In the chip industry, bubbles burst one after another, and the outside world’s concerns about this “core-making movement” are becoming more than enthusiastic.
According to relevant data, the number of chip-related companies in my country grew rapidly in the first half of 2020. As of July 20, there were 45,300 chip-related companies in my country, and 4,600 new registered companies were registered in the second quarter of this year alone. , an increase of 207% year-on-year and a month-on-month increase of 130%.
However, in the first half of the year, there were a lot of projects, but 80% of them landed in second-, third- and even fourth-tier cities in China, generally in areas with weak semiconductor industry foundations and no relevant project construction experience.
Fortunately, the National Development and Reform Commission recently responded to the unfinished phenomenon of chip projects, announcing that in accordance with the principle of “who supports, who is responsible”, it will be notified and held accountable for major losses or major risks. In other words, if the chip project is unfinished in the future, it will be blamed on the place to attract investment.
Whether this will curb the county-level competition around chip manufacturing is unknown, but it is still difficult to stop the speculative chaos in the wave of chip manufacturing.
Make chips, get land first
In 2017, the farce of Hebei’s “star enterprise” high-spirited microelectronics was revealed in a war of words between chairman Bu Jiankang and general manager Xu Guozhong.
About two years ago, Bu Jiankang, who was a technical expert in the United States, returned to China to start a business. He cooperated with Xu Guozhong, one contributed technology and the other contributed money, and established Aoyang Microelectronics. construction project”. The time has come to 2017. It is said that the project research and development has achieved initial success in May. At this time, the capital chain of high-spirited microelectronics suddenly broke, and the health was caught off guard.
Subsequently, Bu Jiankang took the company and Xu Guozhong to court together. Bu Jiankang said that Xu Guozhong forged an application for a key project of 1 billion yuan and defrauded the land quota of 120 mu; then he forged a bank fund certificate of 57.43 million yuan and defrauded the government to obtain 30 mu of land supported by a half-price discount.
The dispute between Bu Jiankang and Xu Guozhong was cloudy, but it was an indisputable fact that Aoyang Microelectronics obtained 30 acres of land at half price, until the chip manufacturing project was unfinished for nearly three years, the land worth 160 million yuan still under the company’s name.
Build chips and get more land first. This is the common psychology of many companies that have flooded into the wave of chip manufacturing. According to a government investment recruiter, some industry parties aim at government funds, land and other resources, and they also deal with many places to raise prices.
Around 2016, Nanjing Dekema and Huaian Dekema were established one after another. Li Rui first discussed with Nanjing, saying that he would cooperate with Israel’s Tal Semiconductor to establish an 8-inch wafer manufacturing plant. Nanjing directly swiped the pen and landed 254 acres; in 2018, Kuntong Semiconductor was established in Shaanxi, claiming that the entire base area will reach 2,000 acres, and the largest clean workshop area (550,000 square meters) in the history of Shaanxi will be built.
The total planned land area of the Wuhan Hongxin project is 636 mu, and the Chengdu GF only covers an area of 700 to 800 mu… The “competition” of the chip industry has become an “arms race” of land reserves.
But after giving money to land, these land resources may not be fully utilized. The former “star enterprise” Guizhou Huaxintong office building has a very stylish appearance and covers an area of nearly 10,000 square meters. From time to time, they can be seen receiving various guests to visit, but there is no production plant from beginning to end, and R&D and operation are placed in Beijing and Shanghai, where every inch of land is so precious.
Bu Jiankang also kept saying that all of Xu Guozhong’s investment was just buying land and building a building.
Chip companies have a “very close relationship” with real estate
In the process of exploring chip manufacturing in my country, Li Delei and Ni Guangnan’s Ark Technology was once pushed to the altar. But Ark ended in a farce, and later extended his hand to the real estate industry. Some media recorded what Li Delei once said when the “Ark Building” was under construction: “What really makes money in China is real estate, not high technology.”
Many people may have imagined that if the funds invested in real estate in the past ten years can be transferred to the research and development of chip technology, our current situation will not be so passive.
In fact, the development of real estate is not so opposed to the chip industry.
The semiconductor industry has always been “the boss eats meat and the second eats soup”. In 2018, LED chips were in the crisis of overall overcapacity. Jucan Optoelectronics, which has been on the market for one year, received government subsidies of 16.62 million yuan in the first three quarters. , the loss is still as high as 82.75 million yuan. However, in the fourth quarter, the company suddenly turned losses into profits because it received compensation after land acquisition, with a total amount of 206 million yuan.
By benefiting from land, the performance and financial reports of “decoration” companies are quite common in the industry. As early as 2012, ZTE was questioned whether it wanted to enter commercial real estate. The 2012 semi-annual report showed that the company’s investment real estate increased from 0 yuan at the beginning of the period to nearly 1.596 billion yuan at the end of the period, and the 1.596 billion yuan of this 1.596 billion yuan. Investment real estate is converted from self-use real estate.
In 2018, we also saw ZTE and Vanke jointly develop the Shenzhen Bay super headquarters base, which was expected to bring pre-tax profits of 2.723 billion yuan to the group at that time.
However, compared with the Ziguang Group, ZTE is insignificant. According to incomplete statistics from a reporter from the Economic Observer, in recent years, Ziguang has acquired a total land area of 2,617.57 mu, a total construction area of 3,645,800 square meters, and a total cost of 17.73 billion yuan, of which more than half are supporting residences in the park. The average floor price is only 4863.29 yuan / square meter.
Zhao Weiguo was born in real estate investment. In 2016, Ziguang really started to develop real estate. In January of that year, Beijing Ziguang Real Estate changed its name to Beijing Ziguang Kefu Group, and all real estate business was packaged under Ziguang Kefu. After the name change, Ziguang has successively landed heavy asset projects in Beijing, Chengdu, Nanjing, Wuhan and other places, and acquired land resources in Suzhou, Beijing, Chengdu and Wuhan and other places.
Before the epidemic, Beijing’s well-deserved hot-selling Panxishan Splendid Mansion was won by Ziguang Co., Ltd. in 2017 to defeat Xuhui Country Garden at a price of 7.62 billion yuan.
It can be seen from the financial report that in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the net profit of Ziguang Group attributable to owners of the parent company was 1.061 billion yuan, -631 million yuan and 1.430 billion yuan respectively. The reason why the profit in 2019 has increased significantly compared with the same period last year, the company said, is mainly due to the increase in investment income and the increase in the value of financial assets.
In fact, not only chip manufacturing-related companies are involved in real estate and act as developers, an interesting phenomenon is that many real estate companies have also begun to cross-border into the semiconductor industry, but the two sides have different goals. The former may attract upstream and downstream supporting industries to enter the industrial park, retain talents, or increase revenue for the company and support R&D, while the latter has been questioned as “enclosure in the name of the industry”.
“Real estate thinking” penetrates into the core-making industry?
In recent years, it has become a common phenomenon for non-real estate enterprises to make profits or seek survival by relying on real estate business. According to relevant data, there are more than 3,000 domestic A-share listed companies, but there are more than 1,600 listed companies investing in real estate, accounting for more than 50% of the listed companies.
For example, the men’s clothing brand Septwolves, due to the weakness of the clothing industry, the Septwolves Industry spent a lot of money on purchasing and financial management. With the booming property market, the proportion of Septwolves Group’s real estate revenue continued to rise from 2016 to 2017, and reached 60% in the first quarter of 2018. 3%.
Another example is Haima Automobile. As of January 17, 2020, Haima Automobile has sold 344 of the 365 suites, and realized 162 million yuan through the sale of houses. In June this year, the company announced the public sale of some idle properties of a total of 145 residential properties (with a total area of about 4217.05 square meters). Many netizens ridiculed that if it wasn’t for Haima Automobile’s successive sales of houses, you would not know how many houses it had in the past.
If the core business is not good, the real estate will be rescued. This may be a helpless move under the pressure of survival. However, the risk is that if a company is used to making quick money by buying and selling houses, its core business seems to be even more hopeless.
This kind of “real estate thinking” may be seeping into the wave of chip manufacturing. Because compared to buying and selling a house, although the government will set strict conditions on land function, resident enterprises, investment amount and sales, it is possible to acquire land at a low price to build an industrial park. In this huge industrial chain, there are still Many loopholes can be exploited.
Speculators didn’t go to build chips in the first place. Just like Aoyang Microelectronics, which purchased 30 acres of land at a low price, after the chip project was interrupted, because the land was not idle, it could not be recovered.
More importantly, non-real estate companies investing in real estate at least create profits for themselves. Once the chip manufacturing project is unfinished, there will be no technical achievements that can be produced, and it will also cause unpredictable waste of resources.
A reporter visited, Dekema is located in the project site near Liquid Crystal Valley, Qixia District, Nanjing City. It can be seen from the gaps in the enclosure that the interior is overgrown with weeds, and only the two unbuilt main buildings are exposed.
The project has been basically stopped as early as 2018, and no one has taken over it so far, because most of these chip projects involve a series of complex issues, the residual value is not high, and the disposal is very difficult.
This is also why the National Development and Reform Commission has spoken out and demanded accountability. Affected by this, on the second day, the third-generation semiconductor, photoresist, quantum technology and other sectors fell collectively, and many popular stocks in the chip sector fell sharply. Among them, Ziguang Guowei fell by a 10% limit, and its market value fell to 68.96 billion yuan ; Fuman Electronics fell by more than 10%, Taiji shares fell by more than 9%, and many stocks such as Ruichuang Micronano fell by more than 7%.
It has been more than two years since ZTE was sanctioned. On the one hand, public opinion has high enthusiasm and unreasonable trust in domestic chip manufacturing, and on the other hand, one unfinished project after another has been exposed before our eyes. Now the National Development and Reform Commission has stated that it may lead the domestic core making into a new period. Even optimistically, the county competition has entered a cooling-off period, and the “three no” enterprises with no experience, no technology, and no talents will naturally decrease a lot.
Chip manufacturing is an ongoing battle, never a movement to make money.