Xiaomi reinvests in three semiconductor companies and home appliance companies have entered the field of chip semiconductors

At present, home appliance manufacturers attach importance to the chip business, which has been raised to an unprecedented level. Perhaps in their view, the chip will be the “touching stone” for them to break free from the quagmire and grow rapidly. On February 27, Xiaomi invested in Smart Microelectronics after successively investing in Xinbaite Microelectronics and Sutong semiconductor. Since the beginning of this year, TCL, Gree, Konka and other companies have also released a lot of signals to invest in the semiconductor industry. Behind this is my country’s huge annual import demand for semiconductors and the practical problem of shortcomings in advanced technology.

Xiaomi has reinvested in three semiconductor companies and home appliance companies have entered the chip semiconductor field. Recently, the spread of the epidemic in Japan and South Korea, the semiconductor powerhouses, is likely to setback, and its domestic semiconductor production capacity may be frustrated. Industry insiders believe that this will open up a time window for domestic material manufacturers to import substitution. Stronger manufacturers may be able to compete in overseas markets. However, many entrants have only taken a small step, and the road to semiconductors still has a long way to go.

Investing enthusiasm continues

According to Tianyancha data, Shanghai Lingdong Microelectronics Co., Ltd. has undergone a series of industrial and commercial changes, and its registered capital has increased from 47.28 million yuan to 56.68 million yuan, an increase of nearly 20%. The new director is Wang Xiaobo. Shanghai Lingdong Microelectronics Co., Ltd. was established in March 2011. The company’s business scope includes microelectronics technology development, technology transfer and technical services, research and development and sales of Electronic products.

According to public information, Wang Xiaobo is the managing partner of Xiaomi Industrial Fund. The full name of Xiaomi Industry Fund is “Hubei Xiaomi Yangtze River Industry Fund”. It was established in 2017 and was jointly established by Xiaomi and Hubei Province Yangtze River Economic Belt Industry Guidance Fund, focusing on “advanced manufacturing” investment.

Recently, in the news about investing in semiconductors, Xiaomi Industry Fund can always be seen. On February 24, Aojie Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. underwent a series of changes, and Xiaomi Industry Fund became a new shareholder; Xiaomi Industry Fund invested in a semiconductor company Guangxi Xinbaite Microelectronics Co., Ltd. (Xinbaite Microelectronics), The latter is mainly engaged in the research and development and sales of radio frequency integrated circuits, and actively deploys advanced applications such as 5G communication, WiFi6, and AIoT; in addition, Xiaomi Industrial Fund has also become a new shareholder of Suzhou Sutong Semiconductor Technology Co., Ltd. (Sutong Semiconductor).

It is understood that Xiaomi Industry Fund has invested in more than 15 chip design companies, covering mobile phone and intelligent hardware supply chain, core components of electronic products, new materials and new processes, etc., and also taking into account related fields such as intelligent manufacturing and industrial automation. .

For a long time, Xiaomi has been labeled as cost-effective, and its products are mainly characterized by low price and high configuration. In the past two years, Xiaomi has tried to change consumers’ impression of it. It first made its sub-brand Redmi independent, and officially admitted its entry into the high-end market at the launch site of Xiaomi Mi 10, and its layout in the semiconductor field has exposed Xiaomi’s commitment to the upstream industry. Chain ambition.

Industry Transformation Trends

From a narrow definition, semiconductors are only materials whose electrical conductivity is between conductors and insulators at room temperature, but chips and integrated circuits are required in the fields of consumer electronics, communication systems, photovoltaic power generation, lighting applications, and high-power power conversion. Electronic devices used in large areas are inseparable from semiconductors. For example, diodes are devices made of semiconductors. Most electronic products, such as computers, mobile phones, or core units in digital recorders are closely related to semiconductors.

The market capacity of my country’s semiconductor core components accounts for about 40% of the world’s share, but the lack of independent chip supply has always been a problem. It is a short board, a scarce resource, and a target with more investment value. Some analysts say that if it can completely replace the import value of 305.5 billion US dollars, then the domestic semiconductor industry still has more than 10 times the space.

Therefore, the enthusiasm of traditional home appliance companies for semiconductors has remained high in the past two years. Take TCL as an example. Since its reorganization last year, the company has gradually launched its semiconductor business layout. In January this year, Zhonghuan Co., Ltd., 712 and Tianjin Pulin announced that Tianjin SASAC intends to transfer 100% of the equity of Zhonghuan Group. TCL, the bidder, also announced that it is considering this aspect. The matter of Zhonghuan Group has been raging, and the main asset of Zhonghuan Group is Zhonghuan Co., Ltd., a leading domestic photovoltaic and semiconductor wafer leader.

On February 6, TCL completed the industrial and commercial change of the company’s full name, from “TCL Group Co., Ltd.” to “TCL Technology Group Co., Ltd.”, and said that in the future, it will vigorously promote the semiconductor Display and material business, and choose a high-tech company. Look for merger and reorganization opportunities in the fields of science and technology, large assets, and long-term cycles, and allocate basic and relatively core assets in the development of science and technology.

Gree Electric has also invested heavily in the semiconductor field. In August 2018, Gree Electric established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Zhuhai Zero Boundary Integrated Circuit Co., Ltd. with a registered capital of 1 billion yuan. Its business scope includes semiconductors, integrated circuits, chips, electronic components, etc.; in November 2018, Gree Electric indirectly invested in Nexperia by holding a 10.98% stake in Wingtech Technology; on February 17 this year, according to the announcement issued by Sanan Optoelectronics, Gree Electric intends to subscribe for the company’s non-public offering of shares with a subscription amount of 20 The raised funds are planned to be invested in the semiconductor R&D and industrialization project (Phase I).

Konka’s layout in the semiconductor field has also been launched. In 2016, a Zhongkang Storage Technology focused on storage products was established; in May 2018, Konka initially established a semiconductor technology division; Chongqing Konka Optoelectronics Technology Research Institute Co., Ltd. was established with a registered capital of 2 billion yuan; recently, Konka and Ledman have signed a strategic agreement to carry out extensive cooperation in photovoltaic energy Internet, intelligent computing, cloud server industry, etc. The product is a semiconductor memory device with independent intellectual property rights.

Domestic substitution accelerates

In the field of semiconductors, Japan and South Korea are both powerful countries. Among them, Japan’s advantages are in upstream raw materials and hardware equipment, and the technical threshold is very high, especially in terms of materials; while South Korea’s advantages lie in the fields of memory and panels.

Judging from the revenue of global NAND brand manufacturers in the fourth quarter of 2019, Samsung ranked the top three with a market share of 35.5%; SK Hynix ranked sixth with a market share of 9.6%. Guotai Junan’s research pointed out that in the field of semiconductor foundry manufacturing and packaging and testing materials, Japanese companies occupy a certain degree of advantage. In the fields of silicon wafer materials, photomasks, targets and other important fine molecules, Japanese companies occupy the market share. are more than 50%.

Therefore, it is almost impossible for domestic home appliance companies to surpass Japan and South Korea in the semiconductor field in a short period of time. Industry observer Hong Shibin told the Beijing Business Daily that semiconductors are a “tough bone”. Although China has invested huge resources in the localization of semiconductor production and design, there is still a lot to be done in advanced technology (storage and logic) semiconductor manufacturing. If there is a large gap, it may be difficult to get rid of the dependence on imported equipment and certain key materials in the medium term.

However, the recent epidemic may setback the industrial chain of Japan and South Korea, and “domestic substitution” is expected to receive a strong boost. It is reported that Samsung Electronics’ smartphone factory in Gumi, South Korea, has recently confirmed a case of new coronary pneumonia and has urgently stopped production.

The 2011 earthquake in Japan had a short-term impact on Japan, the Asia-Pacific and even the global semiconductor industry, but from a long-term perspective, it accelerated the external transfer of the Japanese semiconductor industry. Focusing on the field of semiconductor materials, many domestic semiconductor material manufacturers took advantage of the 2011 earthquake in Japan to replace Japanese semiconductor material suppliers.

“China’s semiconductor industry is gradually being recognized by many overseas companies.” Major General Ding, a Sankei observer, pointed out. It is reported that Samsung Electronics has chosen to import the required hydrogen fluoride from China, and Japan’s Daikin Industries plans to invest 40-50 billion yen before fiscal year 2022 to increase the production of factories in China and set up new R&D bases.

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