2024 Calendar Week 3

Posted on January 15, 2024

1.Huawei is gradually laying off PR staff in North America

Despite previously regarding the United States as a pivotal market, Huawei has undertaken a series of layoffs within its North American PR and government relations departments in recent months, with several employees being terminated shortly after the start of the new year. Huawei’s expansion efforts in the U.S. have encountered significant hurdles due to the U.S. government’s stringent crackdowns and regulatory restrictions. To bolster its position in the U.S. market, Huawei had previously assembled a robust public relations team aimed at improving the company’s image and reputation through various strategies.

However, Huawei’s endeavors in the U.S. market have not witnessed any improvement over time. In fact, tensions between China and the United States, coupled with the escalating trade war, have only heightened the pressure and constraints on Huawei’s business operations within the United States. Consequently, Huawei’s public relations battle in the U.S. market has become increasingly challenging. Within this context, Huawei’s recent decision to gradually dismantle its PR team in the United States has triggered widespread concern and speculation. Some interpret it as part of Huawei’s strategic adjustments in response to the challenges of the U.S. market, while others view it as a potential indication of Huawei’s struggles in the PR arena. Regardless of the underlying reasons, this decision signifies a shift in Huawei’s PR strategy within the U.S. market.

It is crucial to emphasize that Huawei’s decision to disband its U.S. PR team should not be equated with giving up on the U.S. market. Instead, it may represent an opportunity for Huawei to recalibrate its market strategy and navigate the existing challenges. As a global technology corporation, Huawei’s significance and competitiveness in the U.S. market cannot be underestimated. Therefore, in the future, Huawei might explore alternative methods to enhance its image and expand its business in the United States.

Nonetheless, it is essential to acknowledge that even with the dissolution of its U.S. PR team, Huawei continues to face numerous uncertainties and obstacles within the context of U.S.-China relations. This is particularly true in high-tech sectors such as 5G and artificial intelligence, where competition between China and the United States is intensifying. Consequently, Huawei must persistently bolster its technological research and development capabilities, as well as its capacity for innovation, to effectively navigate future competition and challenges in these critical domains.

2.NVIDIA has announced a partnership with Chinese game company for AI digital human

On January 8th, NVIDIA, a leader in the semiconductor industry, unveiled a series of advanced gaming chips ahead of the CES conference’s formal inauguration. The company also disclosed strategic alliances with key players in China’s gaming and electric vehicle sectors. Moreover, NVIDIA anticipates the distribution of three bespoke AI chips, specifically tailored for the Chinese market, to commence in the second quarter of this year.

Concurrently, NVIDIA’s stock value experienced a substantial surge of over 6.4%, elevating its market capitalization to approximately $1.3 trillion. This positive trend was mirrored in the broader U.S. semiconductor market, with significant gains observed in AMD (over 5%) and Intel (over 3%) on the same day. Over the past twelve months, NVIDIA’s stock has soared by more than 230%, buoyed by the global AI industry’s robust growth.

As a frontrunner in AI technology, NVIDIA is capitalizing on its proficiency in consumer GPU production to foster the evolution of ‘local’ AI. This concept encompasses the capability to execute AI applications directly on personal devices, such as PCs and laptops, without the necessity of cloud-based solutions.Further strengthening its position, NVIDIA has formalized collaborations with prominent Chinese gaming corporations like Mihoyo, Tencent, and NetEase for their AI digital human venture.

At the CES event, NVIDIA introduced the ACE (Avatar Cloud Engine) microservices. This innovative technological framework employs generative AI to craft virtual digital personas, offering game developers, tool creators, and middleware engineers the ability to integrate generative AI models into virtual digital characters for an array of games and software applications.

3.Apple supplier BOE signs US$9 billion deal to build next-generation display plant in southwestern China

BOE Technology Group, a prominent Apple supplier and one of the world’s leading display manufacturers, has announced its plan to establish a cutting-edge Gen-8.6 AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) production complex in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwestern China. This strategic initiative, representing an investment of 63 billion yuan (approximately US$9 billion), marks the largest single industrial project in Chengdu and is poised to significantly enhance mainland China’s position as a global leader in display manufacturing capacity.

Initially unveiled in December of the previous year, BOE’s facility aims to address the increasing global demand for premium displays utilized in laptops and tablets. The announcement of this project has positively influenced BOE’s market performance, with shares in the Shenzhen stock market experiencing a 1.07% rise to 3.76 yuan as of last Thursday.

The project underscores the efforts of Chinese local governments to foster greater collaboration with major technology companies in the private sector. This aligns with China’s broader objectives to rejuvenate business confidence and stimulate economic growth. The construction of the new plant is estimated to span 34 months, with expectations for mass production to commence in the fourth quarter of 2026. The facility is designed to produce 32,000 glass substrates monthly, each measuring 2,290 millimeters by 2,620 millimeters.

According to a report by Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), China is projected to command a dominant 72% share of the global display manufacturing market between 2026 and 2027. In contrast, South Korea and Taiwan are anticipated to hold market shares of 8% and 17%, respectively, in 2027.

The global OLED market is forecasted to generate US$64 billion in revenue by 2026, propelled by the demand for panels in laptops, computer monitors, and tablets. OLED displays for mobile devices and other information technology products are expected to witness a substantial growth, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.3% from 2022 to 2027, as per the DSCC report.

4.Taiwan Election Result: Democratic Progressive Party Secures Another Four-Year Term in Office

The results of the 2024 Taiwanese Presidential Election have been officially announced, marking a significant milestone in the island’s political landscape. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidates, Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim, have been successfully elected as the new President and Vice President, respectively, securing a total of 5.58 million votes, which accounts for 40.05% of the total votes cast. This victory breaks the longstanding pattern of political turnover experienced by ruling parties in Taiwan after eight years of governance.

However, as Taiwan transitions into the “post-Tsai Ing-wen era,” President-elect Lai Ching-te faces increasing challenges. This is primarily due to the DPP’s declining total vote count and vote share compared to the previous three elections.

Despite Lai and Hsiao outperforming their rivals in the majority of counties and cities across Taiwan, the DPP has lost its status as the largest party in the Legislative Yuan. Consequently, the party may have to relinquish the prestigious positions of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Yuan. The DPP’s main opposition, the Kuomintang (KMT) candidates Hou You-yi and Chao Shao-kang, secured second place with 4.67 million votes, representing 33.49% of the total votes. Meanwhile, the People’s Party candidates Ko Wen-je and Wu Hsin-ying trailed with 3.69 million votes, amounting to 26.46% of the vote share.

The future dynamics of Taiwan’s political landscape, particularly the interplay and potential conflicts between the executive and legislative branches, as well as the ruling party’s negotiations with opposition parties, will pose significant challenges for Lai Ching-te’s administration, commencing in May.

5.China’s CPI decreased by 0.3% y-o-y and increased 0.1% compared to November

In December 2023, the national consumer price index (CPI)for residents across China experienced a y-o-y decline of 0.3%. Specifically, urban areas saw a decrease of 0.3%, while rural areas experienced a larger decline of 0.5%; food prices fell by 3.7%, non-food prices rose by 0.5%, consumer goods prices fell by 1.1%, and service prices increased by 1.0%. On average, from January to December, the national consumer price index increased by 0.2% compared to the same period last year.

CPI change per month in 2022.12-2023.12, blue line is Year-on-Year, yellow line is month-to-month

On a month-to-month basis, CPI in December increased by 0.1%. A breakdown by area reveals that urban areas saw a increase of 0.1%, while rural areas experienced a increase of 0.1% as well; food prices grew by 0.9%, non-food prices fell by 0.1%, consumer goods prices grew by 0.1%, and service prices increased by 0.1%.

Consumption Categories in Dec: Food, Apparel, House, Lifestyle, Transportation/Tel, Education, Healthcare, Others

The CPI declined in December as a result of factors like changes in food and drink prices. The prices of food, tobacco, and alcohol have experienced a year-on-year decrease of 2.0%, contributing to a reduction of approximately 0.57 percentage points in the CPI. In contrast, the prices for other goods and services, education, cultural and entertainment activities, and clothing have risen by 2.9%, 1.8%, and 1.4%, respectively. Additionally, the costs for medical care and housing have increased by 1.4% and 0.3%, respectively. The prices for daily necessities and services have remained stable, while transportation and communication expenses have seen a decline of 2.2%.

Data Source: https://www.stats.gov.cn/sj/zxfb/202401/t20240112_1946465.html


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