TSMC relaxed about Huawei ban

The world’s biggest contract chip manufacturer thinks it wouldn’t be a problem to replace Huawei as a customer.

This is according to its Chairman, who addressed the matter at its recent AGM, according to Reuters. It looks like TSMC hasn’t cut off Huawei yet, contrary to previous reports, and the company still holds out hope that it won’t have to. But if it does, TSMC Chairman Mark Liu reassured investors that Huawei will be replaced ‘in a very short time’.

Elsewhere the Global Times speculates that TSMC may ramp up its production of chips for Huawei in the short term, to ensure it has a decent stash if and when the ban comes. The report cites Chinese analysts characterising the US hostility towards Huawei as irrational and anticipating aggressive countermeasures from China.

TSMC is right in the middle of the geopolitical arm-wrestle between the US and China, which is increasingly focusing on the tech and telecoms sectors. On top of national security considerations, the tech industry is considered to be of paramount strategic importance to both of them. On top of its chip-making, TSMC is based in Taiwan, which the Chinese government would like to annexe, so it’s position could barely be more precarious.