Fake chips bedevil Asian supply chains

Hello, here in Singapore Mercedes. What’s worse than the global shortage of semiconductors? Probably an excess of fake chips. In this week’s big story, we’ll take a closer look at how counterfeit and substandard chips are penetrating the supply chain, as technology-hungry companies usually take the risk that they may not need to meet demand. I will explain. See how Sea and Tencent show the diverse fate of Asia’s tech boom, and meet the woman behind Viu, who recently overtook Netflix in Southeast Asia. see you next week!

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Big Story — Exclusive

Fake chips are plagued the Asian electronics industry. According to this, Japanese company Oki Engineering even provides chip verification services to help manufacturers remove counterfeit semiconductors before putting them in their devices. Exclusive In Nikkei Asia.

There are many horror stories. A Japanese manufacturer turned to e-commerce giant Alibaba, unable to procure semiconductors from regular channels due to a global chip shortage. But when the chips arrived, they didn’t turn on.

Main development: The Oki engineering scene suggests the scope of the problem. A stable stream of suspicious components flowed into the company’s Tokyo office, where nearly 20 engineers conducted a series of tests using lasers, microscopes, X-rays and other equipment.

Inspection includes melting the chip package or outer casing to inspect the manufacturer’s logo, and examining silicon chip trace patterns and other physical properties.

Oki started the inspection service in June, and as of August, we have received about 150 inquiries, most of which are from manufacturers of industrial machinery and medical equipment. After investigating about 70 cases, inspectors found problematic chips in 30% of them.

Conclusion: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., one of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, predicts that chip shortages will continue until around 2023. As that scenario is becoming more and more likely, chip-intensive electronics manufacturers must be vigilant.

Top 10 Mercedes

  1. NS Insider Underground Network of China We help candidates compete for the tech jobs they are looking for, even if the sector has been assaulted by regulatory agencies. (Nikkei Asia)

  2. We Regulators are concerned about Zoom $ 14.7 billion Five9 trading.Zoom dependency Chinese Developers have been in trouble for some time. (FT)

  3. Tencent More than double Despite restraint, this year’s investment in India compared to 2020 Chinese Inflow. (DealStreetAsia)

  4. Chinese CATL, a battery manufacturer for electric vehicles, is under construction Yet another Factory in China. Is it possible that capacity will be exceeded in the next few years? (Nikkei Asia)

  5. Southeast Asia “SuperApp” grab Japanese From Softbank Use a robot With one of them Singapore Cloud kitchen. (Nikkei Asia)

  6. Excellent analysis here Due to the pain in the Toshiba conference room Japanese It is the oldest conglomerate and is under pressure to radically reshape its future. (FT)

  7. Singapore teeth Strengthening the campaign Attract innovative technology companies to the stock market. Will SGX finally pull it off? (FT)

  8. NS Thai FinTech startups Real estate sales, Another sign of growing Asian interest in asset digitization. (Nikkei Asia)

  9. One of the main objectives of the quad countries— We, Japan, India When Australia — When they meet next week Safe supply chain For semiconductors. (Nikkei Asia)

  10. NS iPhone 13 It may not be a big leap for Apple. Tim Bradshaw writes that “boring” reliability is fine for these frequently used products. (FT)

“If the battery lasts all day long, it’s okay to get bored,” writes FT’s Tim Bradshaw © Pate.

Our view

The two companies summarize the different destinies of the Asian technology boom. One is Singapore-based gaming and e-commerce company Sea, whose inventories have increased by about 70% this year. The other is Tencent, China’s largest shareholder in the ocean, where Hong Kong’s listed stocks fell 20% over the same period.

Tencent’s performance illustrates the uncertainties prevailing in China’s Internet sector. China’s technology was the beloved of large global investors who wanted to be exposed to Asia, but Beijing’s crackdown on tech companies surprised those same investors.

But the thirst for investment in Asian technology remains — and the ocean is the way to get rid of it. The Nasdaq-listed company, where the Shopee app is Southeast Asia’s most popular shopping platform, has raised more than $ 6 billion this month to fund its international expansion. This was the largest secondary offer in the United States in 2021. The fact that this was done by a Southeast Asian company would have been unthinkable just a year ago.

However, it is a mistake to think that China’s own uncertainty has created a growing interest in Southeast Asia and India. Technology booms in these regions have been around for a long time. Recent IPOs by unicorns, including Zomato in India and Bukalapak in Indonesia, are two examples. Our view is that China’s predicament simply made the appeal of such a country more apparent.

— Mercedes

Smart data

A vertical bar graph of foreign direct investment ($ 1 billion) showing that foreign direct investment between the United States and China has plummeted.

Investment by Chinese companies Especially in the high-tech sector, expansion into the United States has fallen off the cliff. Behind the shift is the political tension between the world’s two largest economies, coupled with a clear US policy of “separation.”

Between 2016 and 2020, overall direct investment between the two countries decreased by approximately 75% from $ 62 billion to $ 16 billion. The tech sector alone plummeted 96% during this period. China’s total FDI in the United States fell from $ 48.5 billion in 2016 to just $ 7.2 billion in 2020. US investment in China fell 35% to $ 8.69 billion over the same period.


Janice Lee “Super Focus” training Southeast Asia. Viu, the CEO of video streaming service Viu, which recently overtook Netflix to take second place in the Southeast Asian market, recognizes the driving force of local content.

“Man [in Asia] You have to consume content every day, “says Lee. “Away [US-made] As a blockbuster, they want to see familiar faces and stories echo, “she said.

“We have … Korean, Japanese and Chinese content from both [the] Mainland and Hong Kong, “said Lee. The company is also investing in original local content in markets such as Indonesia and Thailand.

Viu is owned by PCCW, a Hong Kong telecommunications company led by Richard Li, the son of big-name Li Ka-shing. According to Media Partners Asia, total Southeast Asian subscribers reached 29.6 million at the end of June after adding more than 10 million new subscribers in the first half of 2021.

But Disney is still leading the region.

Trading art

The global shortage of chips Matchmaker.. SoftBank’s Vision Fund is working with Chinese tech giant Tencent to invest $ 450 million in Indian online used car dealer Cars24.

The shortage of semiconductors has forced manufacturers to cut back on new car production in India, increasing demand for used cars.

Yuri Milner’s DST Global and Falcon Edge in the US have also invested in a round valuing a 6-year-old company for nearly $ 2 billion, doubling that valuation in less than a year.

Cars24 is India’s largest used car website. India’s largest automaker, Maruti Suzuki, reported a 20% drop in car sales in August after cutting production due to a shortage of parts, while other companies saw a significant delay in new cars. Is reporting.

“The same thing is happening with used cars around the world,” Cars24 CEO and co-founder Vikram Chopra told the Financial Times. “Consumers are much more prepared to buy and sell cars online.”

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