Nikkei Asia has won the Hinrich Foundation Award for Distinguished Reporting on Trade from the National Press Foundation for its “fascinating” coverage of how the pandemic, war and the escalating U.S.-China strife over semiconductors combined to upend global supply chains in 2022.
The Guardian newspaper of Nigeria won honorable mention for a three-month-long investigation that exposed how herbal products marketed in Nigeria as hailing from Ghana were actually manufactured in Nigeria and falsely labeled.
Nikkei Asia reporters Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li had been covering Apple’s iPhone production woes in China in 2021. Their deep expertise on how the phones are manufactured and where their components are sourced was put to the test when Moscow attacked Kyiv on Feb. 24, 2022.
Less than 36 hours later, Cheng and Li had filed a scoop from Japan revealing that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would jeopardize the global supply of industrial gases that are essential to the production of semiconductors.
The story noted that most of the noble gases and precious metals required for semiconductors came from Russia or Ukraine and that 70% of global supplies of neon were controlled by Ukraine. Nikkei Asia reporter Jaewon Kim also contributed to the report from South Korea.
Another story, titled “The Resilience Myth,” showed that supply chains are not actually chains but vast multinational webs that are so interdependent that the idea that decoupling semiconductor technology from China and reshoring it to Western nations is impossible, at least for now.
Ting-Fang and Li will accept the award at the National Press Foundation’s annual awards ceremony, which will be held in person in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 23, 2023.