TSMC Weighs Response To U.S. Call For Supply Chain Disclosures



Cheng Ting-fang | Nikkei Asia

HSINCHU — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said it is working out how to respond to a U.S. request to disclose information on its supply chain without compromising sensitive client information.

The remarks by the chipmaking giant are the latest response to Washington’s request that chip suppliers and electronics makers share information on their supply chain in order to address an unprecedented global chip shortage. The move has sparked concern among companies like TSMC, who say such information constitutes highly sensitive trade secrets.

“We will definitely not leak our company’s sensitive information, especially that related to our customers,” Sylvia Fang, TSMC’s general counsel, told reporters on Wednesday when asked how the world’s largest contract chipmaker sees Washington’s move.

“We are still at the stage of doing some preliminary research and evaluating the contents of the questionnaire [sent by the U.S. government],” Fang said, adding that TSMC believes there are ways to address the questionnaire without compromising confidential client information.

The U.S. government “also realized that a lot of companies have questions so they are preparing a FAQ sheet, and we are waiting for that too,” Fang said.

TSMC, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, supplies nearly all the world’s key chip developers, including Apple, Qualcomm, Broadcom, Intel, Sony and Nvidia.

Washington has given global chipmakers and electronics device makers until Nov. 8 to voluntarily send in information on inventories, production capacity, and who their key customers are for specific products.

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