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Caught in between.

A Taiwanese semiconductor titan is at the heart of the US-China tech fight

Jane Li
Member exclusive by Jane Li

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has, since its founding in 1987, set out to be a global “committed corporate citizen” serving clients worldwide instead of focusing only on one region.

It succeeded. The contract chip maker is today the world’s largest semiconductor foundry. But now TSMC has been drawn into the increasingly fierce tech feud between the United States and China.

On May 14, TSMC announced a plan to build a $12 billion plant in Arizona. A day later, the US Department of Commerce unveiled a rule change that from September would bar global chip makers that use US equipment or technology (effectively most global industry players including TSMC), from selling to China’s Huawei, which accounts for around 14% of TSMC’s revenue, according to Credit Suisse analysts.