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TSMC board backs vaccine donation to Taiwan government

Questions mount as to whether philanthropic act comes at expense of retail investors who lack voice in process

TSMC board backs vaccine donation to Taiwan government

(AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In response to questions over the legitimacy of its vaccine donation plan, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) stated on Sunday (June 20) that the initiative was supported by its board directors in a meeting on June 9.

The Hsinchu-based contract chip maker, the world’s largest, joined the vaccine donation initiative after Foxconn announced the bid. The two domestic tech giants agreed on Saturday to each import 5 million doses of the BioNTech shots directly from the German manufacturer and to donate them to the Taiwanese government, which is struggling with a vaccine shortage.

Concerns surfaced that the philanthropic act is coming at the expense of retail shareholders who lack a voice in the process. In response, the company issued a statement on Sunday, saying the initiative has been fully discussed and was supported by the board of directors in June's meeting.

"Details about the price of each dose, the delivery method, as well other information, in addition to the agreement with the Germany vaccine maker, will be made known to the public after it is officially approved by the board of directors," the statement read.

The expected total cost of the BioNTech vaccine procurement would exceed NT$6 billion (US$216 million), LTN reported.

According to the company’s website, the 10-member board consists of world-class business leaders and professionals, including TSMC Chairman Mark Liu (劉德音); Chief Executive Officer C.C. Wei (魏哲家); Tseng Fan-cheng (曾繁城); former Chairman of the National Performing Arts Center and former Advisor to Taiwan's Executive Yuan Chen Kok-Choo (陳國慈); former British Telecommunications Chief Executive Officer Sir Peter L. Bonfield; former Chairman of Applied Materials Inc. Michael R. Splinter; former Chief Executive Officer of Xilinx Inc. Moshe N. Gavrielov; Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Acer Group Stan Shih (施振榮); Chairman of Delta Electronics Inc. Yancey Hai (海英俊), and Minister of National Development Council Ming-Hsin Kung (龔明鑫).