Chinese smart phone makers ramp up investment in chip industry
Published: Aug 30, 2021 06:34 PM
Xiaomi Photo:VCG

Xiaomi Photo:VCG

Chinese cell phone maker Xiaomi has invested in a chip seal company, as domestic cell phone makers ramp up efforts to manufacture their own chips, a move to seek a differentiated competition pattern amid intensified compaction of smart phone market, experts said.

Yangtze River Xiaomi Industry Fund has become a shareholder of Jiangsu Xinde Semiconductor Technology Co, information online platform Qichacha showed on Friday.

Jiangsu Xinde Semiconductor Technology Co, founded in 2020, has been engaged in the seal product design of semiconductor industry and its business scope covers the design, manufacturing and sales of integrated circuit chip and products.

Xiaomi's latest investment followed moves by smartphone makers Vivo and Oppo which had been reported to be increasing investment on domestic chip designing and development.

On Thursday, digital blogger revealed an image which was identified as a self-developed from manufacturer Vivo. It is expected that the chip will be used in the Vivo X70 line up as early as this year.

Earlier in July it was reported that Vivo has set up a team of several hundred people to develop its own chip, under the project name Yue Ying and offered up to one million yuan a year to fill in the position of chip director and chip designing specialist.

Oppo, another Chinese mobile phone giant is also advancing with homegrown chips.

Digital bloggers revealed that Oppo has set up a chip company called ZEKU, which currently covers the product line, core application processors, short range communications, 5G modems and radio frequency.

It was also announced that Oppo's first homegrown chip will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co TSMC using a 6-nanometer process and Oppo's chip team has more than 1,000 engineers recruited from well-known chip companies including HiSilicon and Mediatek.

As the competition between domestic phone makers intensifies, existing chips supply chain are struggling to keep up with the needs of domestic smart phone makers, Fu Liang, a veteran industry analyst told the Global Times on Monday.

"As the chip design technology is relatively mature, these enterprises have chosen to design their own chips, as a means of differentiating their products," Fu said.

Data from CINNO Research showed that OPPO ranked first in Chinese smartphone shipment with 5.6 million units, followed by vivo with 5.3 million units and Honor with 4 million units. Xiaomi ranked fourth ahead of Apple in fifth place.

Global Times