Chips change smartphone numbers | Financial Times

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China’s Xiaomi lost its position as the world’s second largest smartphone maker in the third quarter as Apple benefited from shipping the iPhone 13 in September.

But the shortage of semiconductors also played a role. “We’ve been under a lot of pressure” on chip supply, Xiaomi President Wang Xiang told reporters after the company’s earnings report on Wednesday showed slower growth. “This will continue in the fourth quarter, but will subside from 2022.”

The competitors appear to be better positioned in terms of future supply. Apple is entering into a closer partnership with Taiwanese foundry TSMC, according to the Nikkei story reported this week in the # techAsia newsletter.

The iPhone maker is reportedly reducing its reliance on Qualcomm by getting TSMC to manufacture its 5G modems from 2023 while developing its own power management and frequency chips.

Samsung, the number one smartphone manufacturer, overtook Intel to become the world’s largest chip supplier in the second quarter and announced on Wednesday that it would build its most advanced semiconductor factory to date in the city of Taylor, Texas. The $ 17 billion factory is set to help increase production of advanced logic chips used in smartphones, high-performance computers, and artificial intelligence.

Samsung would take advantage of subsidies and avoid future trade barriers as the US competes with China and Europe to reduce reliance on chip supplies from overseas. Intel and TSMC are also building new chip factories, both in Arizona.

Europe is lagging behind, desperately holding on to what it already has. Today’s Europe Express newsletter states that a recent report on the first year of FDI regulatory scrutiny found the EU helped block China’s Shenzhen Investment Holdings from buying Italian semiconductor company LPE.

The current shortage of semiconductors is leading to production lines for counterfeit chips, reports Nikkei Asia. Many are made by reclaiming semiconductors from discarded computers and other electronics. The logos and product numbers are then doctored over to make them look like new. When used in electronics products, you may find that your Christmas gift gadget is acting strange or breaks completely.

The Internet of (five) things

1. Apple sues Israeli spyware group NSO
Apple is suing NSO, the Israeli surveillance software maker, alleging that NSO targeted and spied on iPhone users. Apple is seeking damages and an order preventing NSO from using Apple software, devices, or services.

2. Orange Chief receives suspended sentence for fraud
Orange boss Stéphane Richard was sentenced by a French appeals court to one year suspended prison sentence in a fraud case involving the late businessman Bernard Tapie. We also have a report on the latest evidence in the fraud trial against Elizabeth Holmes, founder of blood testing startup Theranos.

3. China tightens Tencent restrictions
Chinese regulators say all new apps and app updates from Tencent must be approved by the government after a number of its offerings were accused of harming consumer interests. The requirement was enacted shortly after China introduced new data protection laws that restrict how its technology companies can store and process users’ personal data.

4. Beijing is blocking access to ship location data
China has blocked public access to ship location data, citing national security concerns, another sign of its determination to control sources of sensitive information. See the difference for yourself here.

5. BNPL “needs more regulation”; Fintech finance flowers
The “buy now, pay later” lending industry would benefit from more regulation to standardize an increasingly crowded market, said Max Levchin, CEO of US consumer lender Affirm of the FT. British fintech Freetrade will have a valuation of 650 million in a new round of crowdfunding. Meanwhile, investors have pumped record sums into Southeast Asian fintechs this year, with 80 deals valued at 3 billion US dollars.

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