Battery-grade lithium carbonate prices have dropped from CNY600,000 (US$84,363) per tonne in November 2022 to the current value of CNY150,000, a decline of over 70%. Since batteries take up 30% to 40% of an EV's costs, the market has kept a close eye on whether the price slump would drive down EV costs.
South Korean wafer inspection equipment manufacturer Nextin is benefiting indirectly from the US restrictions on semiconductor equipment exports to China and is accelerating its entry into the Chinese market. While on track to build a production base in China, the company has recently supplied its next-generation AEGIS-3 equipment to a Chinese customer.
With smartphone sales slumping under global inflation in recent years, the demand for CMOS image sensor (CIS) parts and lenses has also fallen. Yet sources in the supply chain point toward signs of recovery in Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and other emerging markets, while the market in China, the focus of many observers worldwide, also shows hints of warming up early in the fourth quarter of 2023. According to Counterpoint Research, October 2023 saw a year-on-year increase of 5% in smartphone sales worldwide, finally reversing a 27-month-long trend. Demand is expected to drive sales growth into the fourth quarter and beyond, offering a glimmer of hope for the smartphone supply chain.
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has listed locally-based EV company Nio in a vehicle manufacturer's information management system. The company is rumored to take 100% ownership of its two joint plants accordingly, but it has not confirmed the news.
Known for "Whoscall," an app for phone number identification, Gogolook is one of the few successful software companies born in Taiwan. Listed in the Taiwan Innovation Board in July, Gogolook is expanding its business across Southeast Asia. However, the differences in languages, cultures, and user environments can pose challenges to its expansion.
Samsung Electronics is actively expanding its 4nm foundry customers. It's reported that VisioNexT, a subsidiary of the Hanwha Group, will place orders with Samsung to manufacture 4nm AI chips. The hope is that this move can bring breakthroughs in the vision AI sector.
The latest report by Wccftech pointed out that Huawei's new notebook (NB) PC L540 is equipped with the 5nm Kirin 9006C, an SoC with 8 cores. Chinese media ITHome recently revealed that this 5nm 9006C processor has been adopted by L420 in 2021. Therefore, it is not a new chip manufactured in 2023. It is more likely that Huawei's stockpiled chips were manufactured by TSMC, before the company was banned by the US from accessing American technologies in September 2020.
Taiwan's National Technology and Science Council (NTSC) announced on December 5 that semiconductor processing technology for advanced chips 14nm and below, as well as the specialized gas, chemical, equipment, heterogeneous packaging, wafer level chip scale packaging (WLCSP), and silicon photonic integrated packaging technologies, which are necessary technologies applied for the manufacturing processes of advanced chips, are among the 22 core key technologies that will be kept from foreign adversaries. Those who fail to comply shall be deemed to have violated the National Security Act.
Samsung Electronics recently unveiled the current status and prospects of its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) exposure process, generating significant interest globally. Particularly noteworthy is Samsung's dependence on Japanese suppliers for pellicles, with a transmittance rate of around 90%, as the company has yet to transition to domestically produced alternatives in South Korea.
Medication has been the most common but not always the best way to treat debilitating conditions like motion sickness and migraine. Vancouver-based WAT Medical Enterprise uses neuromodulation to develop medical technologies, offering the public an alternative. Its non-invasive therapy options have become available in Asia this year.
India is urging smartphone manufacturers to embrace a unified charging port by mid-2025. Apple has allegedly expressed concerns, suggesting that enforcing the rule on older iPhones might impact smartphone production in India.