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Elon Musk rumored to be planning Taiwan trip amid global chip shortage

Hsinchu-based Realtek responds to rumor, says it does not manufacture audio conversion chips for cars

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (AP file photo)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (AP file photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — American billionaire businessman Elon Musk is rumored to be coming to Taiwan to ensure a stable supply of automotive chips, possibly through a quarantine-free "economic bubble."

Tesla is said to be sending a "top executive" to meet Realtek, the world's leading audio conversion chip manufacturer, with an aim to push for higher production capacity of the chips. UDN reported that the "top executive" is, in fact, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is also the founder, CEO, and chief designer of SpaceX.

Hsinchu-based Realtek responded to the rumor by saying that the company does not offer audio conversion chips for cars and that the only chip used in vehicles is its ethernet chip, which remains undersupplied. Likewise, its high-definition audio codecs software is available for personal computer products but not cars, the company added.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told the media Monday evening (April 12) that special, quarantine-free business travel to Taiwan is available only to business people with a meaningful role in a significant investment project, and their stay cannot exceed three days.

Last month, Hewlett Packard President and CEO Enrique Lores wrapped out a one-day trip to Taiwan.

According to reports, Lores entered Taiwan on a private jet and met with top executives of the company's Taiwanese suppliers at a hotel. He reportedly maintained a social distance of 1.5 meters and abstained from eating during the meetings, in line with the economic bubble requirements.

Updated : 2021-05-14 13:35 GMT+08:00