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SK Hynix (Hynix) is a South Korea-based company mainly active in the production and sales of semiconductor memories. Its major products include dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), NAND flashes, as well as multi-chip packages (MCP), among others. Since piloting production of South Korea’s first 16kb static random-access memory (SRAM) in 1984, SK Hynix is now the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker (after Samsung Electronics) and the world’s fifth-largest semiconductor company. SK Hynix has consistently led the industry with smaller, faster and lower power semiconductors, mostly focused on DRAM.

Its revenue from DRAM/NAND accounts for 76%/22%, while its operating profit from DRAM/NAND is 91%/9% respectively. SK Hynix is the second largest DRAM manufacturer in the world with a 28% market share on a bit basis as of 2017. Samsung Electronics is leading with 44% of global market share in DRAM based on the most advanced technology in the world. In NAND, SK Hynix is a relative new-comer but has rapidly grown since acquiring the Toshiba chip unit in 2018

With the trend of IT devices getting smarter and having more enhanced mobility functions, more advanced semiconductor specifications are being required. The spread of high-end smartphone model features such as triple cameras and 3D sensors to mid- to low-end models is very positive for mobile memory content’s increase. Content growth is expected to continue in mobile devices, driven by broader use of AI and the increasing number of cameras in the average smartphone. These elements will become pervasive while the industry readies for 5G implementation. We are probably also still in the early innings of cloud growth, and long-term end-customer demand trends remain strong in this market. Looking ahead, we point to a broadening interest in high-performance graphics memory for AI enablement in segments like data centers and automotive. Strength in automotive continues to be driven by increasing demand for in-vehicle infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems

With over thirty years of expertise in semiconductor production and operation, SK Hynix is dedicated to continuous R&D and investment to achieve cost competitiveness and technological leadership in the global semiconductor market. In particular, the company is focused on profit-oriented management and qualitative growth in the increasingly important markets of mobile, server and storage solutions. In preparation of the future, SK Hynix is also focused on developing next-generation memory technologies such as PC RAM, STT-MRAM and ReRAM.

SK Hynix is well positioned to benefit from the above trends due to its sound business model and technological know-how. The company has four production facilities, including Incheon and Cheongju sites in South Korea and Wuxi and Chongqing sites in China. As a global leader, SK Hynix also operates five R&D subsidiaries, and ten sales subsidiaries globally.

Finally, some words on the company’s sustainability performance. SK Hynix is considered an average performer on ESG issues compared to global leading peers. The score for environment, social and governance is 71, 72 and 66, respectively (the higher the score, the better). The ESG Risk Rating is 20.5 which is fine (the lower the score, the better).


A revolution in global business is under way. Companies based in emerging markets, boasting ambitious leaders, appealing products or services and state-of-the-art facilities and systems are expanding overseas and transforming industries and markets across the globe. The few emerging markets companies that have captured media attention only represent a small fraction of a larger phenomenon of the many emerging markets companies that are actively expanding beyond their domestic markets, or are planning to do so. As corporate governance has always been a key risk of emerging market investing, Econopolis opened up a Singapore research hub in 2013 to increase proximity to the companies we invest in and observe and listen to the signals you cannot get by just doing desktop research.

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The Global Challengers we are looking for, are set to grow into global powerhouses with credible aspirations to build global footprints. The capabilities of these Global Challengers go beyond mere cost advantages. They have been building new capabilities, such as manufacturing higher-quality products, harnessing their cash resources, and investing in R&D. These Global Challengers can be divided into three groups:

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