Taiwan’s Tsai decries ‘rumours’ about chip investment risks

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The Taiwanese leader says her government is working hard to keep investment in the key industry going.

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Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen condemned “rumors” of the risks of investing in the island’s key semiconductor industry, saying the government is working hard to keep such investments going.

Taiwan, home to the world’s largest contract chipmaker TSMC, plays a huge role in the production of chips used in everything from cars and smartphones to fighter jets. It is also a leading supplier for companies such as Apple Inc.

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But the Chinese military’s threat to the island to reaffirm Beijing’s claim to sovereignty – especially after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in August – is forcing chip makers to rethink the risks of investing in Taiwan.

Tsai, meeting with ASML Holding COO Frédéric Schneider-Maunuri, praised the European company, a major equipment supplier for companies like TSMC, for its commitment to investing in the island.

“At this moment, when the world is paying attention to and worrying about Taiwan, I am very grateful to ASML for investing in Taiwan with concrete actions,” Tsai said, according to comments released by the Office of the President late on Tuesday.

“I believe this also debunks rumors of excessive speculation about the risk to Taiwan,” she added.

Rick Tsai, chief executive of Taiwan’s largest chip developer MediaTek Inc, told Reuters news agency this month that US-China tensions are pushing some manufacturers to talk about expanding part of their supply chain off the island, but added that this is “gradually” . .

ASML dominates the global market for lithographic systems, which project light to create microscopic patterns on chips. TSMC uses ASML EUV machines to manufacture its most advanced chips.

ASML did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.

Tsai said investing in Taiwan was “definitely the right direction” and the government will continue to provide support.

“I also look forward to further deepening Taiwan’s cooperation with democratic allies to create a more secure and sustainable global supply chain,” she added.

A statement from the office of the president mentions that Schneider-Monuri told Tsai that the company will continue to increase its investment in Taiwan, noting that they already have five factories and employ more than 4,500 people on the island.

Credit: www.aljazeera.com /

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