Five industry associations and four industry-related nonprofit organizations yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the localization of semiconductor equipment production.
At the signing ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders’ Association (台灣工具機暨零組件公會) chairman Habor Hsu (許文憲) said that Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is overwhelmingly dependent on imported production equipment.
“We have a world-leading semiconductor industry in Taiwan, but 90 percent of our semiconductor manufacturing equipment is imported,” Hsu said.
It is time to step up the output of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, he said.
“In the wake of COVID-19 and the US-China trade dispute, international businesses will change where and how they make their products,” Hsu said.
Other trade associations that signed the memorandum were Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI, 國際半導體設備與材料產業協會), the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association (台灣電子設備協會), and the Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association (光電科技工業協進會).
The Taiwan Automation Intelligence and Robotics Association (台灣智慧自動化與機器人協會), the Metal Industries Research and Development Center (金屬工業研究發展中心) and the Precision Machinery Research and Development Center (精密機械研究發展中心) were the signatories from the nonprofit sector.
Taiwan is the world’s largest buyer of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and might this year spend up to US$62.3 billion on the equipment,” SEMI Taiwan president Terry Tsao (曹世綸) said.
“The most important task at hand is to convince international industry leaders to expand their operations to Taiwan,” Tsao said. “This can be the maintenance and repair of components or the assembly of secondary systems. This will create a point of contact that will allow Taiwanese equipment manufacturers to find a new market.”
Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said that the government is planning to make Taiwan an “advanced semiconductor production center.”
“The first step is encouraging foreign semiconductor equipment companies to make more of their products here,” Shen said. “We hope that this cross-industry alliance will encourage more international companies to invest in Taiwan.”
Shen said that as Taiwan’s three science parks are operating at almost full capacity, it is time to add a fourth or even a fifth park to support the growth of its semiconductor production chain.
“In the past, too much of the development was focused in the north of Taiwan. Going forward, we are looking for a more even regional development,” Shen said.
However, there are “no concrete plans” for additional science parks yet, he added.
“The paramount issue is securing land and water,” Shen said.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) founder Jack Ma (馬雲) has been living in Tokyo for almost six months after disappearing from public view following China’s crackdown on the tech sector, the Financial Times reported yesterday, citing multiple unnamed sources. The billionaire has kept a low profile since the crackdown, which has included Chinese regulators scrapping the initial public offering of Ma’s Ant Group Co (螞蟻集團) and issuing Alibaba with record fines. However, the Times said he has spent much of the past six months with his family in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, along with visits to the US and Israel. The
FACTORY TUMULT: The departure of new workers impact production less than the quarantines imposed on existing employees, a worker at China’s ‘iPhone city’ said Turmoil at Apple Inc’s key manufacturing hub in Zhengzhou is likely to result in a production shortfall of almost 6 million iPhone Pro units this year, a person familiar with assembly operations said. The situation remains fluid at the plant and the estimate of lost production could change, the person said, asking not to be named discussing private information. Much depends on how quickly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the Taiwanese company that operates the facility, can get people back to assembly lines after violent protests against COVID-19 restrictions. If lockdowns continue in the weeks ahead, production could be set further
HOLIDAY SEASON OMEN: Low-cost brands and high-end retailers had the most foot traffic, leaving mid-range stores struggling on what used to be their biggest sales day US retailers discounted heavily on Black Friday to clear out bloated inventories, but customers responded with only modest traffic, leaving profitability in doubt for many chains. Brick-and-mortar retailers, which were hit hard by COVID-19 closures and shoppers seeking to avoid the virus, saw in-store traffic on Friday tick up 2.9 percent from last year’s shopping event, data compiled by Sensormatic Solutions showed. US consumers are still spending, but they are growing more cautious after contending this year with the highest inflation rates in four decades. They are also keeping a sharper lookout for deals, and retailers — many of them still heavy
‘REVOLUTION’: Elon Musk complained over a 30 percent fee Apple collects on Apple Store transactions and said the technology company has stopped advertising on Twitter Twitter Inc owner Elon Musk on Monday opened fire against Apple Inc over its tight control of what is allowed on the App Store, saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform. Musk also joined the chorus crying foul over a 30 percent fee Apple collects on transactions via its App Store — the sole gateway for applications to get onto its billion-plus mobile devices. A series of Twitter posts fired off by Musk included a meme of a car with his first name on it veering onto a highway off-ramp labeled “Go to War,” instead