Tsai Vows to Aid Local Semiconductor Industry

4 Mar

During a visit to the Hsinchu Industrial Park Thursday, President-elect Tsai Ing-wen pledged to help Taiwan’s semiconductor industry maintain its competitive strengths, local media media reported.

Tsai cited China’s semiconductor supply chain as the greatest challenge to Taiwan’s IC sector, adding that Taiwan needs to foster its own talent while creating an environment that would retain talent in the industry.

The government must become more active if the nation wishes to maintain its edge, Tsai said, adding that the incoming government pledges stable water and electricity supplies, as well as land, for companies to manufacture products.

Integrating Taiwan’s expertise with that of other nations, such as software in the US, as well as industries in Japan that supply key components, could strengthen Taiwan’s foothold in foreign markets, Tsai said. Pursuing this strategy, Taiwan would ultimately have an opportunity to become a major global supply center for information and communications technology products, she explained.

Meanwhile, Etron Technology president Nicky Lu said that the government should “seek to manage Chinese investment” in Taiwanese information and communication design industries, rather than shutting out Chinese investors. The Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association, which Lu chairs, polled member companies on allowing Chinese investment in the Taiwanese IC design industry, with a majority backing the idea, Lu said.

Some academics are strongly opposed to Chinese investment in Taiwan’s IC design sector. More than 500 electronic engineering and information technology professors have signed a petition against Chinese investment in the industry.

According to Lu, Chinese investors are “already investing in Taiwanese IC firms, albeit in a roundabout manner.”

Lu suggested Taiwanese IC design companies could also consider buying out Chinese IC design companies.