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Semiconductor Industry will be Impacted U.S.-China Trade War

Nov 28, 2018 | By CENS

The current U.S.-China trade tensions will more than likely affect the semiconductor industry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) CEO Wei C.C. said on Tuesday.

Wei was speaking at the TSIA as the association's chairman during the yearly meeting. He noted aside from the trade situation, China's aggressive expansion was also digging into Taiwan's market share, as well as the industry's need for a steady supply of land, water, and electricity. However, he added that artificial intelligence and applications for 5G were trends that could invigorate the industry.

The CEO's latest remarks marked a complete turnaround compared to his comments on the industry's situation last month when he spoke that the trade war was unlikely to impact the industry too much as TSMC was “everyone's OEM factory.”

Company executives revealed to the media that their CEO was commenting on the current challenges of Taiwan's semiconductor industry in his capacity as TSIA chairman, rather than commenting on his company's current problems.

Wei said that this year marks the 60th anniversary since the invention of integrated circuits and that Taiwan leads the world in semiconductors. This year marked the 60th anniversary of the invention of integrated circuits and that Taiwan is the global leader in semiconductors, Wei said during his opening remarks.

With AI and 5G applications growing, semiconductors will eventually be everywhere, Wei said, calling it the main driver of the modern digital age, prompt innovation and open up the “blue sea” for the industry. Semiconductor demand will be expected to rise as AI applications reach into different fields like VR, AR, cloud computing, machine learning, and smart healthcare.

However, other challenges like China's rapid advancement in the semiconductor industry and acquisition of Taiwan's talents could serve as obstacles to the expansion and growth of the island's semiconductor industry. Wei urged the government to lend a hand to the industry, especially in terms of cultivating new talent and keeping the old, as well as providing the needed resources to staunch the industry drain.


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