As the political tension between China and the US continues, the Chinese government is enhancing the country's EV supply chain to avoid battery technology outflow and learn critical techniques from foreign companies.
The strike initiated by the United Auto Workers (UAW) at General Motors, Ford and Stellantis plants has lasted for two weeks. Automotive suppliers said that the Big Three's orders, especially those of pickups, will likely be diverted to foreign carmakers. The three companies also worry about whether raising worker's wages will impact their capabilities to win orders back.
The South Korean government has unveiled a substantial 16.6% reduction or KRW5.2 trillion (US$3.89 billion) in research and development (R&D) spending in its budget proposal for 2024, with the spending to drop to KRW25.9 trillion from KRW31.1 trillion in 2023. Korean industry estimates that the budget cut could cause more than 1,200 newly hired R&D personnel to face layoffs in the 25 government-funded research institutes specializing in science and technology.
The European Union is actively reviewing its reliance on other countries for energy supplies. It has paid a hefty price to stop using Russia's gas. However, it also depends on lithium and fuel-cell batteries made in China. The situation has alarmed the EU member states.
With the Biden administration finalizing the national security guardrails of the CHIPS and Science Act's (CHIPS Act) funding allocations and restrictions, South Korean semiconductor companies may have to transform their operations in China and leverage their mature-node capacities there to target products for domestic demand, according to Korean news media.
China's AI chip leader, Cambricon Technologies Co., bears the mission of independent chip development in China and catching up with European and American companies like Nvidia. However, after going public in 2020, Cambricon delivered its worst half-year performance in the first half of 2023. The six early investors in Cambricon have recently almost completely liquidated their holdings, taking advantage of the surge in the company's stock price driven by generative AI since 2023 and cashing out.
LG Display (LGD), the leader of the large-sized OLED display market, is actively venturing into the mid-to-small-sized IT OLED market. It recently announced the mass production of a 17-inch foldable panel for notebooks. Through LG Electronics, it's expected to launch South Korea's first foldable notebook to expand its market.
China's Vice Premier He Lifeng expressed "strong concern and dissatisfaction" on Monday to the European Union's chief trade negotiator Valdis Dombrovskis over the bloc's anti-subsidy probe into Chinese electric vehicles.
The South Korean government plans to invest KRW2.2 trillion (US$1.66 billion) in the next five years to strengthen the competitiveness of cutting-edge industries such as semiconductors, rechargeable batteries, and biotechnology. The final goal is to promote "Global Clusters in Advanced Industries," bringing together companies, universities, research institutions, and others to create a world-class innovation technology ecosystem in the country. Meanwhile, it will also relax restrictions on corporate venture capital (CVC) investments and expand cash subsidies for foreign investors entering the industry clusters.
Nissan has jumped on the bandwagon to go fully electric in Europe. The automaker announced on September 25 that it plans to sell only EVs on the continent by 2030. From now on, all new Nissan models launched in Europe will be all-electric.
Ford said on September 25 that it had halted construction of its battery plant in Michigan amid the ongoing strikes initiated by the United Auto Workers (UAW). The carmaker had planned to license technology from China-based CATL to produce batteries in the US.
Tsinghua Unigroup, a China-based holding company, released a statement on September 25 saying that it plans to "terminate" the related procedures regarding important asset reorganization. This implies that Tsinghua Unigroup may have second thoughts about its plan to obtain 100% of New H3C Technologies, a digital solutions company.
Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei previously stated that with the US expected to expand its sanctions, tough times are still ahead for Huawei. In response, it will focus on building a non-US alternative ecosystem by making its self-developed HarmonyOS and EulerOS available to more partners.
With the iPhone 15 series officially going on sale last week, the industry is closely watching its sales performance. Sources familiar with the smartphone chip industry said that if the series could keep up the momentum, it would signal a rebound in consumer spending, meaning that demand for Android phones before the 2024 Lunar New Year could also pick up.
Electric-car maker Zeekr is banking on extra momentum from sister brands like Volvo Car AB to push into Europe, just as Chinese carmakers' ambitions in the region move into the crosshairs of global trade tensions.