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US chip-making revival off to a slow start

TOKYO – From the third quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2021, Huawei’s share of the global smartphone market dropped from 18% to 4%. American politicians who have demonized and sanctioned Huawei must be pleased.

However, in the second quarter of 2021, the world’s top five smartphone vendors were Samsung (19%), Xiaomi (17%), Apple (14%), Oppo (10%) and Vivo (10%). The three Chinese companies had a combined market share of 37%. Xiaomi overtook Apple for the first time.

America is playing leveraged Whack-a-Mole with China. Hammer one down, three pop up.

But Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo all use Qualcomm processors, which are designed in America and manufactured by TSMC in Taiwan or Samsung in South Korea. America and its allies are making more money.

In its July 28 earnings call, Qualcomm CFO Akash Palkhiwala said “ … we did see some weakness within the quarter [three months to June] relative to our expectations in China and in India. A lot of the weakness we saw was at the low tier.