Technology Why a Taiwanese chip maker is at the heart of US-China tech fight
Taiwanese baseball team to place robot mannequins in stands to replicate actual fans
While most sports worldwide have halted indefinitely, a few are looking to get back to business sooner rather than later. No, I’m not talking about reports about leagues talking about possibly playing by a certain date, I mean they’re actually getting back to playing. That’s the case for the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, Read more The post Taiwanese baseball team to place robot mannequins in stands to replicate actual fans appeared first on The Comeback.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has, since its founding in 1987, set out to be a global “committed corporate citizen” serving clients worldwide instead of focusing only on one region.
It succeeded. The contract chip maker is today the world’s largest semiconductor foundry. But now TMSC has been drawn into the increasingly fierce tech feud between the United States and China.
Two incidents last week helped to illustrate the Taiwanese company’s awkward situation.
Firstly, TMSC, last Thursday, announced a plan to buildin Arizona, which has been seen as a political win for the US president Donald Trump who promised to bring back manufacturing back home.
Huawei chip unit orders up more domestic production as U.S. restrictions loom: sources
Huawei chip unit orders up more domestic production as U.S. restrictions loom: sourcesSHANGHAI (Reuters) - Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is gradually shifting production of chips designed in-house away from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) and towards a mainland Chinese firm in preparation for more U.S. restrictions, sources familiar with the matter said.
Secondly, a day after the TSMC announcement the US Department of Commerce unveiledthat from September would bar global chip makers that use US equipment or technology, (effectively most global industry players including TSMC), from selling to Huawei, which accounts for around 14% of Huawei’s revenue, according to Credit Suisse analysts.
Why TSMC matters
At the core of the issue is the, which are essential for internet and software companies, as well as being at the heart of many technologies used by militaries around the world. Chips are essential building blocks of modern technology supply chains. Chip factories, which need major capital investment and high tech equipment, are also proven to be an economic boon for the cities they are located. Thus, it is not an exaggeration to say whichever country masters the chip production and design know-how will have an upper hand in future competition on the technology front.
US moves to cut Huawei off from global chip suppliers
USA-HUAWEI TECH/ (UPDATE 2):UPDATE 2-U.S. moves to cut Huawei off from global chip suppliersThe U.S. Commerce Department said it was amending an export rule to "strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology.
This means TSMC,and also one of the few chip manufacturers, including Samsung and Intel, that can produce the fastest chips in the world, is not just important, but vital in the global tech supply chain. Contract chip makers make products for clients to meet those clients’ specifications, and in this way TSMC differs from Samsung and Intel who reserve their best chips mostly for their own products.
Many of TSMC’s clients are semiconductor makers in their own right, who design the integrated circuit but don’t have the capacity to mass-produce them. TMSC is the most important source for a number of both US and Chinese tech giants, including Apple, Qualcomm, Broadcom , Nvidia and Huawei. Overall, the companyfrom the US, followed by China (17%) and Taiwan (8%), according to Bloomberg.
The significance of TSMC’s new plant
Even China’s best chip makers are believed to be as much astheir international peers despite huge investment in the industry from Beijing. If Chinese tech champions like Huawei, are not allowed or being restricted to use TSMC’s chips then that will cause them major difficulties because the companies won’t be able to find alternative suppliers quickly. Although the new plant is expected to only contribute 3 -4% revenue to TSMC, according to analysts from Bernstein, its launch is still bad news for China if, as some say, it is a symbolic step demonstrating TSMC is leaning towards its US clients rather than its Chinese ones.
Huawei hits back at US as TSMC cuts off chip orders
“The US government still persists in attacking Huawei, but what will that bring to the world?” © Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge “In its relentless pursuit to tighten its stranglehold on our company, the US government has decided to proceed and completely ignore the concerns of many companies and industry associations,” Huawei adds in an official statement. “This decision was arbitrary and pernicious, and threatens to undermine the entire industry worldwide.
The fact that TSMC is a Taiwanese company further complicates the matter. Beijing claims the self-ruling island democracy as part of its territory and so should be “re-unified” with the People’s Republic of China.has been exacerbated by the new coronavirus outbreak, to which Taiwan has had one of the best public health responses to the epidemic worldwide.
What could happen next?
One direct consequence of the move of TSMC is it could accelerate China’s own development of semiconductors. However, it’sanytime soon. Even the country’s most advanced chip maker, Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), has only recently launched its latest generation of 14 nanometer chips, some four years behind Intel and Qualcomm, analysts from Fitch Solutions, an affiliate of credit rating agency Fitch ratings wrote in a note.
“China has been throwing billions of yuan into semiconductor industry in the last few years trying to expand capacity, but it’s still not there yet,” says Bryan Mercurio, an expert on international trade law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
However, despite its still huge gap with international peers, Chinese chip makers could have a good opportunity by offering cheaper and less powerful products to emerging markets, where demand will be more practical home and office equipment instead of cutting edge equipment such as 5G bases. In this area, Chinese companies could supplant US brands within the next decade, say the analysts at Fitch Solutions.
As for TSMC, it remains to be seen whether its opening of a plant in Arizona is a firm move away from its valuable Chinese clients or more of a gesture to generate goodwill in Washington DC and with president Trump.
“The launch of this plant has to be a token gesture from TSMC. Would the company really want to risk losing all of its Chinese clients, not only Huawei, or being shut out of the China market just for a symbolic move like this? Probably not,” says Mercurio.
Taiwan: Beijing abandons the adjective "peaceful" to evoke "reunification" .
CHINA-PARLIAMENT-TAIWAN: Taiwan: Beijing abandons the adjective "peaceful" to evoke "reunification" © Reuters / CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS TAIWAN: BEIJING ABANDONED THE "PACIFIC" ADJECTIVE TO CONVEY "REUNIFICATION" BEIJING / TAIPEI (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday refrained from using the adjective "peaceful" when referring to the will for a " reunification "with Taiwan, a semantic shift which could suggest a political evolution in a context of growing tensions between the island and