Mon, Jul 02, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Professors slam plans for high-tech investment in China


A group of university professors spelled out their opposition yesterday to the government allowing four high-tech companies to invest in semiconductor testing and packaging plants in China.

Members of the Taiwanese Association of University Professors (TAUP, 台灣教授協會) lambasted in a news release the Ministry of Economic Affairs' approval last Thursday of the applications of four firms to establish semiconductor testing and packaging plants in China, which they said will only accelerate the development of China's semiconductor manufacturing industry while aggravating Taiwan's unemployment rate.

By giving the green light to the four companies, the ministry is presenting China with funds and jobs from Taiwan's information technology and semiconductor industries, a move that would only benefit the shareholders of a few Taiwanese high-tech companies, the professors said in the news release.

The Investment Commission approved the investment plans of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), Siliconware Precision Industries Co (矽品精密), Greatek Electronics Inc (超豐) and Walton Advanced Engineering Inc (華東科技), collectively worth almost US$100 million, to establish low-end semiconductor testing and packaging plants in China.

Allowing the semiconductor testing and packaging industry -- which is capital and labor-intensive -- to invest in China would help the mainland develop its high-tech industry and put a dent in Taiwanese investment and production, the professors said.

They said the administration should restrict medium and high-end semiconductor testing and packaging companies from making investments in China, and also ask those companies to increase their investments in Taiwan at the same time as they invest in China.

They suggested that the ministry keep a close eye on the nation's semiconductor manufacturing industry, saying that the relaxed controls will eventually undermine the production chain of Taiwan's semiconductor industry, which is the largest of its kind in the world and the result of 30 years of effort.

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