Hello everyone, this is Lauly. I am writing this week’s #techAsia on my way back to Taipei from a 5G industry event in Taoyuan, a rising hub for 5G technologies. It has been two weeks since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. China responded with several days of live-fire military drills around the democratically-governed island, but despite the rising tensions, business here goes on, as does daily life for ordinary people. A department store I went to over the weekend was packed with crowds, and I even had to wait in line to get a table at a coffee shop.
The 5G industry event drew executives from many key tech suppliers, including iPhone assemblers Foxconn and Pegatron and MacBook builder Quanta Computer. Tech suppliers see a chance in the emerging field of 5G private networks to shift away from low-margin consumer electronics and foray into telecom equipment, a field long dominated by giants like Huawei Technologies and Ericsson. Private 5G wireless networks are dedicated local networks for use in a specific facility or location, such as a factory or a farm. Grabbing such opportunities has become more important than ever as the industry braces for slowing consumer electronics demand and a looming economic recession.
Made in Vietnam
The Apple Watch and MacBook laptops are set to be the next major Apple products made in Vietnam, according to this scoop by Nikkei Asia’s Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li.
Suppliers Luxshare and Foxconn have started test production of the Apple Watch in northern Vietnam, while the US company also plans to build test production lines for MacBooks.
It is no secret that Vietnam is becoming increasingly important to the California-based tech titan as an alternative production base to China. Apple began building its AirPods earphones in the Southeast Asian country in 2020 and is increasing iPad tablet production there as well.
The Apple Watch, however, is even more sophisticated. Shifting production of the device to Vietnam underscores the country’s tech capabilities, and gives it a chance to further hone those skills.
It is a prime example of how ongoing Washington-Beijing tensions are swaying tech supply chains.
“Geographically, we find major international electronics brands such as Apple and Samsung trying to lower dependence on making products inside China,” said Eddie Han, a senior analyst with Isaiah Research. “But on the other hand, these international players have adopted more China-based suppliers such as Luxshare and BYD for Apple, and Huaqin for Samsung to build more of their products. Those are moves to balance the geopolitical impacts.”
Nintendo’s next level
After decades of building fantasy worlds in video games, the heirs of Nintendo’s founding family are using their wealth to invest in technologies to rebuild planet earth, Kana Inagaki and Leo Lewis write for the Financial Times.
A takeover battle over a 93-year-old Japanese marine engineering company has turned the spotlight on Nintendo’s family office, which manages around $1.5bn in assets to invest in what it describes as “the future of the children of the world”.
The office was launched in 2020 by Banjo Yamauchi, the grandson of former Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi, who transformed the Kyoto-based company from a maker of playing cards into a gaming titan behind the Donkey Kong, Super Mario and Legend of Zelda franchises.
“We want to actively invest in people who are defying common sense to tackle profound global challenges” for society, Hirowaka Murakami, chief investment officer of the family office, said in an interview.
Nintendo’s family office emerged on Tokyo’s financial scene in April with a surprise buyout proposal for Toyo Construction. The two parties remain at a stand-off as the company has tried to sell itself at a lower price to a rival while the office has argued that it can help with the global expansion of Toyo Construction’s maritime technology.
Scams on screens
Indonesia’s rising appetite for online investment during the pandemic is fuelling a rise in scams, write Nikkei Asia’s Erwida Maulia and Ismi Damayanti.
The number of retail investors in the country rose to 9.1mn in June, more than triple the figure in 2019, according to official data. Many of these novice traders were stuck at home and glued to screens amid Covid, experts say, where they were exposed to social media influencers showing off their riches and dishing out dubious trading tips. That, combined with generally low financial literacy, left many would-be investors easy prey for cheats.
Authorities have responded by blocking hundreds of trading platforms based on apps, YouTube channels, websites and other avenues.
A $20bn tech vision
India’s metals giant Vedanta is close to finalising the location for a massive tech project that could be worth as much as $20bn and help the country cut its reliance on foreign supply chains, writes Nikkei Asia’s Dev Chatterjee.
Vedanta is teaming up with Taiwanese electronics group Foxconn on the project, which is likely to include a display plant, a chip facility and a chip packaging and testing plant — all key areas where India hopes to increase its self-sufficiency, according to a government document seen by Nikkei Asia.
Vedanta officials have visited a 160-hectare location in Pune, in the western state of Maharashtra, that is the leading candidate to host the hub, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Other possible sites are in the neighbouring state of Gujarat and the southern state of Karnataka.
India has vowed to spend $30bn to overhaul its tech industry and build local chip supply chains. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is particularly keen to curb the country’s reliance on its neighbour and sometime rival China, and has previously said it plans to allocate around $10bn to subsidise two chip and two display facilities in India.
#techAsia is co-ordinated by Nikkei Asia’s Katherine Creel in Tokyo, with assistance from the FT tech desk in London.
Vietnam gets a bigger bite of Apple, Nintendo heirs put their wealth to work Republished from Source https://www.ft.com/content/5b30433c-62cc-4f16-8585-27f00c54f595 via https://www.ft.com/companies/technology?format=rss