Ranking of the top 15 semiconductor companies in Q1 2021: Huawei HiSilicon disappears, MediaTek eats dividends

Under the U.S. sanctions, Huawei’s mobile phone business and semiconductor business have both prospered and lost both.

The day has come, and Huawei is facing the same situation as the mobile phone market in the global chip market.

In the global mobile phone market, according to the latest statistics, Huawei, which once ranked second, has fallen out of the top 5 and is classified as “others”. Similarly, in the chip market, Huawei HiSilicon also dropped from 10th to 15th, and “disappeared” in the list.

Ranking of the top 15 semiconductor companies in Q1 2021: Huawei HiSilicon disappears, MediaTek eats dividends

Figure | IC Insights: Top 15 global semiconductor market sales in Q1 2021

On the Top 15 list, Huawei HiSilicon has only stayed for 2 years

HiSilicon first entered the “Global Top 15 Semiconductor Companies” list in the first quarter of 2019.

At that time, thanks to the success of the Kirin 970 processor and the increase in self-developed chips in its products, HiSilicon’s revenue rose from $1.25 billion in the same period in 2018 to $1.755 billion. A year-on-year increase of 41%. This result has raised HiSilicon’s ranking by 14 places, from 25th in the same period in 2018 to 11th.

But it was also the same year that the U.S. government began to sanction Huawei, adding it to the “entity list”. Since then, the U.S. government has extended Huawei’s license five times, allowing Huawei to purchase some U.S.-made products, and U.S. companies can continue to purchase Huawei’s products to minimize disruption to customers.

It was also during this period that HiSilicon’s business further improved, and its sales finally increased by 49% year-on-year in the first half of 2020, and it rose one place to enter the top 10 of global semiconductor manufacturers, becoming the first company to rank in the top of the world. Top 10 Chinese semiconductor suppliers.

Ranking of the top 15 semiconductor companies in Q1 2021: Huawei HiSilicon disappears, MediaTek eats dividends

However, the good times did not last long. Just in May 2020, after the expiration of the fifth license, the US government did not announce the sixth license, and further increased sanctions, prohibiting any company from obtaining a government license without obtaining a government license. to provide Huawei with semiconductor products containing U.S. technology.

The issuance of this ban means that TSMC and others will no longer be able to manufacture new orders for HiSilicon chips after May 15, and the production of existing chips will also end on September 15.

This means that under the premise of limited inventory, HiSilicon chips can be said to use one less chip. In this regard, Yu Chengdong also admitted that the Kirin 9000 may be the last generation of Huawei’s high-end Kirin chips, because no manufacturer can produce high-end chips for Huawei anymore.

If there are no manufacturers producing chips, there will be no chips to sell, and sales will drop. As predicted by IC Insights last year, under this sanction, HiSilicon, which ranked 10th, finally fell out of Top 15.

Ranking of the top 15 semiconductor companies in Q1 2021: Huawei HiSilicon disappears, MediaTek eats dividends

Figure | IC Insights: Top 15 global semiconductor market sales in 2020 (forecast)

In the end, from “being on the list” to “checking out this person”, HiSilicon stayed for a short period of 2 years.

Huawei HiSilicon “disappears”, Qualcomm and MediaTek “eat dividends”

With no chips available, Huawei’s smartphone business has been severely hurt, and its share in both the global and domestic markets has plummeted. As for the market share vacated by Huawei’s mobile phone defeat, it was won by Apple, Xiaomi and OV.

Just like what happened to the mobile phone market, when the HiSilicon chip was losing ground due to U.S. government sanctions, who took the vacated share? The answer is two, Qualcomm and MediaTek.

In the 2021 Q1 market data from IC Insights statistics, including HiSilicon, a total of two companies fell out of the top 15, the other was Sony, and it was MediaTek and AMD that replaced them.

From the statistics, MediaTek’s revenue in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 90% year-on-year, jumping from the 16th place in the same period last year to the 10th place. As for the other “protagonist” Qualcomm, its revenue also increased by more than 50% year-on-year to 55%, and its ranking also rose from the seventh place in the same period last year to the sixth place.

Regarding the fact that Qualcomm and MediaTek “picked up” HiSilicon, the changes in the smartphone market are enough to illustrate.

According to IDC statistics, in the first quarter of 2020, the top five manufacturers of global smartphone shipments were Samsung, Huawei, Apple, Xiaomi and vivo, of which only Xiaomi and vivo showed positive growth.

Ranking of the top 15 semiconductor companies in Q1 2021: Huawei HiSilicon disappears, MediaTek eats dividends

Figure | IDC: Q1 global smartphone market shipments in 2020

Looking at the data for the first quarter of this year, the top five manufacturers have become Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo, and all five are positive growth. Among them, Xiaomi and OPPO have increased by more than 64% year-on-year, although vivo is slightly inferior. , but also increased by 40.7% year-on-year. As for Huawei, it fell out of the top 5.

Ranking of the top 15 semiconductor companies in Q1 2021: Huawei HiSilicon disappears, MediaTek eats dividends

Figure | IDC: Q1 global smartphone market shipments in 2021

With the sale of one less Huawei mobile phone, the vacated market share is naturally won by other friends. Among the current five major mobile phone brands, in addition to Apple’s self-developed A-series chips and Samsung’s self-developed Exynos series chips for some products, the rest of the processor market is basically under the control of Qualcomm and MediaTek.

No, just two days ago, both realme and Redmi released new phones. Among them, according to the latest data released by market research company Counterpoint Research, in the domestic market in the first quarter of 2021, realme has become the number one mobile phone brand in terms of sales growth with a month-on-month growth of 82% and a year-on-year growth rate of 451%. It is worth noting that the choice of processors for this brand series of mobile phones is either the Qualcomm Snapdragon series or the MediaTek Dimensity series, and the resulting market can be imagined.

In addition, the Honor mobile phone sold by Huawei was officially announced this month. CEO Zhao Ming said that the company will establish a close cooperative relationship with Qualcomm, and the chip supply of the product will be fully restored from June. Obviously, Qualcomm has ushered in a new customer. From another perspective, this may also be seen as Qualcomm “snatching” a customer from HiSilicon.

At last

At this time last year, Huawei HiSilicon was the only Chinese semiconductor supplier ranked in the top 15 in the world if the pure fab TSMC was not considered; now, MediaTek has successfully made the list, replacing HiSilicon as the only Chinese semiconductor supplier. business.

However, it is worth noting that, including TSMC, the two Chinese semiconductor companies currently in the top 15 are Taiwanese companies, and mainland semiconductor companies are slightly weaker in size and have a low market share.

According to IC Insights, Chinese semiconductor companies will only account for 5% of the global IC market share in 2020. Therefore, even though the semiconductor industry has benefited from the rapid development of consumer electronics, 5G, autonomous driving and other industries as a whole last year, the dividends allocated to mainland semiconductor companies can be described as negligible. It is imminent for domestic chip self-research.

As we all know, there are many links in the design of the semiconductor industry chain. Specifically, the domestic achievements in IC design are relatively ahead, and many achievements have been obtained. For example, domestic general-purpose CPUs have changed from “basically unavailable” 10 years ago. to today’s “fully available” ones and so on. However, growing up comes with challenges and risks.

To this end, in order to further discuss the cutting-edge technologies, new achievements and future trends of the “IC design” link, at the World Semiconductor Conference to open in Nanjing next month, sponsored by the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Industry and Information Technology, Magnesium.com and Runzhan International The “IC Design and Developers Conference” will also be held as one of the parallel forums on June 10 at the Nanjing International Expo Conference Center.

At that time, guests from well-known domestic chip companies, EDA software companies and investment institutions will discuss the future of domestic chip design together at this conference.

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