National Technology (300077, hereinafter referred to as “the company”) released the financial report. According to the previous company performance express, the company is expected to turn losses into profits. In recent years, due to the continuous impact of the bankruptcy of major customers such as new energy enterprises, the company has had a bad time in a row. For two consecutive years, the company has taken frequent actions on chip main business expansion, acquisition consideration adjustment and legal proceedings, reducing the negative impact of the event from many aspects, and the financial data is expected to reverse. National Technical response measures are qualified, which may mean a positive signal to the market.
Layout MCU, new layout of “national core”
National technology, which has been coping with the crisis for two consecutive years, has been the focus of the market in this special period. It is believed that the emergence of “danger” and “opportunity” really reflects the current situation of national technology. Take the MCU (micro controller) market in the chip industry as an example. Due to the severe situation in Europe and the United States in the special period, the production of MCU international manufacturers has been reduced, and the supply chain is tense. This is a probable event in the future. If the domestic MCU suppliers can actively deal with or enter the market, so as to realize the real import substitution of domestic MCU.
Recently, national technology, a wholly-owned subsidiary of national technology, released the forehead temperature gun solution based on national technology’s 32-bit ultra-low power consumption high-performance security MCU chip, in order to provide customers with independent research and development chips and overall software and hardware solutions, showing the company’s business strategy of following market changes and seizing opportunities.
In the past two years, the gross profit and revenue of the “traditional” business of national technology have declined periodically. According to the company’s previous annual reports, the main reason is that the market of USBKEY security master chip and other products has entered the mature period of the market, and the market growth continues to slow down or stagnate, resulting in the decline of product prices and gross profit. From the perspective of the measures taken by the company, on the one hand, in order to reduce the adverse effects, we use technology upgrading to enhance product safety and general performance, use the advantages of supply chain resources to reduce costs, and expand the market space of diversified application scenarios; on the other hand, we actively layout new business growth points. Among them, MCU has become the strategic keyword of national technology in recent years.
According to the national technical data, the company has actively arranged the general MCU products in recent years, and has continued to carry out the design and development of general MCU products with advanced technology, low power consumption technology, high performance and low cost as the core value, so as to gain a leading position in the general MCU market with low localization rate.
It is understood that it usually takes at least two years for chips from product definition to R & D to production and marketing, while national technology began to lay out MCU in 2018, and by the end of 2019, mass production of new products is on the way, and the speed is really fast. According to the author’s analysis, the development speed of this new product is not only due to the company’s long-term technology accumulation in the field of safety chips, but also highly related to the company’s investment in establishing a Singapore subsidiary in early 2018 and fully expanding and optimizing its chip design talent team. In recent years, the booming domestic semiconductor industry directly leads to more talent demand in the semiconductor industry, but there is a big gap between the number of talents and the speed of talent training and the development needs of the industry. After all, Singapore has most of the world’s famous electronic and semiconductor enterprises, as well as world-class university professionals.
Compared with other domestic enterprises in the same industry, it is not too early for national technology to enter MCU products. The same is the “danger” and “opportunity”. If national technology can find out the differentiation of other products, it will be favored by opportunities. After all, the domestic MCU market is still monopolized by foreign products.
In terms of the competitiveness of national technology products, the serialization route of new MCU products and all products released at the end of last year adopted 32-bit kernel platform, and the first 30 products adopted armcortex-m4 high-performance embedded processor kernel. The full series of products have the advantages of high security, high integration and high reliability, extremely low standby power consumption, built-in security encryption and decryption algorithm, few peripheral devices, rich peripheral resources and high comprehensive price. They are suitable for industrial control, intelligent household appliances and intelligent home Internet of things terminals, intelligent meters, security, medical electronics, motor drive, battery and energy management, and biometrics The application of products in the fields of Internet of things, communication, sensor and machine automation covers hundreds of application scenarios of Internet of things. Last year, national technology selected the “MCU R & D project” of mobile Internet of things, with a total amount of 47.48 million yuan, which not only brought performance contribution, but also showed that its MCU chip products and technology have been recognized by domestic well-known Internet of things enterprises.
Some activists believe that the Internet of things industry will become the core industry in the future, and the Internet of things makes the security problem more and more attracted the attention of the industry. At present, the common MCU in the market do not consider the security protection mechanism from the perspective of strong security. In order to ensure the safety of MCU products, most manufacturers design the safety part separately. However, due to the different understanding of security, the security protection of general MCU products on the market is very weak. “At present, the security protection ability of most general purpose MCU on the market is very weak. If you get to Shenzhen Huaqiangbei, you can break its security protection with hundreds of thousands of yuan.” Some people in the industry commented like this. In fact, arm has also launched new generation security microcontroller architectures cortex-m23 and cortex-m33. ST has also provided a series of stsafe solutions for the security of the Internet of things. However, due to the high cost, the market performance is not very close to the people. In this case, it is undoubtedly a good opportunity to develop high security general MCU products with national technology in the field of security chip design. “General MCU + security” can maximize the advantages of national technology. After all, security is the gene hidden in its bones.
According to the planning of national technology, in the next 1-2 years, the proportion of MCU business in the main business of the company will continue to increase, becoming a new business growth point of the company. It can be seen that the investment in the field of MCU in the past two years is strategic, and if it goes well, it may become an important track for its future performance growth.
Can snow industry return to the fast lane of development?
Before that, the company acquired snow industry and laid out the new energy field, but inadvertently stepped on thunder. What is the motivation behind this? New energy is the focus of national industrial layout in recent years. In addition to environmental protection, energy is also the driving force for the development of transportation, industry and commerce, infrastructure and other industries. In the face of the rapid promotion of new hot spots such as smart grid and energy storage power station, as well as the strong demand for high-performance new energy in other fields, the company’s decision of layout in the field of anode materials should be a response to the optimization and upgrading of the future energy industry.
Especially in the field of transportation, new energy vehicle industry has a strong demand for lithium battery anode materials. According to the research data of GGII, in 2019, China’s lithium battery anode material market shipment volume was 265000 tons, a year-on-year increase of 38%, with a considerable growth rate. Since the beginning of this year, the state has introduced a series of incentive measures. One is to extend the policy of new energy vehicle purchase subsidy and exemption from purchase tax for two years. Second, the central government supported Beijing Tianjin Hebei and other key areas to phase out diesel trucks with national three or below emission standards by replacing subsidies with awards. Third, from May 1 to the end of 2023, the value-added tax on used car sales by used car dealers will be reduced by 0.5%.
The first quarter is the traditional off-season of the industry, and due to the influence of the special period, the bulk consumption has been restrained to a certain extent. However, since March, many departments, including the development and reform, commerce and so on, have issued catalytic policies such as car purchase subsidies and trade in, showing the determination of the country to develop the new energy automobile industry.
Let’s take a look at snow industry, the target of national technology acquisition. It is understood that the negative electrode material market presents a “three plus five” competition pattern, “three” refers to Bertrand, Shanshan and Zichen Technology (a subsidiary of putailai), and “Five” refers to snow industry, zhengtuo new energy, Hunan Xingcheng (a subsidiary of Zhongke electric), xiangfenghua and Kaijin NEW energy. After experiencing the storm of big customers, snow industry still occupies a favorable position in the anode material industry.
Previously, due to the debt repayment risk of major customers and the rupture of capital chain, snow industry was facing a test in its operation, which also worried investors about the negative impact of the acquisition of national technology. Taking into account the company’s actions such as lowering the consideration and demanding compensation, the author believes that after the current consideration adjustment, the transaction has basically met the actual value of customers after thunderstorm, even lower than the actual value of snow industry. At the same time, only from the perspective of financial data, the negative impact of big customers of snow industry has been digested in the early performance decline. Considering the prospect of new energy anode materials and the fact that snow industry has gradually adapted to the current situation, it has adjusted its business strategy. It is reasonable for the company to lower the consideration and ask for compensation.
At present, the anode material industry is undergoing integration. With the continuous improvement of the performance requirements of power battery products, higher requirements are also put forward for the product performance of anode materials. Artificial graphite is the mainstream trend of the industry in the future, so the domestic leading enterprises of artificial graphite will be the beneficiaries in the future competition.
From the public information, snow has a number of graphite and silicon carbon anode material core technology. It shows that in technology, snow industry already has the “ammunition depot” needed for development, and is expected to reap the dividends after industry integration. In 2019, snow industry was recognized as Guangdong power battery material engineering technology research center by Guangdong science and Technology Department, which proves that even though snow industry has experienced the business crisis in 2018, it has solid technical foundation and strong R & D strength.
According to the national technical bulletin, the production base of graphitization and negative electrode in Inner Mongolia has realized large-scale and continuous production, reduced the production cost of negative electrode through capacity expansion and manufacturing process improvement, and started to undertake graphitization processing services for the third party, initially realizing new profit growth points. On the other hand, according to media reports, employees of snow industry said that since 2019, snow industry has successfully shipped to the top 10 and top 5 major customers in China, and the shipment volume is expected to reach 10000 tons. It can be seen that snow industry has gradually got rid of the influence of the original big customers.
“China core” in trade war
Under the shadow of the special period of these months, but the reality is that the national level economic competition has never ended, “strategic core” is still the top priority of the national information industry development strategy.
According to the CICC Research Report, from the beginning of 2019 to December 20, thanks to the localization of semiconductors and the implementation of the science and technology innovation board, the market value of the semiconductor sub sector of a / h technology shares increased by 241% (including the rise of individual stock prices and the contribution of new listed companies), reaching 1.12 trillion yuan. In 2020, according to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce, the export of China’s integrated circuit products increased by 10.5% from January to February this year, and the total investment in semiconductor projects only disclosed has exceeded 100 billion. Wei Shaojun, director of the Institute of microelectronics at Tsinghua University, believes that the development of China’s chip industry in the next few years will depend on strong demand, growing market and social support, as well as our investment in talent training. This prospect is certainly foreseeable.
National technology, the rise of this company is closely related to the fate of domestic chips. Some media said that when the company restructured, it chose the word “national” to “break through the original technology, the original market, and do what belongs to itself”. Its ambition of “serving the country through industry” is praiseworthy. Although in recent years, the development of national technology has encountered bottlenecks, but as a domestic listed company that earlier laid out the information security chip industry, national technology has established certain advantages in technology, customer base and supply chain. Last year alone, national technology’s products and solutions won a number of industry awards, including “Jinhui Award”, “China IOT Technology Innovation Award” for ecological resources innovation in the field of industrial Internet, and “more potential award” for excellent security products of key information infrastructure in 2019. In addition, national technology has reached tripartite in-depth cooperation with Haier digital and Youfang technology to jointly build the first enterprise in China The industrial Internet national security system also proves that national technology, as an “old brand”, its core competitiveness is still recognized by the industry and the market.
Generally speaking, due to market changes and unfavorable investment, the national technological development has encountered great difficulties in the past two years. In this case, through the appearance of “Thunderbolt”, we can see the local adjustment and integration of chip industry and new material industry in the process of high-speed upward. Under the premise of “stepping on thunder”, enterprises’ attitude, speed and strategy for future development are the important factors that affect whether they can survive the industry integration period and reap the rising dividend of the industry. At present, national technology and snow industry have actively made various adjustments, which are worthy of reference and affirmation.
Editor in charge: Tzh