TSMC will keep roots in Taiwan despite China supply chain

Company chair Morris Chang allays fears of a move away from Taiwan

TSMC Chairman Morris Chang.

TSMC Chairman Morris Chang. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The biggest contract chipmaker in the world, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (TSMC, 台積電), will keep its roots in Taiwan even though it wants to become part of China’s “red supply chain” (紅色供應鏈), company founder and chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) said Saturday.

Concern has grown in Taiwan that some of its top companies and brand names are planning to leave the island, following Thursday’s announcement of a deal by smartphone maker HTC to sell part of its business and R&D talent to U.S. Internet giant Google.

Addressing fears that star performer TSMC would also move overseas, Chang said Saturday that key elements of the company’s business would never leave the country.

“TSMC will be a part of the Chinese supply chain, but most of its production will still be in Taiwan, and research and development are TSMC’s roots, R&D will also stay in Taiwan,” he was quoted by the Chinese-language Apple Daily as saying.

Speaking at National Chiao Tung University, the microchip pioneer said that even though the Chinese market would be huge, but forming part of its supply chain did not mean that all manufacturing would have to happen in China. The situation would not change, and most of the manufacturing would remain in Taiwan, he insisted.

At present, only 2 percent of TSMC’s chips were made in China, with most of the production and the R&D originating in Taiwan, according to Chang.