[News] Interim CEO and CFO of Vivo India Company, Among Other Executives, Arrested

Recently, as Indian media cited anonymous sources, that the Indian law enforcement agency arrested three executives of Vivo India Company on charges of alleged involvement in a money laundering case.

As per The Times of India, the individuals arrested by the Indian law enforcement agency in this case are Hong Xuquan, the interim CEO of vivo India, along with Harinder Dahiya, the CFO of Vivo India, and the company consultant Hemant Munjal.

The three have been taken into custody under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Reportedly, an ED spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for a comment. Furthermore, the Vivo employees is said to be appear in court on December 26.

Vivo spokesperson has responded accordingly that, “We are deeply alarmed by the current action of the authorities. The recent arrests demonstrate continued harassment and as such induce an environment of uncertainty amongst the wider industry landscape. We are resolute in using all legal avenues to address and challenge these accusations.”

According to The Times of India, in October of this year, the Indian law enforcement agency arrested four individuals, including Vivo’s chartered accountant Nitin Garg.

The report further states that from 2014 to the present, Vivo India has been allegedly probing suspicious transactions, which were remitted by the company to China from Rs 1.25 lakh crore of receipts from its Indian operations since 2014

“Various Chinese nationals have been traveling across India, including sensitive places of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, in gross violation of Indian visa conditions.” the agency added.

Previously, as per  Hindustan Times, the Indian government banned numerous Chinese apps, accusing them of being “prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state and public order.” Since June 2020, more than 200 Chinese apps, including popular ones such as TikTok, WeChat, and UC Browser, have been banned.

The government has also stated in its parliament indicating that, Chinese smartphone makers, including Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, and Vivo, have been found evading taxes to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore in India.

(Photo credit: Vivo)

Please note that this article cites information from Hindustan Times and The Times of India


[News] China Proposes New Measures to Overhaul Mobile Games

In a significant move to regulate online and mobile games, China’s National Press and Publication Administration has issued a draft regarding online game management measures, with the intention of soliciting public opinions.

It is stipulated that online games are prohibited from offering inducement rewards such as daily login bonuses, first-time recharge perks, and consecutive recharge incentives. This directive directly challenges the prevailing business and monetization models in the current landscape of online and mobile gaming.

The regulation further mentions that, game publishers are forbidden from providing or tolerating high-priced transactions of virtual items through speculative or auction formats. All online games must implement user recharge limits, which should be publicly disclosed in their service rules.

For users engaging in irrational consumption behavior, there should be pop-up warning reminders. When providing random draw services, online game publishers must reasonably set the draw frequency and probabilities, avoiding inducing users to overspend.

Additionally, alternative methods such as virtual item exchanges and direct purchases with in-game currency should be offered to users to obtain items with similar functionality and value-added services.

The regulations also emphasize that the online game publishers should announce the termination of publishing or operating the game at least 60 days in advance. Refunds or exchanges should be conducted in legal currency or other methods accepted by users, based on the proportion of user purchases.

The regulations stipulate that online game publishers must have the necessary technical equipment, related servers, and storage equipment located within the territory of China.

(Photo credit: Unsplash)

Please note that this article cites information from ctee


[News] Huawei, Honor, and Transsion Reportedly Estimate Active Smartphone Shipment Goals in 2024, Projecting an Additional 70-80 Million Units

According to a news report from IJIWEI, as the supply chain reveals, three major Chinese smartphone manufacturers, Huawei, Honor, and Transsion, are estimating an active shipment goal of 70-80 million units in 2024. This estimate accounts for approximately 5% in the global smartphone market. 

On the other hands, memory manufacturers are expected to continue pushing for price increases in 2024, as demand from smartphone customers becomes more proactive in the fourth quarter.

Reportedly, the supply chain estimates that due to U.S. restrictions, Huawei’s smartphone shipments are confined to the domestic Chinese market. It is projected that new device shipments for 2024 could see growth in the range of 20-30 million units. 

Honor, with a potential 300% increase in overseas smartphone shipments in the first three quarters of 2023, coupled with the success of the Magic V2 foldable smartphone, aims to continue the momentum with a growth projection of 20 million units in 2024.

Transsion estimates a growth of 30 million units in smartphone shipments in 2024, making it the only brand currently challenging double-digit growth.

Previously, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from Tianfeng International Securities indicated in a report that Huawei is expected to launch a new flagship series, the P70, in the first half of 2024. Benefiting from upgraded camera specifications and the adoption of the in-house designed Kirin chip, the shipment volume of the models under Huawei’s P70 series is expected to see significant growth in 2024 compared to the 4–5 million units of the models under the P60 series in 2023.

If the current robust demand for replenishing smartphone inventory continues into the first half of 2024, the shipment volume of the P70 series is expected to show strong year-on-year growth of about 230%, reaching 13-15 million units for 2024. Even if the demand for inventory replenishment slows down in the first half of 2024, the shipment volume of the P70 series is still expected to experience significant year-on-year growth of 150%, reaching 10-12 million units for 2024.

(Photo credit: Huawei)

Please note that this article cites information from IJIWEI.


[News] Is a Foldable iPhone on the Horizon? Samsung Display’s ‘Apple Team’ Strengthening Spurs Speculation

According to South Korean electronics industry media “The Elec,” insiders have revealed that, in the year-end organizational restructuring, Samsung Display has strengthened its existing team responsible for handling demand from Cupertino, where the corporate headquarters of Apple is located.

Reportedly, the focus was on enhancing its capability to respond to the potential release of foldable devices by Apple. This suggests that an Apple foldable device might make its debut in the coming year.

The report points out that both Samsung Display and its competitor LG Display are developing a 20.25-inch foldable display for Apple’s future products. Samsung Display’s organizational restructuring appears to be a strategic move to compete more effectively against other rivals, particularly LG Display, in an effort to secure orders for Apple’s foldable panels.

Apple is Samsung Display’s most significant customer for OLED panels, and Samsung Display is the exclusive supplier of foldable OLED panels for its parent company, Samsung Electronics. Samsung Display evidently aims to leverage the experience gained in producing foldable displays for Samsung devices to prepare for potential future orders for foldable iPhones and iPads from Apple.

However, according to the analysis released by TrendForce in the second half of this year, Apple’s development in the folding field still requires time. Apple’s foray into foldables has been tepid, to say the least.

Yet, Apple’s unwavering obsession with user experience could be the culprit. Furthermore, persistent challenges with foldable tech—think panel evenness and hinge design—might be holding them back.

But here’s the kicker: Achieving perfection with larger foldable panels is somewhat simpler than their smaller counterparts. Could this mean Apple might leapfrog right into medium-sized foldable products—like laptops or tablets? Only time will tell.

TrendForce’s insights reveal that by 2023, shipments of foldable smartphones could skyrocket to an impressive 18.3 million units, marking a 43% YoY surge. However, this only captures a slim 1.6% of the year’s total smartphone market.

Fast forward to 2024, and we’re looking at another leap—a 38% growth, translating to a hefty 25.2 million units and nudging the market share up to 2.2% Looking at the medium to long term, TrendForce believes the expansion of the foldable smartphone market is inevitable. By 2027, shipments could soar to a whopping 70 million units, seizing around 5% of the global smartphone market.

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(Photo credit: Apple)

Please note that this article cites information from The Elec.


[Insights] The Battery Supply for iPhone 16 Might Come from India, with Safety Remaining the Top Priority

According to a news report from Financial Times, Apple has reportedly informed its supply chain, including battery suppliers such as China’s Desay Corporation and Taiwan’s Simplo Technology, of its inclination to shift the battery supply for the iPhone 16 to India. Apple is encouraging suppliers to relocate existing production capacity to India to expand production scale in the region.

TrendForce believes that, given the critical nature of battery components in terms of user safety, any error in battery assembly is unacceptable. As Apple’s certainty about production yields in India remains unclear, this move carries certain risks.

Apple Expedites iPhone Assembly Business Transfer to India to Mitigate Geopolitical Risks

As the world’s most valuable company, Apple’s supply chain strategy has always been a key factor in its success. Amidst geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China, Apple faces significant pressure from both the investment community and U.S. policymakers to diversify its supply chain, prompting an acceleration in the transfer of iPhone assembly operations.

In recent years, Apple has been shifting part of its iPhone assembly business from China to India to mitigate production risks.

The choice of India as a manufacturing destination is influenced not only by its large and untapped population but also by proactive subsidy policies implemented by the Indian government, aiming to position India as an attractive manufacturing and export hub for multinational companies.

Additionally, the growth potential of the iPhone in the Indian market adds to the appeal of relocating iPhone production to India. 

Increased Risks as Battery Component Production Shifts to India amid Uncertain Yield Rates

Analyzing the manufacturing distribution for Apple’s iPhone 15 series in 2023 reveals Foxconn’s predominant role, with only specific Plus models being produced by India’s Tata Group.

This strategic move, based on TrendForce’s insight, is inferred to be influenced by the Plus models’ lower sales performance in previous generations and their specific product positioning. Apple seems cautious about shifting production to India entirely until the production standards of Indian manufacturing facilities are confirmed, especially for models with comparatively lower demand.

In the ever-evolving landscape of smartphone components, such as core processors and camera modules, upgrades occur almost annually. However, the upgrade pace for smartphone batteries has been notably slower.

This delay is attributed to the critical importance of safety in battery components. Given the potential risks to user safety, even a minor error in battery components could lead to significant harm to a smartphone brand.

Considering this, the manufacturing distribution for Apple’s iPhone 15 series suggests that Apple might not be entirely confident in the production yield rates in India.

If the decision to shift the production of batteries, which requires a special emphasis on safety, to India is solely driven by the need to mitigate geopolitical uncertainties, it indeed poses a certain level of risk for Apple.

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