Auquan’s Weekly Wrap | 27th - 3rd March: What you might have missed

Three key themes Auquan customers were tracking this week.

China Lithium Industry Environmental Risks | 5 Stories (rising)

Summary: Environmental risks in China's lithium industry threaten to disrupt global supply in 2023.

  • A probe in Yichun may shut down about 10% of the global lithium supply.
  • The rectification of the lithium ore mining and dressing industry in Yichun led to the suspension of production of lithium mica mines, affecting companies like Ganfeng Lithium, Tianqi Lithium, and others.
  • The central working group visited Yichun to supervise the mining of lithium mines, indicating stricter environmental regulations.
  • The city of Yichun is known as "Asia's Lithium Capital," and the probe is expected to cause a big shakeup.

Select Sources
27 Feb | China lithium probe may shut down about a 10th of the global supply
27 Feb | CITIC Securities: Yichun rectifies lithium mine production; lithium salt supply may be disturbed (local source translated)
26 Feb | The central working group went to Yichun to supervise the mining of lithium mines (local source translated)
06 Dec | 'Asia's Lithium Capital' Faces Big Shakeup After River Probe

Ransomware: Semiconductor Supply Chain Disruptions | 4 Stories (rising)

Summary: A recent ransomware attack on a semiconductor company has raised concerns about supply chain disruptions.

  • The attack affected several companies in the semiconductor industry, including Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA.
  • The hackers demanded a ransom in exchange for not leaking sensitive data, but it is unclear if the companies paid.
  • The attack caused a temporary shutdown of several production facilities, leading to delays in chip production.
  • The semiconductor industry is already facing supply chain challenges due to chip shortages, and the attack exacerbates the problem.

Select Sources
Feb 28 | Ransomware attack on chip supplier causes delays for semiconductor groups
Feb 21 | Cyber risk as business risk: the Applied Materials incident.
Feb 16 |Applied Materials’ Sales Shortfall Linked to Cyberattack at MKS
Feb 6 | Chip equipment maker MKS Instruments says it is investigating a ransomware attack

China's AI Innovation Accelerates | 4 Stories (rising)

Summary: China's AI innovation continues to accelerate, with new developments in research, applications, and investments.

  • Chinese tech giants like Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent are investing heavily in AI research and development.
  • The Chinese government is promoting AI innovation through policies and funding initiatives, such as the "New Generation AI Development Plan."
  • AI is being applied in various industries, including healthcare, finance, and manufacturing, to improve efficiency and productivity.
  • China's AI industry is expected to continue to grow, with estimates predicting it will reach $150 billion by 2030.

Select Sources
Feb 28 | fever to drive AI growth
Feb 27 | Ministry of Science and Technology: Give strong support to artificial intelligence as a new growth engine
Feb 18 | ChatGPT lookalikes proliferate in China
Jan 31 | China leads the world in face recognition exports

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