|Bid||291.50 x 0|
|Ask||292.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||290.00 - 292.50|
|52 Week Range||229.50 - 346.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.71|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||18.89|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||10.00 (3.40%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Jun. 18, 2020|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Buried in a set of little-known data are early signs that the hardware side of the technology sector may be rebounding from the pandemic-driven plunge.Investors generally need to wait until a few weeks after a quarter closes to get a sense of how well (or badly) business has been, or hope that a company will provide an update when the situation changes. Except in Taiwan. A decades-old regulation requires companies there to report sales every month. This information isn’t useful only to investors in locally traded stocks. What’s listed is a broad range of companies that make chips, components, half-assembled modules and final products used in almost every electronics device in the world. The numbers can also provide a snapshot of output in China, where most Taiwanese technology manufacturers have the bulk of production.As early as January, it became obvious that the coronavirus would be a nightmare for tech companies. We now know that Apple Inc. posted a 7.2% drop in March-quarter sales of iPhones and iPads, while its major supplier, Foxconn Technology Group, suffered its biggest dive in revenue for seven years.More interesting is to see what’s been going on since. A look at April sales data from Taiwan enabled me to crunch numbers. What we find is a bounce in revenue that gives some hope for the global sector.Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. are the most famous names in this data set, because they’re the biggest in their category and have a VIP client list that includes Apple, Qualcomm Inc., Huawei Technologies Co. and Sony Corp. Yet hundreds of others, such as Pegatron Corp., Quanta Computer Inc. and Largan Precision Co., collectively supply most of the industry.By aggregating the data month by month, comparing to a year earlier to smooth out seasonality, and looking at the sub-sectors within tech — defined by the Taiwan Stock Exchange — such as components suppliers, chipmakers, or computer assemblers, we can get an understanding of what was happening just a few weeks ago.Computers and peripherals, which include major PC and server makers Quanta and Compal Electronics Inc., showed the largest rebound, from an 11.9% drop in the January to March period to a 7.9% rise in April. Electronics parts and components, such as circuit-board supplier Compeq Manufacturing Co., turned a mild decline into solid growth, from a 3.1% decline into a 9.1% increase. Other electronics, including Hon Hai, which not only assembles iPhones but servers and networking equipment, went from an 11.8% fall to flat. Chips, headlined by TSMC, remained incredibly strong. Optoelectronics, which is largely displays and camera modules, shows a prolonged decline.One of the key takeaways is the relative strength in corporate-focused hardware, and possible continued weakness in gadgets. Foxconn pointed to this earlier in May, when it told investors that its consumer-devices division, which encompasses iPhones, would fall at least 15%, while enterprise products would climb 10%.There are two important caveats to the data.The first is that they track just Taipei-listed companies, and not some big names like Huawei and Samsung Electronics Co., which also manufacture their own hardware. However, it’s a like-for-like comparison — those companies aren’t included in last year’s data, either — and the broad reach of Taiwan’s tech sector means that even Huawei and Samsung are likely part of its supply chain.A more important note is that this is just for one month. Some of that April uptick is simply catch-up production for time lost at the height of the pandemic. Yet clients wouldn’t place orders if they didn’t feel that there’s end-demand somewhere. Autos and textiles are cutting production and shuttering factories in the knowledge that such a pickup in sales isn’t likely. With global turmoil making companies reticent to give predictions, investors wait in the dark for an update or a quarterly conference call. Even if we don’t know whether this is a true rebound, or merely a dead-cat bounce, at least there’s more timely data available to examine.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., a major chipmaker to Apple Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co., has hired a new lobbyist in Washington to help stave off the impact of deteriorating U.S.-Chinese relations on its business.Former U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive Nicholas Montella joined the Taiwanese company in May as its director of government relations, just months after Intel Corp.’s former top lobbyist Peter Cleveland became TSMC’s vice president for global policy. The company confirmed the appointment of Montella, who previously focused on Japan, Korea and APEC policy, according to his LinkedIn profile.The world’s biggest contract chipmaker joins a growing number of companies, including Huawei, with business links to China that are increasing their lobbying activities in the U.S., looking to gauge and lessen the impact from Washington’s ongoing dispute with Beijing.The stakes for TSMC became even higher earlier this month when a new round of U.S. curbs thrust it into heart of tensions over Huawei. Under the rules from the U.S. Department of Commerce, TSMC will have to apply for waivers from Washington for future orders from Huawei. The Chinese tech giant is TSMC’s largest customer after Apple, according to Bloomberg supply chain data, contributing roughly 14% of the chipmaker’s revenue.The Commerce Department announcement came hours after TSMC said it would build a $12 billion plant for advanced 5-nanometer chips in Arizona, a desicion designed to allay U.S. national security concerns and shift more high-tech manufacturing to America.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Chinese tech giant Huawei, one of the world's leading manufacturers of telecom equipment, networking hardware, and smartphones, has been repeatedly slammed by the Trump administration's trade war against China. Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce placed Huawei on an "Entity List," a group of firms that American companies cannot offer their technologies to without a special license. Earlier this year, it expanded that licensing requirement to all non-U.S. chipmakers that use American chipmaking equipment, intellectual property, and design software.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s easy to ban a product that’s difficult to get your hands on anyway.That’s why Britain’s possible move to impose a stricter ban on Huawei Technologies Co. seems opportunistic, even if it does now make sense. It’s taking advantage of harsher U.S. sanctions on the Chinese telecoms-equipment giant to consider extending the U.K.’s halfway measures unveiled with great fanfare in January. A final decision will come after the government’s National Cyber Security Centre reviews implications for the security of the country’s phone networks.Earlier this month, the U.S. imposed more stringent guidelines on Huawei, restricting any firm that uses American equipment from selling to the Chinese technology company without its approval. That means Huawei won’t be able to get chips from companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. because they’re likely made using machines from firms such as California-based Applied Materials Inc. So Huawei may effectively find itself cut off from access to the high-tech silicon it needs for its networking gear. This provides a convenient excuse for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to revisit its more nuanced approach with regards to Huawei, which provoked U.S. ire in the midst of efforts to strike a new Anglo-American trade pact and a rebellion from a group of Conservative lawmakers.Initially, in a break with the U.S., the U.K. had decided to retain some access to Huawei’s products for its carriers’ rollout of fiber-optic and fifth-generation mobile networks. It proposed capping the Chinese company’s share to 35% of non-sensitive parts of a mobile network in order to keep operators from being reliant on a Nordic duopoly of Ericsson AB and Nokia Oyj. Now ministers are drawing up proposals to reduce that share to zero.The irony is that, given the recent U.S. measures, Huawei may find it very difficult to keep competing for orders. The company probably won’t be able to buy many of the chip sets it needs to make things such as wireless base stations. The quality of those products will suffer as it’s forced to seek out new suppliers, likely in China itself, where semiconductor technology is still playing catch-up. That could make carriers rethink who supplies their 5G equipment even before any national ban kicks in, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Anthea Lai.Even though a ban on new Huawei gear might now be easier, the question of how to handle the existing networks is not. Huawei’s equipment currently accounts for two-thirds of BT Group Plc’s mobile network, and one-third of Vodafone Group Plc’s U.K. mobile network, according to UBS Group AG analyst Polo Tang. BT has already said that swapping the kit out would cost it 500 million pounds ($615 million) over the next five years. Reducing it to zero could double that expense, Tang said.The U.K.’s previous 35% limit applied to an operator’s overall network, but forcing operators to replace any already installed Huawei gear would strain capital requirements and jeopardize ambitious goals for new network build-out — Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he wants the whole country to have access to gigabit internet speeds by 2025. It seems that the government is taking that into account. The Times of London reported that the new proposals would only prohibit the purchase and installation of new equipment from 2023.Which serves to underline how opportunistic the new review looks. The main argument for letting carriers continue to use Huawei was to ensure that network investment continued apace. Now that the U.S. crackdown looks likely to reduce the quality and availability of Huawei products, it’s a chance for the government to assuage both rebellious lawmakers and critics across the Atlantic. And with global antipathy toward China rising over its handling of the Covid-19 outbreak and crackdown in Hong Kong, there’s now little point in further testing the straining U.S. alliance.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The list of Intel Corp.’s annual supplier award winners tends to read like a who’s-who of the semiconductor industry’s biggest names. This year, it included a little-known Japanese company whose machines have become indispensable in the race to improve semiconductors and whose stock has been rocketing up as a result.Lasertec Corp. is the world’s only maker of testing machines required to verify chip designs for the nascent extreme ultraviolet lithography (or EUV) method of chipmaking. In 2017, Lasertec solved a key piece of the EUV puzzle when it created a machine that can inspect blank EUV masks for internal flaws. Last September, it cleared another milestone by unveiling equipment that can do the same for stencils with chip designs already printed on them. This March, Intel gave the tiny Yokohama-based company an award for innovation, its first after decades of doing business together.“That’s a major milestone for us,” Lasertec President Osamu Okabayashi said in an interview. “It means a lot to be recognized this way as a supplier.”The company’s stock has soared about 550% since the start of 2019, more than twice the gain of the second-best-performing security in the benchmark Topix index. Shares increased about 4% Tuesday, pushing its rise this year to more than 60%.Intel declined to say if it was buying EUV equipment from Lasertec, which already supplies test gear to its rivals Samsung Electronics Co. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. The three chip fabricators are the only ones so far to announce EUV plans, because the technology is so complex and expensive. Okabayashi would only say that his company has “two or more” EUV customers.“This can be read as a sign that Lasertec’s tools are indispensable to Intel’s EUV roadmap.” said Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd.Read more: Japan’s Star Electronics Stock Will Be Vital to Intel, SamsungEUV is just entering the mass production phase after two decades in development, but investors are already betting Lasertec will be one of the key beneficiaries. The move to EUV overcomes key hurdles to shrinking manufacturing geometries of semiconductors, allowing more and smaller transistors to be crammed onto silicon. It promises to unleash another wave of gadgets that are slimmer, cheaper and more powerful.Last month, Lasertec raised its annual order forecast for the second time this year to 85 billion yen ($789 million) in the period ending June, nearly double the amount it received in fiscal 2019. The company is headed for the fourth straight year of record revenue and profits. Sales will climb 39% to 40 billion yen and profit will jump 76%, according to its estimates. And that’s likely to be just the beginning.Samsung earlier this month said it is building a 5-nanometer fabrication facility that will use EUV to make processors for applications ranging from 5G networking to high-performance computing from the second half of next year. Taiwan’s TSMC is pushing ahead with plans to adopt 3-nanometer lithography mass production in 2022 and announced plans to build an advanced fab in the U.S. Intel’s first product made using EUV is expected late next year.Their primary focus is on so-called logic processors, used to power devices and networking applications, but the new manufacturing technique will eventually filter through into the production of DRAM and other memory chips.Read more: Samsung Takes Another Step in $116 Billion Plan to Take on TSMC“Logic makers will be first to adopt EUV, with memory makers following later,” Okabayashi said. “The real volume of orders will come when they reach mass production stage. Right now it’s 7- and 5-nanometer chips. 3-nanometer is still in development stage.”Okabayashi expects each customer will probably need several of his testers, which could cost well over $40 million apiece and take as long as two years to build. A chipmaker would need at least one machine in its mask shop to make sure the stencils come out right. Another would go into a wafer fab to keep an eye on the microscopic wear and tear that result from concentrated light being projected repeatedly through the chip design stencils.“Lasertec is still trying to get a feel for this market and how big it can be,” Macquarie’s Thong said. “Their stock is moving on expectation of future orders. But there is little actual visibility on the scale of this market, so Lasertec retains a lot of capacity for surprise.”(Updates with share price in fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) had to pull its quarterly guidance in March, as the novel coronavirus outbreak disrupted tech supply chains thanks to shelter-in-place orders and lockdowns initiated across the globe to contain the spread. The company said that COVID-19 created substantial challenges across its "supply chain, manufacturing operations and logistics," erasing nearly $650 million in potential sales in its semiconductor systems business during the quarter. Despite these challenges, Applied Materials put up a solid performance and also met its dividend commitments at a time when several big names have been reducing or suspending payouts.
TSMC (TSM) closed the most recent trading day at $49.80, moving -1.87% from the previous trading session.
TSMC (NYSE: TSM), the world's largest contract chipmaker, recently announced plans to build a new $12 billion plant in Arizona by 2024. The announcement might seem like good news for Taiwan-based TSMC and Arizona, but it also indicates the company is becoming entangled in the escalating trade war. Let's see how this deal could affect TSMC's business, and whether or not it's becoming a pawn in the messy tech war between the U.S. and China.
(Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. has begun building a cutting-edge chip production line intended to help it take on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in the business of making silicon for external clients.South Korea’s largest company said it’s started construction on a 5-nanometer fabrication facility in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, dedicated to its made-to-order foundry business, an arena TSMC dominates. Based on the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography or EUV process, Samsung expects the fab’s output to go toward applications from 5G networking to high-performance computing from the second half of 2021, it said in a statement.Samsung, the world’s largest maker of computer memory, smartphones and displays, in 2019 outlined its aim of spending $116 billion to compete with TSMC and Intel Corp. in contract chipmaking, making silicon for customers like Qualcomm Inc. or Nvidia Corp. Its announcement on Thursday coincides with the announcement of restrictions on the sale of semiconductors made with American gear to China’s Huawei Technologies Co., a constraint that threatens more than a tenth of TSMC’s business.“This will enable us to break new ground while driving robust growth for Samsung’s foundry business,” ES Jung, head of the contract chipmaking division, said in a statement.Read more: Behind Samsung’s $116 Billion Bid for Chip SupremacySamsung first unveiled its expansion blueprint in April 2019, outlining at the time its goal of hiring thousands and ramping up investment in logic chips in the years leading up to 2030. That initiative arose as sales of smartphones and consumer electronics plateaued and competition from Chinese rivals depressed margins.EUV is the latest and most advanced chipmaking method, requiring machines costing tens of millions of dollars and delivering better precision and performance in the chips it produces. TSMC and Samsung, through its spending plan, are the leaders in developing that process and expanding into 5nm and smaller manufacturing nodes.Before the arrival Covid-19, Samsung had begun collaborating with major clients on designing and manufacturing custom chips and that work was already starting to add to its revenue, a Samsung executive has said. The company’s newest fab in Pyeongtaek joins another 5nm facility in Hwaseong that will begin production in the second half of this year.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Taiwan Semiconductor, Applied Materials, KLA and Lam Research
Zacks.com featured highlights include: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Dollar General, Kroger, Bristol-Myers Squibb and NIC
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. appears to be the latest pawn in the Sino-U.S. tussle as it is becoming increasingly difficult for the company to remain neutral.
Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for May 18th
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Chipotle, Activision Blizzard, Glu Mobile and Zynga highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day
(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. warned the latest U.S. curbs on its business will inflict a “terrible price” on the global technology industry, inflaming tensions between Washington and Beijing while harming American interests.China’s largest technology company said it will be “significantly affected” by a Commerce Department decree barring any chipmaker using American equipment from supplying Huawei without U.S. government approval. That means companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and its rivals will have to cut off the Chinese company unless they get waivers -- effectively severing Huawei’s access to cutting-edge silicon it needs for smartphones and networking gear.Washington’s decision drew condemnation from Beijing, which regards Huawei as a national champion because of its success in dominating global networking technology. China and Huawei have threatened retaliation but Rotating Chairman Guo Ping on Monday refrained from commenting on a possible Beijing response -- a departure from just two months ago when the company warned Washington risked opening a “pandora’s box” and Chinese countermeasures if it chose to go ahead with additional restrictions.“Our business will significantly be impacted,” Guo said at a company briefing with analysts in Shenzhen. “Given the changes in the industry over the past year, it dawned on us more clearly that fragmented standards and supply chains benefit no one. If further fragmentation were to take place, the whole industry would pay a terrible price,” he added.Huawei is still assessing the potential fallout of the latest restrictions and couldn’t predict the impact on revenue for now, Guo said. On Monday, a swathe of Huawei’s suppliers from TSMC to AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. plunged in Asian trading.Guo was far less vocal than colleague Richard Yu, who runs the consumer division responsible for smartphones. The outspoken executive said the restrictions that ostensibly aim to allay U.S. cybersecurity concerns are really designed to safeguard American dominance of global tech.“The so-called cybersecurity reasons are merely an excuse,” Yu, head of the Chinese tech giant’s consumer electronics unit, wrote in a post to his account on messaging app WeChat earlier on Monday. “The key is the threat to the technology hegemony of the U.S.” posed by Huawei, he added.Yu also posted a link to a Chinese article circulating on social media with part of its headline asking: “Why Does America Want to Kill Huawei?”The U.S. is leveraging its own technological strengths to crush companies outside its own borders, spokesman Joe Kelly told analysts, reading from a prepared statement. “This will only serve to undermine the trust international companies place in U.S. technology and supply chains,” Kelly said. “Ultimately, this will harm U.S. interests.”Read more: Global Chipmaking Kingpin Gets Dragged into U.S.-China Trade War(Updates with more details from the Huawei briefing with analysts)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract semiconductor maker, has stopped taking new orders from Huawei Technologies, one of its largest customers, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. The report said the decision was made to comply with new United States export controls, announced last Friday, that are meant to make it more difficult for Huawei to obtain chips produced using U.S. technology, including manufacturing equipment. Huawei, the world’s largest telecom equipment maker, is TSMC’s second-biggest customer after Apple.
The orders which TSMC took before the new ban and those already in production are not impacted and could continue to proceed if those chips could be shipped before mid-September, according to the report. TSMC, the world's biggest contract chipmaker and a key Huawei supplier, had announced plans to build a U.S.-based plant on Thursday and on Friday added it was "following the U.S. export rule change closely". Huawei declined to comment, while TSMC said it does not disclose order details and added the report was "purely market rumour".
(Bloomberg) -- Since its founding more than three decades ago, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has built its business by working behind the scenes to make customers like Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. shine. Now the low-profile chipmaker has landed squarely in the middle of the U.S.-China trade war, an incalculably valuable asset that both sides are vying to control.The Trump administration opened up a new front in the conflict on Friday by barring any chipmaker using American equipment from supplying China’s Huawei Technologies Co. without U.S. government approval. That means TSMC and rivals will have to cut off Huawei unless they get waivers from the U.S. Commerce Dept. TSMC has already stopped accepting new orders from Huawei, the Nikkei newspaper reported Monday.The move threatens to wreak havoc throughout the complex ecosystem that produces technology for consumers and companies around the world. An attack on Huawei threatens not just its workers and its standing as a world leader in making smartphones and telecom equipment, but also hundreds of suppliers. The Chinese government has vowed to protect its national champion, with threats of retribution against U.S. companies that depend on China like Apple Inc. and Boeing Co.“China likely will retaliate, and investors should brace themselves for a possible trade war escalation,” Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analysts led by Mark Li wrote in a research note on Friday.Read more: U.S. Tightens Rules to Crack Down on Huawei’s Chip Supply Huawei suppliers across Asia fell on Monday, with AAC Technologies Holdings Inc., Q Technology Group Co., Sunwoda Electronic and Lens Technology all sliding 5% or more. TSMC, which gets an estimated 14% of its revenue from Huawei, dropped as much as 2.5%.The U.S. already blacklisted Huawei last year, preventing American companies from supplying the Chinese company unless they got a license. The latest move tightens those restrictions to prevent chipmakers -- American or foreign -- from working with Huawei and its secretive chip-design unit HiSilicon on the cutting-edge semiconductors they need to make smartphones and communications equipment. The Trump administration sees Huawei as a dire security threat, an allegation the company denies.“We must amend our rules exploited by Huawei and HiSilicon and prevent U.S. technologies from enabling malign activities contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a tweet.Huawei countered by accusing the U.S. of ulterior motives.“The so-called cybersecurity reasons are merely an excuse,” Richard Yu, head of the Chinese tech giant’s consumer electronics unit wrote in a post to his account on messaging app WeChat. “The key is the threat to the technology hegemony of the U.S” posed by Huawei, he added.The U.S. decision is likely to hurt not just Huawei and TSMC, but also a clutch of American players including gear-makers Applied Materials Inc., KLA and Lam Research Corp. themselves, Morgan Stanley analysts wrote. Disruptions to Huawei’s production will also hurt U.S. customers from Micron Technology Inc. and Qorvo Inc. to Texas Instruments Inc., they said. But “it bears repeating that any escalation of trade tensions is negative for the stocks overall,” they wrote in a research report.It would have been impossible to imagine TSMC becoming such a coveted chit between the world’s great powers when it was founded in 1987. Morris Chang, born in China and trained in the U.S., started the company as a so-called foundry, manufacturing semiconductors for any customer that didn’t want to construct its own fabrication facility, or fab.At the time, the business wasn’t nearly as glamorous as making chips yourself. Dominating the industry at the time were companies like Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which made processors for personal computers. “Real men have fabs,” AMD co-founder Jerry Sanders would say, making clear that was an insult.But in the intervening years, the foundry industry has become far more strategic for the technology industry. Customers from Apple and Huawei to Qualcomm and Nvidia Corp. have found they can innovate more quickly if they focus on chip designs and then turn to foundries like TSMC to produce them. Innovators in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence or the internet of things also depend on foundries to crack open new markets.Today, many of the chips for mobile phones, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and any other key technology are made at foundries. TSMC has become the leading foundry in the world by investing heavily in ever more advanced fabs, with annual capital spending of about $16 billion this year.It can now manufacture at 5 nanometers, about twice the width of human DNA, while China’s top foundry, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., or SMIC, is at 14 nanometers. That makes TSMC’s chips far more powerful and energy efficient.Huawei and HiSilicon will have few good options if they are cut off from TSMC. One possibility is to procure off-the-shelf chips from Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc. and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., an option Huawei’s rotating Chairman Eric Xu mentioned in late March. But even that may no longer be viable under the new Commerce restrictions.SMIC itself is keen on moving up the technology ladder, eyeing a secondary share listing that could raise more than $3 billion on top of a large capital infusion from the state.Read more: China Injects $2.2 Billion Into Local Chip Firm Amid U.S. CurbsBut that’s a longer-term endeavor and Huawei’s products meanwhile are likely to suffer, putting them at risk of falling behind those of rivals like Apple or Xiaomi Corp.For TSMC, it’s growing ever more difficult to remain neutral amid the growing tensions between the U.S. and China. The company brands itself “everybody’s foundry,” effectively the Switzerland of the tech industry. It supplies Chinese customers like Huawei and the American military, while relying on U.S. producers of semiconductor-making equipment like Applied Materials and Lam Research.TSMC did take one step closer to the U.S. last week, saying it would build a $12 billion chip plant in Arizona. The Department of Defense has expressed concern that overseas fabs may be vulnerable to cyberattacks and domestic manufacturing would assure a more reliable supply of chips.The proposal appears to be carefully calculated to address such security issues without too much damage to profits or its political balancing act. Suppliers to the military, such as Xilinx Inc., would be able to use the U.S. fab, but the facility would likely account for less than 5% of revenue so margins won’t be compromised.It’s not clear if the plans for a U.S. plant will win TSMC leniency in supplying Huawei, however.“TSMC will not be granted or granted a license based on their intent to build a 5 nanometer fab here in the United States. That’s not part of it at all,” Keith Krach, undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment at the State Department, told reporters on a call. “There’s no assurance on that and we don’t anticipate that.”Meanwhile, China appears to be preparing to retaliate for the new restrictions on Huawei. On Friday, the Global Times -- a Chinese tabloid run by the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party -- reported Beijing was ready to initiate countermeasures, including imposing restrictions on Apple, suspending the purchase of Boeing airplanes and putting U.S. companies on an ‘unreliable entity list.’The list will cover “foreign entities that cause actual or potential damage to Chinese companies and industries,” the newspaper said.(Updates with Nikkei report in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The world's largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM), announced last week that is expanding its manufacturing footprint within the U.S., in line with rumors that surfaced in recent days. The new facility will be built in Arizona, and TSMC says it received support for the project from the U.S. federal government as well as the State of Arizona. The chip fabrication plant will use TSMC's 5-nanometer process technology and be capable of producing 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, which unveiled a $12 billion investment plan in Arizona on Friday, has not been given any assurances that it will be granted a license to allow it to sell U.S. technology to China's Huawei, a senior U.S. official said. TSMC, the world's biggest contract chipmaker, announced its plans on Friday just hours before the Trump administration outlined a proposal to amend tech export rules that could restrict TSMC's sales to Huawei, which is blacklisted by the United States because it is considered a national security threat.
The largest third-party chip foundry in the world is putting a cutting-edge facility on American soil for the first time in two decades.