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Samsung's mobile biz may benefit from U.S. ban on Huawei: analysts

All News 11:16 May 19, 2020

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co.'s mobile business may benefit from the recent U.S. ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co., analysts here said Tuesday, amid its efforts to recover from the fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The United States recently announced that it will block foreign chipmakers using American equipment and software from shipping products to Huawei without a license.

Analysts said the U.S. sanction could help Samsung expand its presence in the global smartphone market since Huawei is expected to struggle in its smartphone production.

As of this first quarter, Samsung was the top smartphone vendor in the world with a 21.1 percent market share, according to industry tracker International Data Corporation. Huawei was the runner-up with a 17.8 percent share, followed by Apple Inc. with a 13.3 percent share.

"Last year, Huawei's market share went down because it could not use Google Mobile Services on its products amid the U.S-China trade war, but this time, it might face a production problem," Lee Kyu-ha, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said. "As Huawei sees damage, Samsung's smartphone business can expand."

This photo taken on April 29, 2020, shows Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy S20 smartphones displayed a store in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Analysts said Samsung can boost its presence in the European market.

"Unlike the Chinese market where Samsung has a very small presence, Huawei and Samsung are competitors in the European market," Kim Young-gun, an analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo, said. "Excluding Apple, Samsung and other Chinese smartphone manufacturers compete directly with their products' average selling price set between US$200 and $400."

Regarding the chip business, analysts predicted that the impact of the Huawei ban is likely to be neutral, although they still need to monitor how the situation develops.

"Chipmakers will be affected by the U.S. ban on Huawei in general, but at this moment, we do not know exactly which products will be subject to the ban," Moon Joon-ho, an analyst at Samsung Securities, said. "It's still vague what using U.S. technology actually refers to."

However, analysts said what appears to be certain is that the U.S. ban on Huawei increases uncertainty in the industry and will affect local chipmakers' investment plans.

"The latest ban gives a reason for DRAM chip manufacturers to delay facility investment," Choi Do-yeon, an analyst at Shinhan Investment, said.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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