Thursday, December 13, 2012

China's IC industry market grows against general trend in H1 2012

CHINA: During the first half of 2012, the sales revenue of the global semiconductor industry amounted to $142.85 billion, down 5.1 percent on a year-on-year basis, and the market expectation for the third and fourth quarters is generally low.

According to WSTS's estimate in early June, the sales revenue of the global semiconductor market would break $300 billion in 2012, maintaining the growth rate of 2011 at around 0.4 percent. Nevertheless, judging from the current market performance, the global market maintains a negative growth trend, with the growth rate falling month by month. This shows that it is very likely for the global semiconductor market to see a negative growth in 2012, the second time since 2009.

In the first half of 2012, the industry’s growth rate fell sharply in the first quarter, and began to rise significantly in the second quarter. The sales revenue of China's IC industry was RMB 85.285 billion during the first half of 2012, up 7.5 percent on a year-on-year basis.

Against the background of stagnant global macro-economic situations and continuously depressed semiconductor market, China's IC industry still managed to grow. This was attributable to the strong domestic demand and its continuously improving technical strength.

Driven by the rapid growth in the sales revenue of major players including Hisilicon and Spreadtrum Communication, the IC design sector in the first half of 2012 maintained a rapid growth, with its sales revenue increased 20.8 percent year-on-year to reach RMB 22.471 billion. Since the financial crisis in 2008, the IC design sector has kept growing at an average annual growth rate of more than 25 percent, and a relatively higher growth is still expected in 2012.

Driven by the stock building of the downstream enterprises and the increased production of major players including Intel and Hynix, the microchip manufacturing sector and the packaging and testing sector rebounded notably in the second quarter. The microchip manufacturing sector harvested a sales revenue of RMB 25.817 billion, up 6.2 percent year-on-year, while the packaging and testing sector recorded a sales revenue of RMB 36.997 billion, up 1.6 percent year-on-year.

China's IC market continues to grow, but with a lower growth rate
Despite a significant growth rate of 31.1 percent in 2010, the global IC market in 2011 fell by 0.8% in lack of strong demand for complete electronic products. In contract, China's IC market was less affected by the overall economic fluctuations and recorded a modest year-on-year growth rate of 9.7 percent in 2011.

In the first half of 2012, as the global economic recovery was weak, the demand for electronics remained small, and the enterprises cut down inventory one after another, China's IC market achieved a sales revenue of RMB 474.86 billion, up only 4.3 percent compared with the same period last year.

Although China's IC market maintained a positive growth momentum against a stagnant global semiconductor industry, considering economic uncertainties and the slowdown in the demand for electronics, it is estimated that the market growth rate in 2012 will be lower than that in 2011.

In the first half of 2012, intelligent mobile terminal devices represented by smart phones continued to enter the Chinese market rapidly. Benefitting from the growth of their smart phone business, companies like Qualcomm, Samsung and Spreadtrum still achieved considerable market growth in the first half though the global semiconductor market atrophied, but their profit margins all fell to some extent due to the drops in the prices of chips.

In addition, in the first half year, optical communications devise and mobile communications base station equipment developed fast, which also quickened the growth of demand for network communications IC and supported China's overall IC market growth in the first half. Besides, the rebound in the DRAM prices and the increase of shipments also supported the growth of IC market in China's computer industry to a great extent.

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