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TSMC ‘Won’t Give Company Secrets’ To US Chips Crisis Probe

The Taiwanese tech giant has moved to reassure customers after White House politicians warned they had ‘tools’ to help them collect data about the ongoing semiconductor shortage

The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co is the world's largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple supplier. AFP image.

 

Taiwan chip giant TSMC has again promised that it will not give up any sensitive company information to US politicians demanding answers to the worldwide semiconductor crisis.

The firm reiterated its opposition to breaking its customers’ trust after a White House request for details on the ongoing chips shortage that has forced cuts to US auto production.

The White House made the request to automakers, chip companies and others last month.

 

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Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said a voluntary request for information within 45 days on the chips crisis would boost supply chain transparency and that if companies did not answer the voluntary request “then we have other tools in our tool box that require them to give us data.”

The issue has caused concern in Taiwan that companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple Inc supplier, would have to hand over sensitive data.

“Don’t worry. We definitely will not leak our company’s sensitive information, especially that related to customers,” TSMC’s general counsel Sylvia Fang said. “Customer trust is one of the key elements to our company’s success.

“If this is to resolve supply chain issues, we will see how best we can do to help them. We have done so many things. For the part of auto chips, we’ve tried to increase output and prioritise auto chips to a certain degree.”

 

US Commercial Law

TSMC, and Taiwan’s government, have repeatedly said they are doing all they can to resolve the chip shortage.

Fang said they were still in the process of assessing the content of the questionnaire the United States has sent out for companies to fill in.

The US government “found out that many companies have questions so they are preparing an FAQ (list of Frequently Asked Questions), which will be released soon. We are waiting for that too and see if the FAQ can help answer questions.”

Taiwan’s government has said it will respect US commercial law and rules but will help Taiwanese companies if they receive any “unreasonable requests.”

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara

 

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Sean OMeara

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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