In December 2019, the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics organization projected annual global chip sales would increase by 5.9% in 2020 and 6.3% in 2021. However, the COVID-19 outbreak, which started from China and now becomes a pandemic, has already caused widespread impact throughout the tech industry, with the semiconductor industry not spared as electronics production in China and the global supply chain have been heavily disrupted.
According to the latest investigations by TrendForce on the foundry industry in mid-March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic causes repercussions in global markets, and the economy enters corresponding slowdown, the foundry industry now faces major uncertainties on the demand side, possibly slowing there industry’s future growth momentum. Impact of the COVID-19 on the industry will likely surface in 2Q20. That said, with the strong demand for semiconductor chips with pressure coming from technologies in the 5G, automotive as well as AI arenas, the sentiment is that the sector will recover once the outbreak is over. The COVID-19 outbreak is a challenge, at the same time, an opportunity for some businesses. It is a good chance to build contingency planning into the company’s culture, and a good time to upskill the workforce in order to prepare for an eventual recovery. It’s time for us to get prepared for an increasingly unpredictable world.