Taiwan says will use US-led chip alliance to protect local firms

Deputy economy minister says chipmaking requires collaboration to ensure a ‘very resilient supply chain’.

Taiwan chips
Two chips are displayed at the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) in Hsinchu, Taiwan, on February 11, 2022 [Ann Wang/Reuters]

Taiwan will use the new United States-led “Chip 4” group to safeguard the interests of Taiwanese companies and to ensure supply chain resilience, a deputy minister has said, though he added that the group had no agenda yet.

A preliminary meeting of the group took place last week with representatives from Taiwan, the United States, South Korea and Japan attending.

A global semiconductor shortage has thrust chip powerhouse Taiwan into the spotlight and made supply chain management a bigger priority for governments around the world.

Taiwan deputy economy minister Chen Chern-chyi on Wednesday told reporters in Taipei that chipmaking required collaboration to ensure a “very resilient supply chain”.

“We will use that platform to strive to safeguard our companies’ interests,” he said, but added that the group had not started formal meetings.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has said that the island is committed to ensuring its partners have reliable supplies of semiconductors and has urged allies to boost collaboration amid intensified threats from China.

Beijing claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory. Taiwan’s government rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

The “Chip 4” group’s Asian members are home to the world’s largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, South Korean memory chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, and key Japanese suppliers of semiconductor materials and equipment.

The establishment of the group also comes on the heels of a new US law passed in August that includes $52bn in subsidies for companies that make chips or conduct chip research in the United States, as Washington looks to lessen US reliance on Asia for semiconductors.

Source: Reuters