In 2021, the smartphone industry will be affected by the shortage of semiconductors, and it will soon spread to the entire economy. Automobile companies will be hit particularly hard.
Industry leaders said that although there may be a slowdown next year, supply may not stabilize until 2023 after the new capacity is put into production.
This includes the new Samsung plants in South Korea and Texas, Intel and TSMC plants in Arizona. TSMC has built it in Japan for the first time with billions of dollars in assistance.
In order to better manage the supply chain, the Biden government requires semiconductor companies to disclose key business data, which makes Asian chip manufacturers and governments feel uneasy. Despite some public doubts, they complied.
As the United States and allies defeated Chinese companies in the submarine cable project, the new government continued the technological war under Trump’s leadership. They insisted on suspending the contract for the West Pacific Islands originally issued by the former Huawei marine cable business HMN, and promised to fund the cable themselves. They also collaborated to build a short-distance cable from Palau to the SEA-US system.
In this year’s most unusual transaction, Telstra acquired Digicel Pacific, the largest Pacific island operator, mainly with Australian government funds. The United States and Japan also stated that they will help fund 5G development in the Pacific region.
Foreign suppliers in China are increasingly on the sidelines. China Mobile allocated only 6% of its US$6 billion 700MHz network bidding to foreign suppliers and completely excluded it from its US$1.2 billion core network.
After being expelled from the New York Stock Exchange and the U.S. Telecom market on the grounds of national security, China Mobile and China Telecom returned to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
China Telecom raised US$7.3 billion when it debuted in August, which is China’s largest financing in more than a decade, but it is expected to be surpassed by China Mobile’s upcoming US$8.8 billion IPO and 1.4 times over-subscription at the beginning of the new year.
Other regions outside of China, 5G has made stable but unobtrusive progress. Operators have sold larger data packages, cloud games and XR services, but have yet to see the benefits of 5G.
According to statistics, this market segment is dominated by Chinese operators, who have reported 450 million 5G customers (80% of the global total) and 1.3 million base stations.
In Malaysia, the authorities are working hard to deal with Asia’s most troublesome 5G plan. Its single wholesale network plan was criticized by the GSMA and rejected by most operators, who called for the establishment of a second network.
Huawei turned to corporate business, and was hit by the plunge in its mobile phone business. Total sales fell by 29%, and the division shrank by 47% in the first half of the year. But the company moved quickly to seize the huge smart car opportunity and set up new targeted business lines in coal mining, customs and ports, and other vertical areas. This major supplier has made it clear that building a network is still its core business, but 6G is already taken into consideration.
Although the definition of next-generation mobile devices will take several years, one thing we know is that satellites will become an important part, leading the industry’s largest companies to take action as soon as possible.
After Norway’s Telenor sold its Myanmar subsidiary after a military coup in February and lost US$750 million, it agreed to a US$15 billion merger between Malaysia and Axiata and a US$9 billion deal between Thailand’s 43% stake in True and DTAC. To create the largest operator in Thailand.
Indonesia has begun a long-overdue integration. Ooredoo Indosat and Hutchison made a $6 billion merger, and XL Axiata and Smartfren explored their merger.
Vocus, Australia’s fourth-largest telecommunications company, was privatized in a $2.6 billion transaction as investors weighed in on further mergers and acquisitions between small operators in the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Although TV viewers around the world are attracted by Squid Game, back to South Korea, Netflix and SK Broadband fought against the court-supported request for streaming media companies to pay “network usage fees”.