Taiwan’s TSMC a key player shaping world in 2021: The Economist

The Economist’s deputy editor notes Taiwan’s importance in geopolitics

TSMC logo (Reuters photo)

TSMC logo (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The strategic importance of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has been underscored in a speech delivered by Deputy Editor of The Economist Tom Standage at an economic forum hosted by Taiwan-based CommonWealth Magazine.

During the 20-minute talk on the topic of “The World in 2021,” Standage pointed out the nine trends to watch for this year, one of them being the need for corporate leaders to be politically-conscious. This reality has been marked by the prolonged U.S.-China trade conflict, which has entangled tech giants like Huawei and TSMC, he said.

According to Standage, Taiwan will continue to gain prominence on the global stage from the perspective of geopolitics. The decline of American multinational Intel in its chipmaking capacity has propelled TSMC to a more important status, and what is happening in Taiwan and the broader East Asia will have an impact on the world, he reckoned.

The disclosure that Intel’s 7-nanometer processing technology will not be available until 2022 or early 2023 has put it in a disadvantageous position against its rivals, including TSMC. The Taiwanese semiconductor foundry is said to be testing the production of 4 nm chips, which are projected to enter volume production in 2022.

The narrative about TSMC becoming Taiwan’s “silicon shield” has been promoted by industry experts amid the U.S.-China conflict. Western countries including the U.S. are called upon to protect Taiwan against Chinese control over its chipmaking prowess.

TSMC shares have been rallying and hitting new highs since the beginning of the year over upbeat views about its technological advances and profitability prospects. Prices soared from NT$525 (US$18.75) on Dec. 31 to NT$650 at one point on Wednesday (Jan. 20).

Updated : 2021-02-26 04:15 GMT+08:00