US Plans Semiconductor Alliance With Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan

The US has proposed forging a semiconductor industry alliance between the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan in a move to prevent China from gaining dominance over the strategic sector. However, South Korea is not fully on board with the idea proposed by America, Taiwan News reported citing Business Korea.

“Cooperation with the United States is the top priority of course, and yet the biggest market (China) is also of paramount importance,” Taiwan reported citing Business Korea’s sources.

The South Korean government is reluctant to jeopardize the operations of South Korean chipmakers like Samsung who have a core manufacturing infrastructure in China.

The western Chinese city of Xi’an is home to Samsung’s only overseas memory chip plant. The fab accounts for roughly 40 percent of the Korean conglomerate’s total NAND flash production.

Meanwhile, China is waging economic warfare to acquire Taiwan’s semiconductor industries, home to the world-leading semiconductor industry, second only after the US.

The Taiwanese government has accused China of waging economic warfare against Taiwan’s tech sector by stealing technology and inveigling away skilled engineers, reported The HK Post.

Taiwanese Executive Minister Lo Ping Cheng charged that Beijing was enticing Taiwan’s advanced-tech personnel and engaging in theft of national critical technologies, circumventing regulations, illegally investing and operating in Taiwan causing the nation a huge loss in IT security and industry competitiveness.

Semiconductors or ‘chips’ are the essential building blocks in technological innovation and economic development. These chips are ubiquitous in all electrical devices including smartphones, electronic vehicles, hypersonic armaments, airships, pacemakers etc.

In the past few years, the government of Taiwan has reported many charges concerning the theft of chip trade secrets by Chinese organisations.

While China manufactures the majority of the world’s computers and smartphones, it imports almost all the semiconductors needed to run these gadgets.

To remove its technological dependence, China regularly engages in industrial espionage and other activities in an effort to develop its own semiconductor industry. This was also one of the main reasons why China was trying hard to get Taiwan back under its hold.

Investigation Bureau of Taiwan under the administration of the Ministry of Justice rounded up 60 Chinese nationals on the allegation of stealing trade secrets and poaching tech employees from Taiwan, reported The HK Post.

The list of companies investigated includes Vimicro, GLC Semiconductor, Analogix Semiconductor, Beijing Yinxing Technology among others.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

 


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