US Chipmaker Projects a $2 Billion Loss in 2019 From Huawei Ban

Not just Huawei, other Chinese companies are preemptively redirecting to parts sources in Europe, Korea and Japan as well

US chipmakers could be hurt permanently as supply chains to China are reformed to exclude them

China trade tensions will slice $2 billion off its 2019 revenues, Broadcom said in the first big flash in a three-sided conflict where the first casualty likely is the U.S. semiconductor industry.

In its quarterly financial call Thursday, Broadcom said China trade tensions and a ban on business with Huawei are creating “uncertainty in our marketplace,” Reuters reported. It said Huawei makes up $900 million or 4% of Broadcom’s annual sales and that an expected revenue drop “extends beyond one particular customer.” Broadcom’s dramatic forecast likely sets the dour tone of the next wave of quarterly reports from chip makers.

Huawei is the world’s third largest chip buyer, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. An analyst told EE Times earlier this week that China’s other OEMs are scrambling to find sources in Europe, Korea, and Japan to protect themselves from getting caught up in the trade war.

However bad the standoff between the Trump Administration and China gets, U.S. chipmakers are the most likely first casualties.

Donald Trump has little to lose from this war. His supporters among working class and rural voters will see this standoff as a sign of strength. Even if China digs in and ratchets up its responses, Trump will only win more sympathy among the support base he depends on for re-election in 2020.

The chip industry may get wounded — perhaps irreparably as supply chains are reformed — but not killed in a trade war. That may be an acceptable loss for President Trump given the companies and the states they are in generally lean to the political left.

For its part, China can survive the loss of Huawei if it comes to that. The trade war is kerosene to fuel China’s strategic drive to build up its chip sector. China politicians also know the Trump Administration’s aggressive moves may further alienate the U.S. from Asian and European allies who have to either turn away from Washington or give in and hurt their own business sectors.

Only the chip industry has nothing to gain from a trade war. Of course, there is a remote possibility China will cave and hand President Trump an agreement that includes an end to demands of tech transfers in exchange for market access and heightened enforcement of intellectual property. But I don’t see what China would get in return from such a deal beyond a new lease on life for Huawei and a major loss of face politically.

Another possibility, noted in a Washington Post report, is the Trump Administration might quietly grant a handful of most affected U.S. chip makers licenses to sell to Huawei, easing the domestic pain.

But I’m not holding my breath. I’m preparing for a long, cold winter.

Source: Electronic Engineering Times

  1. Tom Tremaine says

    Other peoples analysis ….

  2. Undecider says

    I’d be willing to bet the sanctions are, in large part, really an effort to actually damage the United States. The Globalists have been working steadily for decades to weaken the U.S. in and all manner conceivable. This just works towards their agenda. Trump is following orders, more than likely.

    1. Linda Wren says

      I have thought that for long time. The destruction of America is a planned agenda as it is in UK. It’s going to get worse unfortunately unless Americans defend themselves, their country & people. As UK must.

  3. Séamus Ó Néill says

    This illegal trade and sanctions war involves a little bit more than one Chinese company, Huawei. The author seems to imply that the only casualties would be the “left-leaning” chip industry. If this escalates, and it probably will, because of its illegality and American arrogance and bullying, it will affect the whole American aerospace industry and beyond. The sanctions have already driven American farmers to bankruptcy and suicide. Another unmentioned side effect of these sanctions is the decision by Russia and China to decouple from the dollar ….almost disregarded in the MSM, but a very significant move in dethroning the dollar as reserve currency and in forcing America to either pull its horns in rather quickly or go under !

  4. JustPassingThrough says

    wow, why didn’t we think about that possibility before the sanctions?

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