Huawei HiSilicon is the first company in mainland China to be among the top ten in global semiconductor sales: a year-on-year increase of 54% in the first quarter

According to the “South China Morning Post”, the latest report from IC Insights shows that HiSilicon, a subsidiary of Huawei, has become the first Chinese mainland semiconductor supplier to enter the top ten global sales.

According to the report, in the first quarter of this year, HiSilicon’s sales increased by 54% year-on-year to about 2.67 billion US dollars, making it among the top ten in the world for the first time. But the report also noted that 90 percent of HiSilicon’s sales are owned by its parent company, Huawei.

As a fabless company, HiSilicon outsources its chip manufacturing to pure-play foundries such as TSMC. TSMC’s first-quarter sales jumped 45 percent to $10.3 billion, helped in part by its business with HiSilicon.

The surge in HiSilicon sales comes as its parent company, Chinese tech giant Huawei, is busy replacing U.S. products such as Qualcomm with self-designed components because of trade sanctions imposed by the U.S. government.

According to an earlier report by Chinese research firm CINNO, the Chinese chip company also recently surpassed Qualcomm, which ranks seventh on IC Insights’ semiconductor sales list, to become China’s largest smartphone maker for the first time. Mobile phone processor supplier.

“HiSilicon’s ranking jumped five places to tenth, making it the first Chinese mainland semiconductor supplier to enter the world’s top ten.” IC Insights stated in its report.

However, HiSilicon’s leap this year may also be partly due to Huawei’s stockpiling of chips it designs, in case the U.S. government imposes new measures to prevent TSMC from supplying it with chip manufacturing services. According to a Reuters report on March 26, the United States intends to adjust the “foreign direct product” rules, so that foreign companies using US chip manufacturing equipment must obtain US licenses before supplying certain chips to Huawei production.

TSMC maintained its No. 3 spot on IC Insights’ top 10 semiconductor sales list, with 14 percent of its sales coming from HiSilicon last year, compared to just 5 percent in 2017.

IC Insights noted that TSMC’s growth was largely driven by a surge in 7nm application processors sold to Apple and Huawei, which are used in iPhones and Huawei-branded smartphones, respectively. Last year, HiSilicon and Apple together accounted for 37% of TSMC’s total sales.

According to previous media reports, Huawei has transferred some low-end chip orders from TSMC to Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), which currently does not have the capacity to mass-produce 7nm chips.

Another newcomer to the IC Insights top 10 list is Nvidia, which ranked ninth with a 37% year-over-year sales increase in the first quarter of this year.

U.S. chip giant Intel led the industry with quarterly sales of $19.5 billion, while South Korea’s Samsung Electronics came in second with $13.9 billion. Overall, the top 10 semiconductor companies saw a 16% year-over-year increase in sales, compared with a 7% year-over-year increase for the industry as a whole.

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