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US Leads Chip Supply Chain Meeting With Taiwan, Asian Allies

The semiconductor shortage, which forced some carmakers to halt production, put a spotlight on chip powerhouse Taiwan and made supply chain management a priority for governments


Germany has blocked the sale of one of its microchip factories to a Chinese-owned company due to security concerns.
Germany has blocked the takeover of Elmos, a chip-maker based in Dortmund, because of concerns over China's strategic purchase of key companies and technology. Photo: Reuters.

 

The United States led the first ‘Chip 4’ working group meeting with East Asian nations – which focused on strengthening the microchip supply chain, a Taiwan’s government official said on Friday.

“We exchanged views at a first preliminary meeting, and hope everyone can discuss how to collaborate in the future on supply chain problems like the ones we recently encountered,” Taiwan’s Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua Wang said.

The preliminary meeting of the working group – dubbed ‘Chip 4’ – also involved representatives from South Korea and Japan.

 

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The group’s member countries are home to the world’s largest contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, South Korean memory chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, and key Japanese suppliers of semiconductor materials and equipment.

The semiconductor shortage, which forced some carmakers to halt production, thrust chip powerhouse Taiwan into the spotlight and has made supply chain management a bigger priority for governments around the world.

 

‘Democracy Chips’

President Tsai Ing-wen told visiting US lawmakers last month that Taiwan is committed to ensuring its partners have reliable supplies of semiconductors, or “democracy chips”, and urged allies to boost collaboration amid intensified threats from China.

Kyung Kye-hyun, who heads Samsung’s chip business, said earlier this month that his company has conveyed concerns about the proposed Chip 4 alliance, including the need for South Korea to seek China’s understanding before any negotiations.

The American Institute in Taiwan, which acts as a de facto US embassy, hosted the virtual meeting of the US-East Asia Semiconductor Supply Chain Resiliency Working Group, a spokesperson said.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon

 

 

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US Sending ‘Dangerous Signals’ on Taiwan, China Says

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Alfie Habershon

Alfie is a Reporter at Asia Financial. He previously lived in Mumbai reporting on India's economy and healthcare for data journalism initiative IndiaSpend, as well as having worked for London based Tortoise Media.

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