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TSMC says it has discussed moving manufacturing plants out of Taiwan, but such a move is impossible

HSINCHU, Taiwan (Reuters) – Taiwanese contract chipmaker TSMC has held discussions with customers about whether to move its manufacturing plants off the island amid heightened tensions with China, although such a decision is impossible, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Hsinchu, where TSMC is headquartered, Chairman CC Wei said that since 80 to 90 percent of its production capacity is in Taiwan , it would be impossible to move the factories.

“Instability across the Taiwan Strait is indeed a consideration for the supply chain, but I want to say that we certainly don’t want wars to break out,” Wei told reporters after Taiwan’s annual general meeting. the company.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday it had detected another Chinese “joint combat readiness patrol” with 23 fighter jets operating near Taiwan, as well as warships.

Growing tensions between China and Taiwan were among the main topics discussed at the annual Computex technology show this week in Taipei, and some Taiwanese chipmakers sought to downplay geopolitical risks.

“No one is worried about it yet,” Frank Huang, president of Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing, told reporters at the event, when asked whether foreign customers were pressuring Taiwanese companies not to not produce there given the tensions.

“I think of course there’s always military activity, or clashes, but again, Taiwan is so important to AI – even the Chinese know that. We’re fine, no problem,” he said. he declares.

Lisa Su, chief executive of Advanced Micro Devices, also reiterated Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain, when asked how tensions with China and its war games could affect the industry.

“We do a lot of our manufacturing here with key suppliers like TSMC…And then we also have a number of partners who help us build the ecosystem here in Taiwan,” she told reporters during the show on Monday. “The bottom line, from our perspective, is that it’s really important to have a global ecosystem.”

(Reporting by Faith Hung, Max Cherney and Ben Blanchard; editing by Anne Marie Roantree, Kim Coghill and Gerry Doyle)

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