Huawei’s HiSilicon Overtakes Qualcomm To Become China’s Top Semiconductor Player For The First Time: Report

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  • In the first quarter of 2020, HiSilicon shipped 22.21 million smartphone processors
  • Qualcomm fell to second place in the latest quarter with a year-on-year decline in its market share from 37.8 per cent to 32.8 per cent

As per a report, HiSilicon, Huawei Technologies’ in-house semiconductor and integrated circuit design company, has surpassed US chip giant Qualcomm in terms of smartphone processor shipments in China for the first time. This happened amid all coronavirus-linked disruptions that have impacted most major players.

Acording to Chinese research firm CINNO’s latest monthly report on China’s semiconductor industry, in the first quarter of 2020, HiSilicon shipped 22.21 million smartphone processors. CINNO said in a summary of the report posted on its official WeChat account that although HiSilicon’s shipments only increased slightly from the 22.17 million units it shipped in the first quarter of last year, it was the only major company that did not see a year-on-year decline in the quarter.

As a result of this, its market share surged to 43.9 per cent, from 36.5 per cent during the same period last year. This comes at a time when the Chinese smartphone industry is badly affected by delayed product launches and dampened consumer sentiment linked to the coronavirus pandemic. As per a report by China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, the smartphone shipments in the country slumped by 34.7 per cent which is more than a third – to 47.7 million units in the first quarter of 2020.

Taiwan’s Mediatek took third place

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CINNO’s report showed that there was a similar plunge in processor shipments. It said that the overall smartphone processor shipments in the country dropping by 44.5 per cent in the first three months of 2020, compared to the same period last year. Qualcomm fell to second place in the latest quarter with a year-on-year decline in its market share from 37.8 per cent to 32.8 per cent. The third place was maintained by Taiwan’s Mediatek. It saw its market share fall year-on-year from 14 per cent to 13.1 per cent.

Over 90 per cent of Huawei phones in China now use HiSilicon processors

As per reports, Huawei is also shifting production of HiSilicon-designed chips away from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and towards Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC). This is being done as Washington is preparing new rules that will require foreign companies using US chipmaking equipment to obtain a license before supplying chips to Huawei.

As per CINNO, over 90 per cent of Huawei phones in China now use HiSilicon processors. In an interview last year founder Ren Zhengfei said that the company would continue using chips from US vendors such as Intel and Qualcomm as long as it is still allowed by US regulators.

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