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Nikkei Asia wins Hinrich Foundation trade reporting award

Published 23 February 2023

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 US-China strife over semiconductors combined to upend global supply chains in 2022. Nikkei Asia accepted the award at the National Press Foundation’s annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC in February 2023.

Nikkei Asia reporters Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li reported from Japan 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 Kim Jaewon 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.   

National Press Foundation judges noted the difficulty involved in taking a critical but hazy notion such as decoupling and breaking it down to the nuts and bolts of complex trading relations with the precision and detail required for a well-informed business readership. They also praised the Nikkei’s infographics as adding significant value to a complicated story. 

The Guardian newspaper of Nigeria won an honorable mention for a three-month-long investigation by Gbenga Salau that exposed how herbal products marketed in Nigeria as hailing from Ghana were actually manufactured in Nigeria and falsely labeled.  

The Hinrich Foundation Award for Distinguished Reporting on Trade was created in 2019 to recognize exemplary journalism that illuminates and advances the public’s understanding of international business and trade. Previous winners include a Washington Post team in 2020 and a Wall Street Journal team in 2021. 

Nikkei Asia accepted the award at the National Press Foundation’s annual awards ceremony, held in-person in Washington, DC, on Feb 23, 2023. 

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