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Taiwan’s TSMC mulling response to US supply chain disclosure request

Tech companies have until Nov. 8 to voluntarily provide Washington with supply chain information

TSMC Tainan office building (Reuters photo)

TSMC Tainan office building (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) said on Wednesday (Oct. 6) that it is still considering how to reply to a U.S. government request to reveal information about its supply chain.

Following a recent meeting on Sept. 23 at the White House, the Biden administration is asking chipmakers and electronics manufacturers to voluntarily disclose supply chain information to help the American government deal with the global chip shortage. This request has caused concern among tech companies like TSMC, who say such data are considered sensitive trade secrets, Nikkei reported.

“We will definitely not leak our company’s sensitive information, especially related to our customers,” Nikkei cited TSMC’s Legal and General Counsel Sylvia Fang (方淑華) as saying. Fang also said the company is waiting for the U.S. government to prepare a FAQ sheet in response to questions from tech firms.

The Biden administration is asking chip suppliers and electronic device makers to send data on inventories, production capacity, and important customers for specific products by Nov. 8, per Nikkei. If companies fail to comply with Washington’s request, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Sept. 23 said the White House could use a Cold War-era national security law to force companies to hand over supply chain information, the report said.

According to Taiwan’s National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin, who oversees the National Development Fund — TSMC’s biggest single shareholder at over 6% — the company should be able to provide Washington enough information without having to divulge confidential client information.

Updated : 2021-10-18 04:09 GMT+08:00