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Taiwan’s TSMC says it won't disclose client info to US

Concerns grow as chipmakers including TSMC, Samsung asked to offer confidential data

(Reuters photo)

(Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) on Thursday (Sept. 30) reassured its clients that it will not reveal their information to the U.S. government.

The issue is getting attention following South Korean media reports that the U.S. Department of Commerce had asked TSMC, Samsung, Intel, among other companies, to provide data regarding their sales, inventory status, and details of their clients.

The request was made during a semiconductor summit at the White House on Sept. 23, to get a better hold of the world's chip supply woes, according to Business Korea. Participants at the summit have until Nov. 8 to respond to the request, which contains 26 questions in a survey published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, per the National Development Fund.

TSMC will not disclose the confidential data of its clients nor engage in practices that jeopardize the rights of its clients and shareholders, National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) told a legislative interpellation after reaching out to TSMC and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. NDC is a major shareholder in the chipmaker.

TSMC said it has received the full support of the government and will seek assistance if the need arises, wrote CNA. Industry observers believe compliance is voluntary but chipmakers may consider it obligatory as Washington might invoke the Defense Production Act to penalize those who refuse to comply, Korea Joong Ang Daily reported, citing a source at a company involved in the request.