TSMC’s Taiwan factory plans have not changed, says minister

Economy minister says investment still going ahead after report that semiconductor giant is slowing expansion plans.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co logo
Taiwan's TSMC is planning a new chip factory in the southern city of Kaohsiung [File: Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

Taiwan’s TSMC has not changed the investment plan for its new chip factory in the island’s southern city of Kaohsiung, Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua has said, responding to a media report of the chipmaker slowing down expansion at home.

“TSMC making Taiwan its global R&D hub and manufacturing hub has not changed,” Wang told reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of parliament. “TSMC investing in Taiwan, investing in Kaohsiung, also has not changed.”

Wang’s comments come after Taiwan’s DigiTimes publication reported, citing sources, that TSMC is slowing down its expansion plans in Kaohsiung and other Taiwanese cities.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), a major Apple supplier, declined to comment, citing its quiet period ahead of quarterly earnings due next week.

The chipmaker broke ground last year on its Kaohsiung plant, which will produce mature 28-nanometre semiconductors.

In 2021, TSMC said the Kaohsiung expansion would also include advanced 7-nanometre chips, but the company later postponed plans to build the advanced chips there.

TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said in January it expects softer demand due to a slowing global economy and would decrease its capital expenditure this year to $32-$36bn, from $36.3bn last year.

The company has in recent years ramped up investments abroad, announcing new chip factories in the United States and Japan.

TSMC’s shares were down about 1 percent on Wednesday morning, lagging the broader market.

Source: Reuters