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Chipmaker TSMC Says Too Early to Say on Germany Expansion

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has built up a $4.1bn stake in TSMC.
Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company jumped on Monday after news emerged that legendary investor Warren Buffett has bought more than 60 million of its shares in the US. File photo: Reuters.
  • Talks in early stages but EU is keen to boost homegrown chip industry
  • TSMC says it will build semiconductor factories in US, Japan


Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) said on Monday it was too soon to say if it will build factories in Germany and that talks were in early stages, as the EU seeks to reduce chip imports amid a supply shortage.

The European Commission had held discussions with global chip giants, including Intel and TSMC, as the EU seeks to boost semiconductor production and shield itself from shocks in the global supply chain.

Taiwan and TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer, have become central in efforts to resolve the pandemic-induced chip shortage that has forced automakers to cut production and hurt manufacturers of smartphones, laptops and even appliances.

“We are currently doing reviews on Germany seriously, but it’s still in very early stages,” TSMC chairman Mark Liu told an annual shareholder meeting when asked about building chip fabrication plants in the EU country.

“We continue to communicate with our major clients in Germany to see whether this is most important and effective for our clients,” he said. “It’s too early to say.”

New Plants

TSMC signalled in July plans to build new factories in the United States and Japan amid concern over the concentration of chipmaking capability in Taiwan, which produces most of the world’s most advanced chips and is geographically close to political rival China.

On TSMC‘s $12 billion factory in the US state of Arizona, Liu said the expansion would support client demand, especially in infrastructure and national security.

“Clients are the backing of our global expansion. We will move very cautiously,” Liu said, adding that the company’s customers would help share costs of overseas operations.

TSMC announced this year plans to invest $100 billion over the next three years to increase capacity, riding on what it called a “multiple years of growth opportunities”, as the Covid-19 pandemic and new technologies drove global demand for advanced chips.

Reporting by Reuters



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