Sony and WS Audiology have teamed up developing hearing aids, planning to make them available in the US market in October. CATL and EVE Energy will supply large cylindrical batteries for BMW's new cars starting from 2025, and several battery companies are planning to mass produce 46800 batteries. Commercialization of Hyundai's third-generation fuel cells will be delayed from 2023 to 2027, thanks to technical difficulties and uncertain demand.
The observations of this issue's Asia Enterprise include SK Hynix plans to invest KRW15 trillion (US$10.8 billion) to build a new factory in Cheongju, South Korea in five years. The company is boldly investing in the memory market during the downturn. Geely, Huawei, and Apple are all introducing innovative services of mobile communication combined with satellite communication. Nikon increases investment in 3D printing for metal, aerospace, and automotive applications.
With the increasing usage of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and over-reliance on technologies, drivers are more likely to be distracted while behind the wheel, making the adoption of in-cabin monitoring systems (ICMS) rather critical.
The observations for this issue's Asia Enterprise include the South Korea's government has budgeted KRW 31 trillion (US$22.61 billion) for research and development in 2023, mainly investing in AI, robotics, semiconductors, 5G and 6G communication technologies. Panel makers are facing losses and investing in the solar panel business to make up for the losses. Toyota is expanding its production and setting up new factories in Japan and the US, and Honda and LGES are setting up battery factories in the US, which shows that the two major Japanese automakers are actively to control the main supply of batteries.
The observation of Asia Enterprise for this issue includes: The three largest companies in South Korea increases capital investment in panel business, while battery and semiconductor investments vary, with Samsung Biotech and LG Innotek doubling their investments. Non-contact, touch technology demand is heating up, and Japan Aviation Electronics Industry (JAE) is expanding its production of electrostatic thin film sensors for automobiles. Geely Holding Group's global expansion plan of new energy vehicles is showing results, from product export to technology export.
The key observations of Asia Enterprise for this issue include the following: Japan-based company expands its photomask capacity for semiconductor advanced process, indicating that foundries will increase the proportion of advanced process photomask outsourcing. Top three South Korea-based electronics companies' procurement expenses of their major business divisions showed significant fluctuations, mainly by inflation, supply chain disruption, and market demand. CATL recently announced a new battery plant in Hungary, the company's second one in Europe. With policy support, Hungary in Central Europe has become the base of European power battery production.
Key observation factors for the Asia Enterprise special report of the week of August 6-12 mainly focus on Samsung Electronics, which has implemented a strict cost management strategy, is seeing Chinese component suppliers' presence expanding from its entry-level to mid-range smartphones to high-end ones; Tencent Robotics X lab has unveiled the second-generation Max 4-leg robot, but the commercialization of the robot is still a key challenge for the Chinese developer; and Japan's machine tool industry has enjoyed on-year increase for 21 months straight in domestic and export sales with the total amount for the first seven months in 2022 rise 42.8% compared to the same period in 2021.
Key observation factors for the Asia Enterprise special report of the week of July 30- August 5 mainly focus on Showa Denko Materials' expansions of semiconductor CMP slurry capacity at its plants in Japan and Taiwan; Samsung Display and LG Display announcing separately plans to halt their TV-use large-size LCD panel business in South Korea; and BYD pushing into the passenger EV markets of Netherland, Germany, Sweden, Israel, Japan, Singapore, and Australia.
Key observation factors for the Asia Enterprise special report of the week of July 23-29 mainly focus on the passing of the CHIPS and Science Act; Kioxia's investment in the volume production of the 162-layer 3D NAND flash and the fact that the company remains seriously behind Micron and Samsung Electronics despite the Japanese government's JPY92.9 billion (US$710 million) subsidies; and Baidu's announcement to begin volume producing Apollo RT6 unmanned vehicle, which costs only CNY250,000 (US$37,500) and will accelerate the commercialization of Robotaxi.
Key observation factors for the Asia Enterprise special report of the week of July 16-22 include the utilization of gallium oxide (Ga2O3) epitaxy capacity of Japanese startup Novel Crystal, which is estimated to begin in 2025. Meanwhile, SK Hynix halting the construction of its new plant and Samsung Electronics reducing the production of CIS show the Korean semiconductor companies are turning conservative about the second half of 2022.
Taiwan-based manufacturers are stepping up efforts toward the electric vehicle (EV) sector and downstream EV manufacturing, midstream power systems and upstream battery materials are all areas with promising potential.