Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密), a key supplier to Apple Inc, has asked its Taiwanese employees who work at its plant in Wuhan, China, but are back in Taiwan for the Lunar New Year holiday to stay home, given the new coronavirus outbreak in the city.
Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), yesterday said that no health problems had been found so far in its Wuhan-based employees who had returned to Taiwan for the holiday, but it had asked them not to attend the annual year-end party in Taipei yesterday, and to stay home during the holiday in case of any contagion.
“We also urge any colleague who had been to Wuhan over the past two weeks to report to the company and rest at home for safety’s sake,” company founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) said in his speech at the party.
“2020 is full of challenges,” Gou said. “The outbreak of coronavirus is one of them.”
“The speed of contagion will be no less than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome,” he said, referring to the 2002-2003 epidemic that started in China and killed nearly 800 people globally.
“I advise everyone not to go to the mainland for this coming new year holiday,” he added.
The company stepped up health checks at the party at the Nangang Exhibition Hall, including providing 35,000 facemasks and checking everyone’s temperature as they entered the venue.
Since the outbreak, Foxconn workers in Wuhan have been wearing facemasks and getting their temperature checked, the company said.
Management has to decide whether those Taiwanese who work in Wuhan need to return there to work after the holiday, Gou said.
Management needs to come up with solutions such as video conference systems for employees if they are to work remotely from Taiwan, Gou said.
Hon Hai is expected to get through this situation, as it had been trained and survived SARS, he added.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
UNCONVINCING: The US Congress questioned whether the company’s Chinese owners pose a national security risk and how the app might influence young users TikTok chief executive officer Shou Chew (周受資), confronted with an unforgiving, distrustful US Congress, tried to give answers in his testimony on Thursday that avoided offending either the US government or China. However, his evasiveness left Congress unsatisfied, with representatives hungrier than ever to punish TikTok for ties to its parent company ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動), based in Beijing. He did not bring his company any closer to a resolution. Politically, TikTok is in a tougher spot. Its executives had been discussing divesting from ByteDance to resolve US national security concerns, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. However, China this week said
The Investment Commission yesterday approved a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) application to invest an additional US$3.5 billion in its Arizona subsidiary to manufactured advanced chips. The world’s largest contract chipmaker’s board of directors last month approved the funding project after TSMC started moving manufacturing equipment into the fab in December last year in preparation for the production of 4-nanometer chips next year. TSMC said it has also commenced the second phase of facility construction in Arizona. The second fab is to produce semiconductors using 3-nanometer technology in 2026. Altogether, TSMC plans to spend US$40 billion on the Arizona fabs, doubling its
KEY SECTOR: Taiwan’s new chip legislation is insufficient, and a more strategic ‘chip act’ that covers the whole semiconductor ecosystem is needed, MediaTek’s chairman said MediaTek Inc (聯發科) chairman Rick Tsai (蔡明介) yesterday urged the government to formulate a state semiconductor strategy and comprehensive “chip act” that includes local chip designers and smaller-scale semiconductor companies, as they are facing intensifying competition from China. The government is playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding the local semiconductor industry’s competitiveness, given that the US, the EU and Japan are offering hefty subsidies and significant tax incentives to build semiconductor capacity domestically, as they have realized the strategic importance of semiconductors, Tsai said. To implement such a program, the government should take steps to finance a “chip act,” Tsai said
Microsoft Corp has threatened to cut off access to its Internet search data, which it licenses to rival search engines, if they do not stop using it as the basis for their own artificial intelligence (AI) chat products, people familiar with the dispute have said. The software maker licenses the data in its Bing search index — a map of the Internet that can be quickly scanned in real time — to other companies that offer Web search, such as Apollo Global Management Inc’s Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. Last month, Microsoft integrated a cousin of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s AI-powered chat technology, into Bing. Rivals