Chinese and Korean Materials Suppliers Profiting from Japanese Politics

San Diego, CA, October 10, 2019: TECHCET—the advisory services firm providing electronic materials information—announced that Chinese materials suppliers are moving to take marketshare at South Korean chip fabrication (fab) lines. Due to residual animosity from 20th century wars, Japanese politicians decided to use the semiconductor materials supplier-chain as a pawn in a political chess game and un-white-listed South Korea from exports. Any good-will between the two nations was immediately erased, and South Korea announced a US$6B government investment to as a huge driving force to help develop local supplies. Now Chinese chemical suppliers have unprecedented openings to qualifications at Korean-owned fabs, including commercial memory fabs in China.

According to the official July 16 announcement of China’s New Materials Industry Alliance of Electronics and Chemical Industry, Befar Group’s electronic hydrofluoric acid has successfully received batch orders from some Korean semiconductor manufacturers. After many batches of sample testing and small batch testing, Befar Group finally established a formal partnership with Korean enterprises. Then on September 3rd, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that according to an “informed official” Samsung Electronics has begun replacing HF sourced from Japan with critical material from local suppliers.”

“New sources of HF for high-volume manufacturing of semiconductors must be qualified though extensive split-lot experiments to ensure that there will be no yield losses,” reminded Lita ShonRoy, President and co-founder of TECHCET. “Our industry sources indicate that qualifications of Chinese chemical suppliers, like Befar, is of high interest to Korean chip fabricators. Now the door is open, and Chinese suppliers are on the ready to get qualified by South Korean electronics manufacturers, especially at Samsung Xian and SK hynix Wuxi.”

Fluorspar mineral is the raw material source for HF, and most (~60%) of the world’s fluorspar is mined in China and to a lesser degree (< 20%) from Mongolia. Fluorspar supplies remain tight worldwide with much of Mongolia’s 2019 production having already been sold into Chinese and other Asian markets, with continuing strong demand from these markets and good prospects for additional sales. Over the past year, supply-chains outside of China have tried to qualify local fluorspar sources, but the Asian region will remain very dependent on China for this important mineral and for fluorinated gases. TECHCET is tracking the following Chinese materials suppliers: Anji Microelectronics Co.,, Befar Group Co., Grikin, Guangdong Huate Gas Co., Hefei TNJ Chemical Industry Co., Hubei Feilihua Quartz Glass Co., Jiangsu Denoir Technology Co., Jiangyin Jianghua Microelectronics Materials Co., Kempur Microelectronics, Konfoong Materials International Co. (KFMI), Linggas dba Green Link Electronic Materials Co., Rudong Zhenfeng Yiyang Chemical Co., Shanghai Phichem Material Co., Shanghai Sinyang Semiconductor Materials Co., Suzhou Ruihong Electronic Chemicals Co., Yingde Gases Group Co., Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone Monheit International Trade Co., and Zhejiang Yongtai Technology Co. Purchase Reports Here: