Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s biggest chip maker, is scouting sites for a manufacturing plant in mainland China and expects to start production there within two years, Bloomberg reported. The move follows the Taiwanese government’s decision to relax rules banning the transfer of chip technology to the mainland.
The company’s main rival on the island, United Microelectronics (UMC), reacted to reports that it had signed a deal with an industrial park on the mainland by saying that it had no concrete plans for production there. However, two mainland companies, Shanghai Belling and Central Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp, have said they are in talks with UMC to buy unused chip manufacturing equipment. Sources close to Central Semiconductor Manufacturing said that UMC would take an equity stake in the company in return for providing the equipment.