Asia Pacific (APAC), Global Politics

Cross-Strait News Daily Round-up For Nov. 26

Here’s a brief roundup of the top business stories in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China for Nov. 25, 2014.

TSMC is the winner of the battle with Samsung regarding Apple’s A9 processor: source

Quoting an anonymous source, Taiwan’s Economic Daily News reported on Nov. 24 that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)(TPE: 2330) has won the competition against Samsung to secure 80% of contract manufacturing order volumes for Apple’s A9 processors.

The source said that Apple favored the stability of TSMC’s 16-nanometer FinFET fabrication technology more than Samsung’s 14-nanometer offering and chose TSMC to supply most of its A9 chips.

The source said that he is expecting 16-nanometer FinFET+ production capacity to reach 50,000 units monthly before the end of June 2015. About 17,000 will be fabricated by retrofitted 20-nanometer production lines, and 33,000 units will be made using new machinery funded by the US$5.6 billion in capital expenditure, which was recently approved by TSMC’s board of directors.

The source said that TSMC is poised to rally its partners in the company’s upcoming supplier conference and forum on Dec. 4, when TSMC Co-CEO Mark Liu (劉德音) is expected to announce the company’s resolve in overtaking the formidable Intel Co. (NASDAQ:INTC), fresh off its victory over the Korean competitor – Samsung.

Foxconn plans more plants for manufacturing iPhone 7’s touch-screen

State-run China Daily reported on Nov. 25 that Foxconn (TPE: 2354) is planning to launch a new factory in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, and will use it for manufacturing touch-screens for new iPhones.

Foxconn’s new plan was speculated that the new factory in Henan will also become the base to manufacture transparent body and sapphire screen for the new smartphones. Foxconn produced a total of 96.45 million iPhones and exported 84.46 millions of them in 2013.

Tencent to stream HBO in China

Tencent Holdings (HKG: 0700) said on Nov. 25 that the company has signed a contract with HBO to stream the network’s content in China.

Chinese Internet TV companies have spent more than US$1 billion on foreign content over the last two years in an attempt to draw more viewers but it has been met with increasingly stringent government regulations. The Chinese authorities ordered streaming services in May to take down the popular American shows “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Good Wife,” “NCIS” and “The Practice.” Tencent will not be the exclusive online provider in China for shows featuring much more gore and nudity, such as “Game of Thrones.”

Korea does not trust FTA with China: economist

Taiwan Institute of Economic Research’s Macroeconomic Forecasting Center Director Gordon Sun (孫明德) said on Nov. 25 that Korea may not be as happy as expected as the nation just recently signed its FTA with China.

During a press conference, Sun said that while Taiwan is “quite nervous” about being marginalized by the agreement between China and Korea, Korea, however, also appears to be “not as happy as we imagined” with the agreement because lower duties may not address the challenges Korea’s business is experiencing in China.

Sun said that Korean exports to China recorded zero growth in 2012 and negative growth last year, due to the rise of China’s domestic supply chain, a trend that has hurt sales of Korean producers of components or semi-finished goods, just as it has hurt Taiwanese steel and petrochemical suppliers. The rise of Chinese brand names also adversely affected sales of Korean consumer products, such as smartphones.