High-tech industries worldwide are facing labor shortages and shipping restrictions from an outbreak of COVID-19 in China, with hardware manufacturers bearing the brunt of the effects, TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report yesterday, as it cut its shipments forecast for this quarter.
Lacking key components such as batteries and printed circuit boards due to an overall delay in Chinese production, downstream original design manufacturers (ODM) for consumer electronics would see a decrease in production, the Taipei-based market researcher said.
As a result, TrendForce cut its shipments outlook for laptops, LCD TVs and monitors by 12.3 percent, 4.5 percent and 5.2 percent respectively to 30.7 million, 46.6 million and 27.5 million units this quarter, compared with a previous forecast of 35 million, 48.8 million and 29 million units, the researcher said.
Contract laptop maker Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) yesterday posted a 25.9 percent drop year-on-year in revenue to NT$62.96 billion (US$2.1 billion) for last month, with laptop shipments of 2 million units, as the Lunar New Year holiday reduced working days.
Contract electronics manufacturer Wistron Corp (緯創) said it shipped 1 million laptops last month, while revenue fell 20.13 percent annually to NT$40.49 billion.
Shipments of other consumer electronics, especially smart devices, also face challenges as ODMs grapple with shortages in labor, passive components and camera lenses, TrendForce said, adding that there would be an estimated 12 percent year-on-year decline in overall production this quarter to 275 million units, a five-year low.
Total smartphone shipments this year are set to fall by 1.3 percent on an annual basis to 1.38 billion units, it said, adding that it might further trim the figure due to uncertainties over the outbreak.
The researcher also predicted declines in shipments of game consoles and smart speakers for this quarter to 6.2 million and 23.2 million units respectively, falling by more than 10 percent each from last month’s forecast of 6.9 million and 26.4 million units.
Lockdowns and traffic constraints in China have left upstream suppliers, such as semiconductor companies and display panel makers, with an increasingly severe shortage of factor workers as they struggle to resume production, the report said.
Chinese foundry firms are likely to see lower factory utilization this quarter as a result, affecting China’s IC packaging and testing companies further down the stream, TrendForce said.
Meanwhile, the memory industry has mostly been spared from the outbreak, as its Chinese production remains unhindered due to its high level of automation, the researcher said, adding that DRAM prices would nevertheless increase this quarter, owing to insufficient inventory among end clients.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the