According to the Chinese market research firm CINNO Research’s forecast, the Taiwanese chip design company MediaTek has risen to become China’s largest smartphone SoC supplier with a market share of 36%. When it comes to the Chinese 5G smartphone market, however, MediaTek still needs to catch up with the market leader Qualcomm.
Data from Counterpoint indicates that MediaTek already dominated the smartphone SoC market with a 40% share in Q3 2021. According to Dale Gai, Research Director at Counterpoint, the prolonged chip shortage and the continuous strong demand for 4G chips will continue to drive MediaTek’s growth.
Rick Tsai, MediaTek’s CEO since 2017, changed the company’s global standing from a provider of low-end smartphone chips to a rising star in premium smartphone chip market. According to Nikkei Asia, Mediatek’s operating margin has grown from 1% to 22% (Q3, 2021) during Tsai’s tenure. Similarly, the company’s share price on Taiwan Stock Exchange has surged more than 460%. As of January 2022, MediaTek has a market capitalisation of US$64 billion – a significant leap from its market cap of US$ 16.75 in 2017.
Formerly served as TSMC’s CEO between 2005 and 2009, Rick Tsai’s deep connections with the world’s largest foundry is one of the crucial factors behind MediaTek’s success. Unlike its arch rival Qualcomm that orders chips from both TSMC and Samsung, MediaTek has formed a strategic alliance with TSMC and sources all of its advanced chips from the Taiwanese foundry, ensuring a steadier supply during the chip shortage crisis.
MediaTek’s latest flagship chip for 5G smartphones, Dimensity 9000, uses TSMC’s 4nm process and will be available in Q1 2022.