Chip giant TSMC says it is ‘rooted in Taiwan’ even as it expands abroad

Chip giant TSMC says it is 'rooted in Taiwan' even as it expands abroad
FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with a displayed TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) logo is placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken March 6, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

HSINCHU, Taiwan: TSMC will remain “rooted in Taiwan”, its chief executive said on Friday (Jul 28) in a bid to allay concerns that the world’s largest contract chipmaker could abandon its island home as it expands abroad.

CEO CC Wei was speaking at the opening of a massive research and development facility that TSMC, Asia’s most valuable listed company and a key Apple Inc and Nvidia Corp supplier, built in Taiwan’s tech hub Hsinchu.

“We want to use this opportunity to tell all the people of Taiwan that TSMC is determined to remain rooted in Taiwan,” Wei said.

“Recently, to respond to customer requests, we have been building a lot of production lines around the world,” he said. “But we’ve also heard deeply concerned voices asking if TSMC has already moved its core abroad.”

While the company makes the bulk of its chips in Taiwan, it has committed US$40 billion to building a chip factory in the US state of Arizona. It is also building one in Japan and considering a second one there, and is in talks with officials in Germany about building a plant there.

TSMC’s overseas expansions have sparked concerns in Taiwan, where chip manufacturing is the backbone of the economy, about a “goodbye to Taiwan” trend amid heightened tension with China and as other countries dangle incentives to attract chipmakers.

China has, in recent years, increased diplomatic and military pressure against Taiwan, raising concerns about the fate of the factories that dot its western coast and produce the majority of the world’s most advanced chips.

Beijing views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, a claim the government in Taipei rejects.

The new home for TSMC’s R&D efforts – with floor space spanning the equivalent of 42 football fields – will by September house more than 7,000 staff, including the researchers developing its most advanced technology as well as scholars working on exploratory research, the company said.

The company broke ground on the facility in 2020.

Source: Reuters/ac