Media Contact

Ms. Pinchun Chou

Tel: +886-2-8978-6488 ext.669

Ms. Lindsay Hou

Tel: +886-2-8978-6488 ext.667

RSS Subscription
  DRAM  
  NAND Flash  
  Storage  
  Display  
  Consumer Electronics  
  LED  
  Green Energy  
  Internet of Things  
  Semiconductors  
  Automotive Electronics  
  Innovative Technological Applications  
       

Press Release


The US-China Trade War Escalates, May Send North American and Global Notebook PC Markets into Turmoil, Says TrendForce

Tuesday , 05 / 14 / 2019 [ Analysts: Eric Chiou ]

May 10 th  sees the US-China trade dispute escalating yet again as the US continues to hike tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports, going from 10% to 25%.  TrendForce points out that TVs , monitors, notebooks and other display products were not among the US$250 billion worth of goods hit by the 25% tariffs, thus the current impact on panels and the display industry remains to be fairly limited.

Yet tensions amid the US-China trade war has intensified. China has swiftly responded in retaliation, imposing 5%-25% punitive tariffs of its own on US$60 billion worth of goods on May 13th, Taipei Time. Likewise, the US has released its 4th  list of tariffs, including US$325 billion worth of China exports among the items to suffer 25% tariffs. Notebooks, which make up a sizeable proportion of imports in revenue, are especially deserving of close attention.

The significance of notebook PCs lies in 3 areas, and one should note that not only are the US and China both harmed by the high tariffs, but Taiwan is also caught up in the storm. First of all, nearly 90% of notebook PCs imported to the US are assembled in China, with Chongqing as its main industrial city for these products. Lacking other production bases of similar scale with highly integrated supply chains for flexible procurement, China will suffer a terrible hit in exports should punitive tariffs begin to fly.

Secondly, the North American notebook PC market is highly reliant on domestic brands in the US. According to TrendForce's global shipment statistics for notebook PC brands 2018, American brands HP, Dell and Apple's market shares combined comprised up to 66% of the entire North American market. Looking at it from another angle, shipments for the North American market took up 40~50% of total shipments and formed the main source of business for each of the three giants. If tariffs are imposed on notebook PCs, American brands will begin to lose competitive power due to elevated costs from tariffs, impacting both business and profits. If the tariffs reflect themselves in the end prices for notebook PCs, then there will be good reason to worry whether the North American market, which comprises up to a third of global notebook PC shipments,will suffer from a stifled sales momentum. Should that come to pass, it shall be mayday for both American notebook PC brands and the global notebook market.

Lastly, Taiwan's suppliers have long accumulated competitive power in and concentrated on notebook PC manufacturing. The three aforementioned American brands all depend 90% on Taiwan's suppliers. If punitive tariffs become unavoidable, Quanta, Compal and Wistron may become another center of impact in this disaster . Some notebook PC ODMs have expanded their production capacities in Vietnam, Taiwan and other locations outside China since 2018 in an attempt to minimize the potential impacts from tariffs. Although the change in places of production may circumvent the tariffs, notebook PC supply chains have long been situated in China. Shipping the relevant upstream components to new plants overseas of China will incur additional fees and time costs, thus leading to an inevitable overall increase in cost despite the tariff work-around.

TV Brands to Reshuffle by Market Share and Scale if Tariffs Hit Hard

In TV markets, having TVs made in Mexico and shipped to America for sale have always been the business model for years under considerations of tariff-related incentives and logistic costs. Taking the current top four TV brands by market share for example, we see that Samsung and LG have enormous production capacities in Mexico, allowing the two Korean manufacturers to circumvent the towering tariffs on China imports with ease, thanks to the additional resources at hand.

In contrast, Chinese brand TCL, catapulted by sharp price strategies, and Vizio are still highly reliant on China manufacturers for production. Although TCL possesses some capacity in Mexico, it is only enough for 50% of US demand. That is to say, once TVs are included in the list of products to suffer punitive tariffs, a reshuffling of brands by brand strength and market shares shall ensue.

To keep updated with our press releases, please follow our social media pages. facebookGoogle+TwitterLinkin

TrendForce Press Center Copyright Notice
TrendForce grants you a limited license to use and/or republish any of the press releases on TrendForce Press Center for any legitimate media purpose (including copying and redistributing the content of press releases in any format and via any outlets), provided that you follow these license terms:

1. Reference TrendForce as the source on your works, or include a hyperlink to the original release on the TrendForce site.
2. Do not modify any press release wording, or maliciously alter its related information. Users are subject to any civil or criminal liabilities if the information displayed in the copy or redistribution of press releases is inconsistent with the original materials on TrendForce Press Center.
3. Do not modify or add hyperlinks, including but not limited to adlinks, within the press release. The authorization of press releases on TrendForce Press Center does not grant users the right to suggest, approve or endorse their value-added derivatives on behalf of this body.

If your citations of press releases contain mistakes and/or have information missing, TrendForce may, in its sole discretion, direct you to remove the content distributed via TrendForce from your site at any time and for any reason, and you agree to comply with such request.