The semiconductor famine over the last few years has caused intense shortages in supply for a lot of sectors of the global tech industry. Unfortunately, while many groups work feverishly to stabilize the matter, recent tensions in Asia could have further significant impact. As China threatens conflict with Taiwan, semiconductor manufacturing group TSMC warns that conflict could render the world’s leading chip fabricator inoperable.
TSMC Chairman Mark Liu shared his concerns about a China/Taiwan conflict harshly affecting the company’s work in a recent interview with CNN, as shared by CNBC. In the interview, Liu opined that if China brings force against Taiwan, it would likely do immense damage to the already faltering supply of global tech components.
“Nobody can control TSMC by force. If you take a military force or invasion, you will render TSMC factory non-operable,” Liu told interviewers. “Because this is such a sophisticated manufacturing facility, it depends on real-time connection with the outside world, with Europe, with Japan, with U.S., from materials to chemicals to spare parts to engineering software and diagnosis… The war brings no winners, everybody’s losers.”
Liu would go on to compare the threat of a Taiwan/China conflict to the similarly tense situation between Ukraine and Russia, which escalated earlier this year. While there are many distinct differences in the conflict, Liu believes that the economic damages from Russia and Ukraine’s conflict are similar and implores national leaders to avoid conflict.
“Ukraine war is not good for any of the sides, it’s lose-lose-lose scenarios,” Liu continued. “How can we avoid war? How can we ensure that the engine of the world economy continues humming, and let’s have a fair competition?”
It indeed seems like a difficult question to answer. The United States is currently mobilizing to shore up chip supplies even in the face of possible Chinese force against Taiwan. The CHIPS Act of 2022 was passed in the House of Representatives and Senate, giving subsidies to tech companies boosting semiconductor manufacturing in the US. This would include a $12 billion USD semiconductor fab that TSMC is building in Arizona, and so it may be that expanding further overseas is part of TSMC’s answer.
Nonetheless, a blow to TSMC’s at-home production would likely affect the global tech supply and economy significantly. As we continue to watch for further updates on this story, stay tuned here at Shacknews.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, TSMC semiconductor production threatened as China & Taiwan tensions escalate
Get ready for another chip shortage...
That will probably be the least of our worries.