to put it another way, that means that the roughly $2 billion that the project has received to date could end up going to waste.

One of the project’s biggest Achilles heels has been its inability to make it onto the national radar due to failure to complete land acquisitions, environmental impact reports and other necessary steps for its second phase. Landing on the national radar would instantly qualify it for huge government support in the form of billions of dollars Beijing is making available for such projects in a bid to lower China’s reliance on imported chips.

Read the full story on Caixin Global here.

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)

Related: Major Chipmaking Project Suspended by Court Order


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By He Shujing and Mo Yelin / Aug 17, 2020 05:25 PM / Economy

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When an $8 billion factory in eastern China’s Anhui province revealed it had found customers for its dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips, high-tech pundits from across the country broke out the champagne.

Four years after its founding, Changxin Technology Co. Ltd. finally came of age by becoming China’s first-ever company to design and produce the chips that are a central component of most computing devices.

The Hefei-based company began mass producing the chips last September, though the May revelation finally confirmed that China could compete with global giants like Samsung, Hynix and Micron — the world’s three largest DRAM makers that collectively control 90% of the market.

The news was hailed as a significant development for both Changxin and China’s semiconductor industry, which has suddenly gone into overdrive to become more self-sufficient in the face of increasingly stringent technology export restrictions from the West, led by a campaign from the U.S.

China is pouring billions of dollars into building a semiconductor sector that can produce both memory and logic chips, the two biggest categories of high-tech chips. Of those two, memory is the simpler and thus perhaps the easier one for China to enter and quickly gain market share.

Read the full story on Caixin Global later.

Related: In Depth: Coronavirus Just the Latest Hurdle to Local Government’s Chipmaking Dreams

Contact reporter Mo Yelin (yelinmo@caixin.com)


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By Ding Yi / Aug 05, 2020 01:25 PM / Economy

Six of the world’s ten largest unicorns — startups worth more than $1 billion — are headquartered in China, as the country aims to become the world leader in innovation.

Ant Group, the fintech arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, ranks as the world’s largest unicorn with a valuation of $150 billion on the back of its planned initial public offering (IPO) in Shanghai and Hong Kong, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn Index 2020 released by Shanghai-based publishing group Hurun Report on Tuesday.

ByteDance claimed the second spot with a valuation of $80 billion despite a recent Indian ban on its flagship app TikTok. The app is also under fire in the U.S. with President Trump threatening to terminate the app’s U.S. operations if it is not sold by mid-September.

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing came in third with a valuation of $55 billion. The company is expanding its footprint across the globe and testing its autonomous taxi service as part of ongoing efforts to build a smart transportation system.

The other three Chinese unicorns breaking into the top 10 list are peer-to-peer online lending platform Lufax, TikTok rival Kuaishou and Alibaba’s logistics affiliate Cainiao.

China is home to 227 unicorns, six less than in the U.S., meaning that the two countries account for a combined 78% of the world’s 586 known unicorns based on valuations at the end of March, said Hurun Report.

“The U.S. and China continue to dominate with nearly 80% of the world’s known unicorns, despite representing only 40% of the world’s GDP and a quarter of the world’s population,” Hurun Report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said. “The rest of the world needs to wake up to providing an ecosystem that allows unicorns to flourish,” he added.

When it comes to cities, Beijing is home to a greater percentage of unicorns — 16% — than any other city in the world. The Chinese capital is followed by San Francisco with 12% and Shanghai with 8%, according to Hurun Report.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (dingyi@caixin.com)

Related: China Home to One-Third of World’s Best Unicorn Investors, Hurun Report Says


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