TSMC’s U.S. factory: “People” are the biggest challenge; Chinese households have added 13 trillion yuan in deposits, 90% of which are regular

Original link: https://www.latepost.com/news/dj_detail?id=1419

TSMC’s U.S. factory: “People” are the biggest challenge

On the afternoon of December 6, local time, at the equipment move-in ceremony of TSMC’s Arizona plant, 91-year-old TSMC founder Zhang Zhongmou said that globalization is dead, and free trade is almost dead.

Under the podium, sat Biden who was excited about “Made in America is back”, Apple CEO Cook who was proud of “becoming the largest customer”, and Nvidia CEO Huang Renxun who directly called “changing the rules of the industry”. The tech companies behind the new factory have a combined market capitalization of more than $4 trillion.

Amidst the celebrations, Biden won the votes, Cook and Huang Renxun got production capacity guarantees, and TSMC got potential subsidy promises. Zhang Zhongmou and his successors have narrowed the distance with American customers and the government-at the cost of the company spending more time and investing more money to build a wafer with a high probability of higher operating costs and lower efficiency factory.

The first phase of the Arizona factory, which started construction in June last year, is expected to start production at the end of next year, which will take 30 months. In contrast, it took less than two years for TSMC to build the Nanjing plant with the same production capacity six years ago. Of course, these “losses” seem to be acceptable if considering the political motivation of TSMC to go to the United States. At least for management.

No matter how deep the political considerations behind it are, TSMC is still a listed company that needs to be accountable to shareholders. After learning that TSMC has significantly increased its investment in building factories in the United States to US$40 billion, Lu Xingzhi, a senior analyst in the semiconductor industry, questioned: Since TSMC will spend such a large price on a factory with lower operating efficiency in the next few years, what was previously made to shareholders? Will the long-term gross profit margin commitment of 53% be lowered?

In addition to the high initial civil engineering and fixed asset investment, the biggest challenge for TSMC’s U.S. factory is still people. Despite the high degree of automation in fabs, labor costs still account for about 15%, and the average salary of American engineers is nearly twice that of Taiwan, China. A 12-inch fab requires approximately 1,000 to 1,500 employees, and because the machine cannot be stopped, engineers often have to work in three shifts 24 hours a day, be summoned at any time, and even undertake the physical work of moving wafers. These are union cultures It is unacceptable for Americans who are more prevalent and yearn for the working atmosphere in Silicon Valley.

About 25 years ago, TSMC built an 8-inch wafer fab in Oregon, USA. The latter was described by Zhang Zhongmou as a nightmare due to its high cost and difficulty in recruiting people. Until August this year, Zhang Zhongmou was still emphasizing that US efforts to revive chip manufacturing were doomed to fail.

In order to prevent the nightmare from repeating itself, TSMC has made a lot of preliminary preparations. Lack of people to transport people, lack of equipment to transport equipment. It also set up a site near the Arizona factory with about 40 suppliers. Even for engineering facilities such as clean rooms, TSMC tries its best to manufacture them in Taiwan, China, and then transport them to the United States for assembly. In this way, even if the high transportation costs are counted, it is 30% cheaper than direct construction in the United States.

Even so, the U.S. factory, which won’t start production until a year from now, is already starting to have an impact on the present. According to supply chain sources, despite poor market conditions and many customers cutting orders, due to increased cost pressures, TSMC intends to stick to its 6% price increase plan next year. (Qiu Hao)

Chinese households add 13 trillion yuan in deposits, 90% of which are fixed-term deposits

In the face of major adjustments in external conditions and associated uncertainties, people tend to be conservative. For example, during the financial crisis in 2008, residents’ precautionary savings increased rapidly from North America to Europe to East Asia. In the United States, where the wealth loss was greater, the household savings rate continued to rise into 2012.

A similar situation has happened again since 2020. Among them, Chinese households added nearly 11.3 trillion yuan in deposits in 2020, which was the peak since the People’s Bank of China released the data in 2005.

After nearly two years, Chinese households are more willing to save money, have lower appetite for investment risk, and are more cautious in consumption. According to the China Consumption Report jointly released by Bain & Company and Kantar Worldpanel, in the first three quarters of this year, China’s main reason for the increase in the sales of China’s FMCG was hoarding.

In terms of deposits, it took only 9 months this year for Chinese households to set a new record of new deposits: 13.21 trillion yuan. Among them, the regular accounted for 11 trillion yuan, which is a rare high proportion. The shortest time deposit in China is 3 months and the longest is 5 years. An account manager of one of the “Big Four Banks” said that most of the fixed deposit customers they received had deposits for 1-3 years.

Putting money on a regular basis means that people will not easily turn the money into consumption if it is not an urgent matter. It took Wuhan citizens in 2020 at least eight months for their consumption to grow again. Shanghai’s consumption of goods and services has resumed growth in July this year (0.3%), but the monthly sales growth rate of “eating goods” has been negative so far, and “wearing goods” has only grown in June. The retail sales of the accommodation and catering industry only increased by 0.8% in August, and the rest declined year-on-year (since March).

According to data regularly disclosed by the People’s Bank of China, at the end of 2020, domestic financial institutions had a total of household time deposits of about 60.3 trillion yuan and demand deposits of about 33.13 trillion yuan, the former being 1.82 times the latter.

At the end of September this year, the balances of domestic fixed deposits and demand deposits were 79.99 trillion yuan and 36.59 trillion yuan respectively. Due to more money being deposited in time accounts and declining yields, the number of bank wealth management products issued during the period has fallen, and the scale of funds has not yet returned to the high point five years ago.

In the surveys of urban depositors conducted by the central bank in June and September, “more savings” accounted for 58.3% and 58.1% respectively. That’s about 11 percentage points higher than survey results during the financial crisis.



The total amount of regular and current savings of Chinese households, and the increase and decrease in the current year.

Nomura Research Institute Chief Economist Koo Chao-ming once used the example of Japan to clearly explain why people form a negative mentality of “trying to avoid risks”, how long it will take to recover, and to what extent.

“I was born in Japan in 1954. Japan was not rich at the time, and to some extent I was affected by the environment. I still make sure I save enough money just in case… Japan’s economy has been in recession for almost 30 years now , interest rates are very low, and people are still afraid to borrow money.” Gu Chaoming told us. (Gong Fangyi)

The ban on lithography machines is imminent, and the real impact is still unclear

According to media reports, the Netherlands is planning to keep up with the United States and introduce semiconductor export control measures against China. Although the specific rules are not yet clear, they are unlikely to be stricter than those in the United States.

The lithography machine is the most important and the most technical equipment in the process of chip manufacturing. ASML, headquartered in the Netherlands, has almost monopolized the global high-end lithography machine market, with an overall market share of about 75%.

Since its own lithography machines need to use parts produced in the United States, even if the Dutch government does not issue relevant policies, ASML is already limited by the export control measures of the United States, and cannot export the most advanced extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography to China. machine (can be used to produce 7nm and more advanced chips).

Bigger concessions from Dutch authorities and ASML are unlikely to be expected. The Chinese market contributes about 15% of ASML’s revenue. If the ban continues to expand to lower-end deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography machines, customers will turn to Japanese manufacturers such as Nikon and Canon.

But before all the dust settles, Chinese fabs are already stockpiling as much as possible while they can still buy. According to data from the General Administration of Customs of China, China imported more than US$300 million in semiconductor equipment from the Netherlands in October, an increase of 150% from the previous month in September and double that of last year. (Qiu Hao)

Microsoft’s cover-up to acquire Activision Blizzard

On December 7th, Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s Xbox, wrote that if Microsoft successfully acquires Activision Blizzard, it promises to provide “Call of Duty” on the Nintendo platform and Steam in the next 10 years, following the 10-year commitment to Sony. Another “compromise”.

These statements by Microsoft are all to ease the difficulty of acquiring Activision Blizzard. Compared with Nintendo, which has many classic IPs, Microsoft seems to lack a little game gene. After the acquisition is completed, Microsoft will become the third largest game company in the world, with 30 game development studios and additional game publishing and e-sports production capabilities.

That’s why the $68.7 billion deal has come under scrutiny from regulators and antitrust agencies in the US, UK, and EU. The “Call of Duty” series is a key game in the acquisition, and Microsoft stated that it will not monopolize it, and it is also to reduce the “threat” to other companies in the game industry.

“Call of Duty” is a multiplayer-based FPS game, and the more platforms it supports, the better for MAU growth. It’s been 9 years since the last COD appeared on a Nintendo platform. Spencer said that after the transaction is completed, targeted development will be carried out on different platforms until they are fully adapted. It is planned that the Switch version of “Call of Duty” will be launched together with the PS, Xbox, and PC versions. The happiest players are the players. (intern Zeng Xing)

Shanghai restaurants will no longer check the 48-hour nucleic acid negative certificate

On December 8, the State Council issued the “Guidelines for Home Treatment of Patients Infected with New Coronavirus”, requiring home treatment patients to conduct antigen self-test and report the results as required.

Among them, the “New Coronavirus Antigen Detection Application Plan” mentioned that all personnel can perform self-antigen detection at any time in accordance with the principle of independence and voluntariness. Antigen testing is carried out twice a week for the elderly, and antigen testing reagents are distributed free of charge by the local government.

Some cities are doing medical stockpiling:

  • Hefei is stockpiling “health packs”, which are divided into three types: the normal version of the personal health pack, the cough version of the adult health pack, and the children’s health pack. These include antivirals, fever reducers, thermometers, masks and alcohol sprays.
  • Shanxi will set up infectious disease departments in public general hospitals above the second level in the province.

Situations where nucleic acid test results need to be provided:

  • The Beijing Sports Bureau requires that when entering the indoor stadium, you must scan the QR code and check the 48-hour nucleic acid negative certificate.
  • Shanghai requires outpatient clinics of medical institutions to divide nucleic acid negative and positive diagnosis and treatment areas, and receive corresponding patients respectively. The 48-hour nucleic acid test results of patients need to be checked when going to the clinic.
  • High-risk practitioners: people who have direct contact with entry personnel, objects, and the environment, staff in centralized isolation places, medical staff in designated medical institutions and fever clinics in general medical institutions, are required to undergo nucleic acid testing every day; staff in supermarkets, express delivery, Those working in the environment such as takeaways are required to undergo nucleic acid testing twice a week.

Continued follow-up of the “New Ten Measures” for epidemic prevention and control in various places:

  • From 00:00 on December 9, 84 high-risk areas in Shanghai will be released from control. From 9:00 on December 9, closed entertainment venues and catering service venues in Shanghai will no longer check nucleic acid.
  • On December 8, Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant released closed-loop management.
  • At least 24 airports across the country that send tens of millions of passengers a year have announced that they will no longer check nucleic acid and health codes.
  • The Ministry of Transport announced that cross-provincial cruise ships will no longer check the 48-hour nucleic acid and health code.
  • Chengdu, Zhengzhou, Tianjin and Jiangxi have announced that they will no longer check their health codes, following the previous announcement that they will not check nucleic acid on the subway. (intern Zeng Xing)


Both wholesale and retail sales of domestic automobiles dropped in November.

According to data from the Passenger Federation, domestic passenger car (narrowly defined) wholesale sales in November shrank by 5.7% year-on-year, and retail sales shrank by 9.2% year-on-year. The Federation of Passengers Travel Association stated that this was affected by the rebound of the epidemic in several major automobile consumption provinces, including Guangdong, Chongqing, Henan, Inner Mongolia, Beijing and other places. The retail and wholesale sales of new energy vehicles still achieved a high growth rate of 58.2% and 70.2%, and the withdrawal of the “National Subsidy” in 2023 can finally stimulate a round of consumption.

On the first day of Shanghai Disneyland’s resumption of work, the most popular items only need to queue for ten minutes.

On December 8, Shanghai Disney Resort fully resumed work. To enter the resort, you need to scan the venue code and the green code to let you pass. Restaurants in resorts and theme parks need to scan the site code again, and a negative nucleic acid certificate within 48 hours is required (the nucleic acid certificate will be canceled from the 9th). The queues of tourists are mainly concentrated in the shops of the theme park’s “Main Street”. One of the most popular attractions, “Flying the Horizon” only needs to queue for ten minutes, which is one-fifth of that in Pingfeng and one-tenth of that in peak season.

Chalk Technology, a vocational education and training company, was approved to list in Hong Kong.

On December 7, information from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange showed that Chalk Technology passed the listing hearing. According to its prospectus, the core income of Chalk comes from the sales of online training, offline training, teaching materials and tutorial materials. The “Kaogong craze” has increased Chalk’s paying users to 49.3 million year by year, and its revenue has also increased. In the first half of this year, its revenue was 1.451 billion yuan. However, the cost input brought by the expansion caused Chalk to lose more than 2 billion yuan in two years, and the loss in the first half of this year was nearly 400 million yuan.

Anta intends to spin off the parent company of Arc’teryx for listing.

According to media reports, Anta intends to IPO its subsidiary Amer Sports. According to people familiar with the matter, Anta and its co-investors are in preliminary negotiations with investment banks to consider going public as early as next year, and are expected to raise at least about US$1 billion.

The “Three-Body Problem” animation will premiere this Saturday.

The official announcement of the “Three-Body” animation will start broadcasting at 11 o’clock on December 10 (this Saturday), with two consecutive episodes on the first day. The “Three-Body Problem” animation is adapted from Liu Cixin’s science fiction novel of the same name, and is jointly produced by Bilibili, Three-Body Universe and Yihua Kaitian. Affected by the news, the stock price of station B rose by more than 20% that day.

Apple plans to use a new encryption system to protect iCloud data security.

According to media reports, Apple plans to enhance data protection. The upgraded end-to-end encryption system will allow Apple to protect most of the iCloud data even if it is hacked. And it cannot cooperate with law enforcement agencies to provide iCloud mobile phone backup data. The new encryption system will be tested with some users before rolling out globally next year.

Éric Pfrunder, former Chanel image director, has died.

Éric Pfrunder, former Chanel image director and Karl Lagerfeld’s “photographic eye,” died on December 5 in a Paris hospital at the age of 74. From 1983 to 2019, Éric Pfrunder worked in Chanel’s fashion department for 36 years. As one of Karl Lagerfeld’s right-hand men, Éric Pfrunder is responsible for photography for fashion and ready-to-wear collections, book publishing and advertising.

Bentley plans to cut production next year and currently has no IPO plans.

On December 7, the CEO of Volkswagen said that its Bentley Motors will slightly reduce production next year. Talking about the decrease in orders from China during the impact of the epidemic, he said that “although we are not in crisis, we must remain vigilant.” And said that Bentley currently has no IPO plans.

Dyson releases air-purifying headphones that cost nearly $1,000.

The earphones called “Dyson Zone” are priced at US$949 in the United States and will be released in March next year. China is expected to go on sale in January next year. The new headset adopts a head-mounted design, and the mask module is detachable. The fit is a bit like a motocross half helmet on the head. The headphones themselves have active noise cancellation.


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