Taiwan vows to protect its companies’ interests in US-led ‘Chip 4’ group

TAIPEI, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Taiwan will use the new U.S.-led “Chip 4” group to protect the interests of Taiwanese companies and ensure supply chain resilience, a deputy minister said on Wednesday, although he added that the group has no agenda yet.

A preliminary meeting of the group was held last week with representatives from Taiwan, the United States, South Korea and Japan. read more

A global shortage of semiconductors has put the Taiwanese chipmaker in the spotlight and made supply chain management a higher priority for governments around the world.

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Taiwan’s Deputy Economy Minister Chen Chern-Chi told reporters in Taipei that chip manufacturing requires cooperation to ensure a “very resilient supply chain.”

“We will use this platform to try to safeguard the interests of our companies,” he said, but added that the group had not started formal meetings.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the island is committed to ensuring its partners have reliable semiconductor supplies and urged allies to step up cooperation amid intensifying threats from China.

Beijing claims that it democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory. Taiwan’s government rejects China’s claims of sovereignty.

The “Chip 4” group members from Asia are home to the world’s largest contract chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd ( 2330.TW ), South Korean memory chip giants Samsung Electronics Co Ltd ( 005930.KS ) and SK Hynix (000660.KS) and key Japanese suppliers of semiconductor materials and equipment.

The formation of the group also comes on the heels of a new US law passed in August that includes $52 billion in subsidies for companies that make chips or conduct chip research in the United States, as Washington tries to reduce US reliance on Asia for semiconductors.

Asked about the United States’ desire to reduce its reliance on manufacturing in Taiwan, Chen said Taiwan’s chip industry has a well-integrated supply chain and a very good workforce.

“From the government’s point of view we believe that Taiwan’s advantage and Taiwan’s advantage in developing the most advanced manufacturing technology will always be here in Taiwan.”

However, the government is happy to see Taiwanese chip companies investing in like-minded countries, he added.

“We believe this will only deepen and strengthen our relations.”

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Report by Ben Blanchard. Edited by Edwina Gibbs

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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