Tech and Semiconductor Industry News & Trends: June Week 4

Tech and Semiconductor Industry News & Trends: June Week 4

Tech, AI and Semiconductor Industry News: June Week 4 

1. Trend: Chinese Public Sector Expedites AI Adoption in 2024 

China’s public sector was found to have significantly increased its adoption of AI, particularly large language models (LLMs), in the first half of 2024. There were 81 contracts involving LLMs, up from just one in the same period last year. This surge reflects a broader interest from major Chinese firms. However, the true winners are not tech giants but Zhipu AI and iFlyTek, both securing the most bids. Key industries adopting these technologies include energy, telecoms, finance, and scientific research. 

Read the full article about Chinese firms’ interest in LLM. 


2. Business Moves 

i. Chinese Firms Court AI Users as OpenAI is Set to Restrict its API in the Region 

Chinese AI companies are quickly adapting to attract users of OpenAI’s technology following reports that OpenAI plans to restrict access to its API in China and other countries. While ChatGPT is unavailable in mainland China, many Chinese startups have utilised OpenAI’s API to develop their applications. As of late June, OpenAI has started notifying Chinese users of impending API access restrictions, effective July 9. In response, major Chinese AI developers like Baidu, Alibaba Cloud, and Zhipu AI are launching programmes to offer migration services and free tokens to affected users. 

Read the full article about Chinese firms’ initiatives to woo AI users. 


ii. ST Engineering Set to Launch New Data Centre in Singapore 

ST Engineering is set to invest $120 million over the next three years in a new high-security, energy-efficient data centre in Singapore, which is expected to be operational by 2026. The facility will be ST Engineering’s fourth data centre in Singapore, increasing its total capacity to over 30MW. ST Engineering plans to hire 1,000 new employees over the next five years to meet the growing demand for cyber security, software engineering, and data analytics. 

Read the full article about ST Engineering’s investment in data centres. 


iii. China’s Bytedance to Develop AI Chip with US’ Broadcom 

ByteDance is collaborating with US chip designer Broadcom to develop a 5 nanometer AI processor that is compliant with US export restrictions. The chip will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). This partnership aims to secure a stable supply of high-end chips amid US-China tensions and reduce procurement costs. The project is still in the design phase. The collaboration is crucial for enhancing ByteDance’s AI algorithms. Due to US export controls, ByteDance faces challenges in obtaining advanced Nvidia chipsets. To mitigate this, ByteDance has stockpiled Nvidia and Huawei AI chips. The company is also hiring extensively for semiconductor roles and attracting talent from other Chinese AI chip firms. 

Read the full article about Bytedance’s plans to develop chips. 


iv. Rivian to Receive Cash Boost Via Partnership with Volkswagen 

Rivian Automotive is set to receive a crucial US$5 billion cash boost through a new partnership with Volkswagen (VW). This joint venture, starting with an initial US$1 billion investment from VW, aims to leverage Rivian’s technology for VW’s own EVs and co-develop next-generation electric vehicles and software. This alliance comes amid a challenging period for the EV market, with Rivian struggling to scale production and facing significant financial losses. While the partnership is seen as a positive step for Rivian, it faces ongoing operational challenges and high cash burn. Previous collaboration attempts with Ford and Mercedes-Benz had been shelved, making this new partnership a pivotal moment for both companies. 

Read the full article about Rivian’s partnership with Volkswagen. 


3. People Moves: Coupang and Fashion League

CoupangSouth Korean tech giant Coupang appointed Asha Sharma, corporate vice president and head of product, AI platform at Microsoft, to its board of directors. Sharma brings extensive experience from executive roles at Meta and Instacart. Her appointment follows Coupang’s acquisition of UK-based luxury e-tailer Farfetch. Sharma expressed enthusiasm for Coupang’s customer-centric approach and its potential global impact. 

Fashion League: Former UBS banker Theresia Le Battistini transitioned into the gaming industry as the creator of “Fashion League”. In her new role, Le Battistini will leverage her experience in finance, retail, and project management from her decade at UBS to develop and manage the game studio. Her banking background aids in the systematic evaluation and integration of fashion, e-commerce, and gaming elements. 

Read the full article about Coupang’s director from Microsoft. 

Read the full article about Fashion League’s executive from UBS.

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Images Sources:

  • South China Morning Post
  • Reuters
  • Fashion Network