Taiwan Waits on US For Same China Chip Waivers as SK Rivals


Taiwan says it is waiting to find out if its chipmakers will be afforded the same exemptions as their South Korean counterparts and allowed to supply US chip equipment to their factories in China.

Last October, the Biden administration published a sweeping set of export controls, including a measure to cut off China from certain semiconductor chips made anywhere in the world with US tools, vastly expanding the reach of a bid to slow Beijing’s technological and military advances.

Samsung and SK Hynix, the world’s largest and second-largest memory chipmakers, have invested billions of dollars in their chip production facilities in China.

And this week, South Korea’s government confirmed they’d been told that the two firms will now be allowed to supply US chip equipment to their China factories indefinitely without separate US approvals.


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“Whether it will be the same treatment as Samsung and SK Hynix, it’s up to the announcement from the US government,” Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua told reporters in Taipei on Thursday.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said last year it had been granted a one-year authorisation by the United States that covered its factory in Nanjing, China, that makes less-advanced 28 nanometre chips.

“TSMC has already received a one-year waiver, and now we’ll have to see whether the US government will further loosen the measures,” Wang said.

The United States had been expected to extend the waivers granted to the South Korean chipmakers.

Samsung Electronics makes about 40% of its NAND flash chips at its plant in Xian, China, while SK Hynix makes about 40% of its DRAM chips in Wuxi and 20% of its NAND flash chips in Dalian.

The companies together controlled nearly 70% of the global DRAM market and 50% of the NAND flash market as of end-June, data from TrendForce showed.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

Schumer Demands ‘Level Playing Field’ For US Firms on China Trip

US Set to Close Loopholes in Curbs on Chip Tools For China

US Warns China: Chip Export Curbs Will be Updated Soon

China-Western Tensions Reshaping Global Business



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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