TSMC Will Not Disclose Sensitive Customer Information In Response To U.S. Transparency Requests

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TSMC released a statement, backed by the Taiwanese government, stressing that it would not disclose any sensitive data in accordance with a US demand for more transparency in the supply chain. The company’s statement today underscored its willingness to protect its customers, but did not specify to what extent it would comply with the United States’ request.

“We will certainly not disclose sensitive information about our company, especially information related to customers,” TSMC lawyer Sylvia Fang said in the statement provided by the company, according to Reuters. “If it’s about solving supply chain issues, we’ll see how we can do our best to help them. We have done so many things. For the auto chip part, we have tried to increase production and prioritize auto chips to some extent.

Taiwan is backing one of its biggest companies and said about a week ago that it would follow US rules and laws, but also help its companies if any of them received an unreasonable request. the United States.

This type of message may seem combative, but it may be necessary to make some noise. TSMC is in a very delicate position. Many of its biggest and most important customers are US companies, including Apple and Nvidia. At the same time, however, TSMC cannot afford to be portrayed as a lackey of American interests. Mainland China has its own interests in both TSMC and Taiwan, and the company is in an awkward position, geopolitically speaking.

Read between the lines, and TSMC and the Taiwanese government are firmly committed to combating unreasonable requests and potential information leaks while refraining from declaring their total non-compliance. This is all playing out after the Biden administration asked companies to voluntarily provide more data on their supply chains to help the United States optimize its supply lines and improve access to chips. The US government and the governments of several other Western countries have attempted to intervene on behalf of various auto manufacturers to help alleviate the current chip shortage that plagues many industries, including the auto industry. TSMC responded by repeatedly emphasizing the extent to which it has already attempted to meet these needs.

The company’s response seems a little frustrated, but it may reflect the realities of semiconductor manufacturing. It takes time to bring new capabilities online, and it takes time to move resources from one foundry to another. The semiconductor industry has been producing at full speed for a solid year now, and may be collectively tired of explaining to most of the planet that no, there really is no way to go any faster in this. moment.

There is a bit – a tiny bit – of noise and fury over these demands, but until the U.S. government makes compliance mandatory, it’s probably for show. No one is trying to force TSMC to reveal information about its customers, at least not at this point, and TSMC is not swearing it won’t work with the U.S. government to better understand the global supply chain.

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