TSMC founder Morris Chang backs US moves to curb chip advances in China

TSMC founder Morris Chang backs US moves to curb chip advances in China

TSMC founder Morris Chang backs US moves to curb chip advances in China

The retired TSMC founder said Thursday that while he supports U.S. efforts to slow China’s progress in the semiconductor industry, the “bifurcation” of the global supply chain and reversal of globalization would raise prices and reduce the ubiquity of microchips that power the modern world.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that in the chip industry, globalization is dead. Free trade isn’t quite dead, but it’s in danger,” Morris Chang said during an interview. an event organized by the Taiwanese magazine CommonWealth.

“As costs rise, the ubiquity of chips will come to a halt or slow down significantly,” said Chang, who at 91 remains an influential voice in Taiwan’s chip industry. “We’re going to be in a different game.”

In Taiwan, TSMC Asia’s most valuable listed company and one of Apple’s main suppliers, is widely regarded as the “sacred mountain protecting the country”, due to its economic importance.

In recent years, China has stepped up diplomatic and military pressure against Taiwan, which Beijing considers its territory, raising concerns about the fate of the chip factories that dot Taiwan’s west coast and produce the majority of the most popular chips. advances in the world if China blocks or attacks. the Island.

US “onshoring” and “friendshoring” efforts to boost chip manufacturing in the United States or allied countries present a difficult situation for Taiwan.

“Friendshore does not include Taiwan. In fact, the Secretary of Commerce has repeatedly said that Taiwan is a very dangerous place, we can’t – America can’t – rely on Taiwan for chips,” Chang said. “Now, of course, I think this is Taiwan’s dilemma.”

TSMC is expanding its global production footprint, although it retains its most advanced technology in Taiwan.

Late last year, TSMC began construction of a second chip factory in Arizona that will begin production in 2026, using advanced 3nm technology. The company’s total investment in the US project stands at $40 billion (about Rs. 3,30,860 crore).

Meanwhile, the Chinese government is investing billions in strengthening its chip industry, but Chang said China’s chipmaking technology lags Taiwan’s “by at least five or six years”.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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