TSMC toughens disease control amid mounting coronavirus threat

Chipmaker took part in government-led meeting via conference call to reduce infection risks

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(Facebook, TSMC photo)

(Facebook, TSMC photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) became the only company to join a tech meeting via conference call on Friday (March 5) as the world’s largest semiconductor foundry ramps up measures to fend off the coronavirus.

Conducted by the Hsinchu Science Park Administration, the meeting saw the participation of companies from six industries, including semiconductors, computer-related devices, telecommunications, optoelectronics, precision machinery, and biotechnology. TSMS, United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), and Innolux Corporation were among the 20 enterprises represented at the meeting, reported Liberty Times.

Citing new disease prevention rules, TSMC did not send staff to the meeting but provided advice and exchanged opinions on how the country’s tech firms can beef up efforts to tackle the health crisis. Attendees said it was extremely rare for the semiconductor giant to take part in such a way, indicating the extent to which the company has exerted caution to prevent the spread of the virus.

Led by TSMC, the semiconductor sector accounts for 70 percent of Hsinchu Science Park’s output, and the companies' clients include Apple, Huawei, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and a host of other tech giants, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The chipmaker has been on high alert as its rivals in South Korea – SK Hynix and Samsung – have both reported confirmed cases of the highly contagious virus among their employees.

TSMC implemented a series of virus-prevention measures even before the Lunar New Year. These include making masks mandatory for workers, having engineers have their temperatures checked by secretaries wearing N95 respirators, having those with a fever self-quarantine for 14 days, compartmentalizing office areas and supply chain meeting rooms, and keeping people in management positions from meeting with their substitutes, reported Business Weekly.