Sat, Jan 13, 2001 - Page 1 News List

Joint venture Shanghai chip foundry stumbling

STAFF WRITER

A much-touted Shanghai semiconductor joint venture between the sons of a Taiwan business mogul and China's president appears in question, local media reported yesterday.

The ground-breaking for the US$1.63 billion (NT$52 billion) investment took place Nov. 18 last year, but further preparation of the site has stalled, according to a report in a local Chinese-language newspaper yesterday.

The proposed 8-inch wafer plant -- a collaboration between Winston Wang (王文洋), president and CEO of Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (宏力半導體) and Jiang Mianheng (江綿衡) -- is scheduled to start commercial production in just 17 months.

Wang said he is still optimistic about the outlook, dismissing concerns that his planned 8-inch wafer plant located in the Shanghai Zhangjiang High-Tech Park (張江高科技園區) has not yet begun basic construction site clearance work.

In addition, the plant is expected to begin a test run by the end of this year with a monthly production of 50,000 wafers.

Rumors are circulating in the local press that Grace Semiconductor is currently facing a number of financing hurdles and that several of the company's middle-level executives -- sourced from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) -- have been returning to Taiwan following the delays.

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