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BYD restructures semiconductor arm to boost business

By Zheng Yiran in Beijing and Pei Pei in Shenzhen, Guangdong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-04-15 14:02
An insulated-gate bipolar transistor (or IGBT) wafer scale is produced at BYD's factory in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China's new energy vehicle giant BYD Co Ltd announced on Tuesday evening the restructuring of its wholly-owned subsidiary — now named BYD Semiconductor Co Ltd — in a bid to deeply integrate its semiconductor business, offer better products to the industry, and actively seek an independent listing at an appropriate time.

Through internal restructuring, the subsidiary, originally named BYD Microelectronics Co Ltd, now covers the development, production and sale of power semiconductors, intelligent control products, intelligent sensors and optoelectronic semiconductors. It boasts an integrated industrial chain with chip design, wafer manufacturing, assembly, testing and downstream applications.

The company said that with the restructuring, it will increase its supply of insulated-gate bipolar transistor (or IGBT) semiconductor technology to the industry. The IGBT semiconductor technology is regarded as a core technology of new energy vehicles (NEV).

Song Jin, a senior automobile analyst at Beijing-based market consultancy Analysys, said: "Semiconductors are important hardware for NEV production. BYD's restructuring of its subsidiary offers the subsidiary more autonomy, and promotes the company to better operate its semiconductor business."

With independent operation, the restructured subsidiary is able to go through a more clarified audit process, have more credibility in the industry, and better supply the industry, he said.

BYD Semiconductor expects that driven by market demand, it will proactively secure more orders from the external market, and accelerate the development of the company by seizing the opportunity of the rise of China's semiconductor industry in the future.

Meanwhile, it intends to introduce strategic investors by way of capital increase and allotment of shares. It will actively seek a separate listing in due course, and establish an independent capital market platform and market-oriented incentive mechanism, so as to stimulate the vitality of the company and drive the sustainable growth of its businesses.

The restructuring also offers the company more opportunities to attract investment from the country and venture capitalists, Song said.

On Dec 3, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued a guideline on NEV development, suggesting that by 2025, NEV sales should reach 25 percent of the total, and pure electric vehicles should become mainstream.

With the restructuring, BYD is expected to better seize the opportunities from the government's favorable policies, Song added.

Data from industry research consultancy NE Times showed that currently, BYD's self-developed automotive grade IGBT loading surpassed 700,000, ranking first in the country.

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