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MOEA to ease rules on semiconductor investment in China

MOEA to ease rules on semiconductor investment in China

Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is planning to relax restrictions on China-bound investment by Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturers, to allow them to set up new 12-inch wafer plants, Vice Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (???) said Thursday. Under the current regulations, Taiwanese chip makers are only allowed to acquire existing 12-inch wafer production bases or buy shares in such plants in China, but not to establish new ones. Many local business groups and enterprises, including The Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (?????) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, ???), had been urging the Taiwan government to relax the investment rules. After taking into account the current market conditions, Shen said, the MOEA decided to give local chip makers more flexibility in terms of their China investment strategy. By dispensing with the need for Chinese business partners, the new regulations will help prevent the stealing of business secrets and technology, the ministry said. The MOEA, however, has limited the establishment of new 12-inch wafer plants in China to total of three for all Taiwanese investors. Shen said his ministry will submit the regulations to the Executive Yuan (Cabinet) by the end of August and will promulgate them once they are approved. Currently, Taiwanese semiconductor firms are allowed to open independently a maximum three new 8-inch wafer plants in China. TSMC, the world's largest chip maker, opened a new 8-inch wafer plant in Shanghai's Songjiang district in 2003. Despite its investments in Shanghai, TSMC has been hiring more people at home, boosting its workforce by 20,170 since 2003, to handle its capacity expansion in Taiwan, according to the MOEA. Over the 12 year period, the company has increased its number of employees in China by only 2,663, the ministry said. Taiwan held a 73 percent share of the global wafer foundry market in 2014, up 67 percent from 2008, which proves that investment in China by the local semiconductor sector has not adversely affected Taiwan's global competitiveness, the ministry said. (By Huang Chiao-wen and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-25 11:25 GMT+08:00