Thu, Mar 14, 2002 - Page 3 News List

TSU questions accuracy of report

CHALLENGING THE FINDINGS Taiwan Solidarity Union legislators have claimed that the wafer fab report released last December was full of misleading statistics

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmakers yesterday questioned the accuracy of a report that had served as an important source for the government's decision to lift the ban on building eight-inch wafer foundries in China.

They claimed that a report released last December by the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, was full of misleading information, and what they said were untruthful statistics that even the conductors of the report were aware of.

The TSU legislators hold vice premier Lin Hsin-yi (林信義) responsible for the alleged inaccuracies and demanded that he give an explanation because he was the official who gave a green light to the proposal when he was minister of economic affairs last year.

The government will decide by the end of March whether to allow a request from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台基電) and United Microelectronics Corp (聯電) -- the world's largest and second largest contract chipmakers respectively -- to set up foundries in China.

TSU lawmaker Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) listed examples of what he called deceptive information.

He said the report indicates that Taiwan has been able to mass-manufacture 12-inch wafers -- a technologically more advanced product than the eight-inch wafer, along with Japan and the US.

The report also said that it is necessary for Taiwan to enter the Chinese market because in contrast to China, Taiwan has less talent and limited resources.

"In reality, the production of 12-inch wafers is not widespread at all ? How can the government approve opening up if we have less talent than China," he said.

The TSU has argued that the government should wait until the production of 12-inch wafers ramps up before allowing eight-inch wafer fabs to be moved to China.

TSU legislator Huang Tsung-yuan (黃宗源) said that Shih Yen-hsiang (施顏祥), conductor of the report and head of the IDB, had told him in a legislative meeting yesterday that he was not in the know of some of the information used in the report.

"It is obvious that somebody purposely offered mistaken figures in a bid to mislead the government's policy," said Huang.

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