Serials1:China Semiconductor Hero Biography

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China Semiconductor Hero Biography

01 Tsinghua EE85 makes all kings, and Dongfang Gates keeps watch-China Semiconductor Hero

Jiangnan is warm and rainy like ink. Ningbo is such a town in the south of the Yangtze River.

In 1966, Yu Renrong was born here on the night before the storm.

From childhood to adulthood, Yu Renrong has always been among the best. His excellent in character and learning, and is known as “the child of others”. In 1985, after graduating from high school, he successfully entered Class EE85, Grade 85, Department of Wireless Communication (now Department of Electronic Engineering), Tsinghua University.


Even in Tsinghua, where there are hidden dragons and crouching tigers, Yu Renrong still stands out and becomes an elite among the elite. At the same time, he is an alternative among the school bullies.


In 1998, Yu Renrong, 32, quit his job and started his own business. He was still familiar with the distribution of electronic components and founded Beijing Huaqing Xingchang Science and Trade Co., Ltd. The decision to go into business is very insightful. Yu Renrong successfully seized the golden opportunity of the rise of domestic mobile phones and made a big fortune.


In 2003, under the guidance of senior executives of Anson Semiconductor, Yu Renrong pioneered ideas, and on the basis of normal distribution and supply, took the initiative to provide customers with various product application programs to help customers reduce research and development costs. This strategic decision has played a remarkable role again.

By 2006, Yu Renrong had become the largest distributor in Beijing and had a place in the semiconductor industry.


In 2007, Yu Renrong was 41 years old. He was still energetic in his middle age. This year, he invested 4 million yuan to set up Weir Co., Ltd. (SH: 603501) in Shanghai, extending his career to the field of semiconductor design. From distribution to design, the accumulation is not enough, so it is not easy to cross the border. Weil had to choose the R&D, design and sales of TVS, MOSFET and other semiconductor discrete devices and power management IC products with low technical threshold.


From 2013 to 2015, Weir successively acquired Hong Kong Huaqing, Beijing Jinghongzhi, Beijing Taihezhi, Wuxi Zhongpuwei, included SoC chip and RF chip businesses, and successfully won the favor of ZTE, Xiaomi, Lenovo and other big customers. At this time, his wealth reached 6 billion yuan.


In 2019, after Weir acquired Howell, the profit and share price soared to a new platform. We will talk about these two stories later. In 2020, as the actual controller holding 30% of the shares, Yu Renrong, with a fortune of 55 billion, ranked No. 281 in the “Hurun 2020 Global Rich List” and officially became the richest man in China’s chip industry.


02 Weierhaowei Snake Swallows an Elephant-China’s CMOS god


As mentioned above, Weir has made many mergers and acquisitions of excellent domestic chip companies before its listing. . Weir still does not have the strength to compete with international giants. In this case howell has since entered the scope of Weir’s vision.


In 2016, before Weir acquired Howell. The consortium consisting of CITIC Capital. Two company had acquired Howell Technology at a price of 1.9 billion dollars. Which making it a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijing Howell. These two companies are Beijing Qingxin Huachuang Investment Management Co., Ltd. and Jinshi Investment Co., Ltd.


In June 2017, Weir Shares planned to acquire 86.5% of the equity of Beijing Howei. But it was terminated due to the opposition of Zhuhai Rongfeng, one of Howei’s shareholders. On August 28, 2019, Weir finally successfully completed the acquisition of 85.53% equity of Beijing Howei with nearly 16 billion yuan.


SibCo, also in the CMOS image sensor industry, was acquired by Weir together with Howell.


In September 2019, Weir Co., Ltd. merged with Howei Technology. And its strength increased greatly, becoming the strongest CMOS chip manufacturer in China and one of the world’s three CMOS giants.


Sony’s total share is stable at about 40%, Samsung’s is stable at about 20%, and Howell’s is stable at about 10%.

Weir’s downstream industries also undertake Howell, covering consumer electronics and industrial applications. Also including smart phones, tablets, laptops, webcams, security monitoring equipment, digital cameras, automotive and medical imaging.



Speaking of semiconductor design, let’s talk about Weir’s business model. Weir adopts the Fabless model, focusing on the R&D, design and sales of chips, and outsourcing wafer manufacturing, packaging and testing to a professional third-party OEM enterprise. Compared with the IDM model, which has the whole process in its own hands, the Fabless model has smaller initial investment scale and more flexible operation, and pursues the high value-added part of the industrial smile curve, with higher profit margins.


However, in this outsourcing production mode. When the industry’s capacity supply is tight, it is uncertain whether the capacity of the wafer factory and the sealing and testing factory can guarantee the company’s procurement demand.

In view of the possible industrial chain risks mentioned above. Weir said that it is the company’s sales strategy to concentrate superior resources and focus on serving key customers. And consolidate the partnership by establishing strategic cooperation and providing products and services that meet the requirements of key customers and market development needs. For the upstream supply chain, Weir will plan the capacity several years ago to prevent delivery risks. As a global CIS leader, Weir has long maintained close cooperation with well-known domestic and foreign manufacturers such as TSMC, SMIC International, Huahong, and Lijing, and has advantages in obtaining capacity.

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