Mon, Oct 24, 2011 - Page 12 News List

ASE will continue to invest: chairman

QUID PRO QUO:ASE’s announcement came after the firm invested US$6 billion last month in the building of an HQ and chip packaging compound in Shanghai, China

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff Reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou, left, looks at a model of a packaging and testing plant during a visit to Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc in Greater Kaohsiung’s Nantze Export -Processing Zone yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體), the world’s biggest chip packager and tester, yesterday said it would continue to expand its investments in both Taiwan and China, despite rising global economic headwinds.

Weak global economic growth has led to overcapacity in the nation’s technology sector.

In recent weeks, several technology companies in local science parks have reportedly imposed unpaid leave on their employees to help the firms cope with plummeting demand and a decline in factory utilization, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) chairman and CEO Morris Chang (張忠謀) said earlier this month he expected the global slowdown to continue throughout next year.

The economic slowdown could weigh on the global semiconductor industry, causing it to show “zero growth” this year, the local cable TV network UBN quoted ASE chairman Jason Chang (張虔生) as saying at a celebration ceremony in Greater Kaohsiung.

“The growth rate for next year and for the next few years could be very low,” Chang was quoted as saying.

However, the Greater Kaohsiung-headquartered ASE has no plan to furlough workers, Chang said.

Instead, the company is aiming to increase hiring and investment in both Taiwan and China as well as further expanding copper wire bonding in its packaging process, Chang said.

“[The company] hopes to raise [its] global market share to 25 percent to 30 percent by 2020 from the existing 7 percent,” he was quoted as saying.

Chang made the remarks as ASE yesterday celebrated the completion of the construction of Plant K12 at the Nantze Export Processing Zone (楠梓加工出口區) in Greater Kaohsiung. New factories are also being built at its Nantze and Chungli facilities.

The 11-story Plant K12, with a production area of 49,912m2 at a cost of between US$500 million and US$600 million, was built to expand ASE’s flipchip assembly and copper wirebond leadframe/substrate assembly lines.

ASE expects to hire 3,200 employees at Plant K12 and also plans to hire another 15,800 upon completion of its expansions at the Nantze and Chungli facilities by 2014.

The company is estimated to spend around US$1.9 billion in Taiwan capacity expansion over the next four years, Allen Kan (甘智文), head of investor relations, said by telephone.

Looking ahead, ASE’s total workforce in Taiwan is expected to increase to 42,000 by 2014 from the current 22,000 and the number will rise to 60,000 by 2020 with an annual revenue of US$8.4 billion by that time, online news outlet reported yesterday, citing Chang.

The company made NT$188.74 billion (US$6.3 billion) in revenue last year.

The new investment in Taiwan came after the company announced last month its investment of US$6 billion to build a Chinese headquarters and a chip packaging compound in Shanghai.

This story has been updated since it was first published.

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