Taiwanese economy feels warmth as TSMC drives global flea boom

TAINAN, Taiwan – Business has never been more dynamic for structured corporations in Taiwan, as the world’s largest contracted chip manufacturer rushes to build amenities during the Lunar New Year vacation to meet growing demand.

Cranes, trucks, excavators and all kinds of heavy cars enter and exit the vast structure of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. ‘ plant. tainan, in southern Taiwan, will be the most complex 3 nanometer chip production plant in the world, and mass production is expected to begin in 2022.

TSMC, which produces chips for giants of the generation such as Apple, Google and Qualcomm, told brands that they would pay lucrative bonuses if they asked many of their employees, after only two days off, to start painting a little before the era surrounding the island. Annual lunar New Year holidays begin this year on Wednesday. Other people familiar with the subject told Nikkei Asia.

And the frenzy of the structure will continue in 2021, as the titan embarks on its largest expansion of its facilities. TSMC is also structuring a study and knowledge center in the northern city of Hsinchu.

“We have earned a TSMC recognition indicating that it provides 4,000 new Taiwan dollars ($145) according to the day as an additional bonus for each and every employee who wants to attend lunar New Year. . . is literally at least double the average daily salary for frontline employees,” said an industry executive with direct knowledge of the expansion program.

“Even if it’s just a few extra days of structure time [during the holidays], they don’t need to prevent it at all,” the user said. “This shows your commitment to accelerating structure and progression and confidence for long-term demand. “

TSMC is also expected to increase the capacity of five nanometric chips, recently used in the newest iPhone 12 with five G diversity and the new Mac Core processors, by 70% from the end of last year to 120,000 wafers consistent with the month from the end. , several resources told Nikkei. This will meet the strong demand of high-level customers, adding Apple, MediaTek, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

The company told Nikkei Asia that it would resume the structure a few days before the Lunar New Year in southern Taiwan and would pay an additional bonus for the structure partners to paint the vacation, but TSMC refused to comment on its plan to expand production capacity by five nanometers.

“All Taiwanese structure staff are attracted to TSMC sites because they pay much higher wages than elsewhere. .

In addition to expanding TSMC’s capital expenditures from $25 billion to $28 billion this year, the need for structure is also expanding as other Taiwanese corporations return their production from China to half of the trade tensions between Beijing and the US. But it’s not the first time

“For specialists in galvanoplasty at structure sites, wages have recently increased from NT $6,000 to NT$12,000 depending on the day,” a chimney protection officer named Huang told Nikkei. “This is amazing and unprecedented,” Huang also cited COVID-19 to prevent foreign staff from arriving smoothly as a thing to restrict labor supply.

H. H. Liu, manager of a contractor in the Taipei area, told Nikkei that labor shortages have intensified since the last quarter of 2020 and worsened even before the holiday.

“TSMC is a key explanation of whyArray. . . The company and its suppliers attract many employees from northern to southern Taiwan, while last year there were also many new residential and advertising structure projects in Greater Taipei,” Liu said. all fighting for workforce resources. Even with higher wages, we still struggle to have enough staff. “

The average salary for structure staff increased from NT $3,000 to NT $4,000 in less than a year, resources in the source chain said, far exceeding Taiwan’s national expansion consistent with the capita income.

Taiwan’s public and personal sector investment is as well, and economic expansion has outperformed its Asian peers such as South Korea, Japan and Singapore by 2020, even surpassing China for the first time in 30 years.

The boom is such that many generation leaders and some government officials call Taiwan the island that TSMC built.

The company is Taiwan’s largest in terms of market location capitalization and accounted for one-third of the local market site and approximately 20% of the estimated personal sector investment this year, according to an estimate by Taiwan’s Economic Research Institute.

Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, the world’s largest moment in terms of profit after the United States, has also increased the strategic importance of the autonomous island to nearly 24 million people, which China considers a component of its territory. TSMC accounts for about 15% of gross domestic product, according to the government.

Taiwan-made chips force key electronic devices and are essential for national security in countries. The generational clash between the United States and China has highlighted the key role of TSMC and its peers.

TSMC manufactures chips for iPhones, Google knowledge centers, Nintendo and Sony game consoles, automakers such as Ford, Honda and Daimler, and US F-35 fighter jets. America, among others. It provided chips for Huawei’s high-end smartphones and telecommunications devices before the United States replaced its export regulations to cut off the supply of the Chinese generation champion.

U. S. , European and Japanese automakers have recently contacted Taiwan to urge domestic chip brands to increase automotive chip production to resolve the global crisis. 19 vaccines.

Arisa Liu, an analyst at Taiwan’s Economic Research Institute, said semiconductors are no longer just parties, but strategic resources that all primary economies want to secure.

“The chips are in the middle of the global source chain,” Liu said. “Since TSMC supplies such a wide range of international consumers and manufactures some of the most complex chips in the industry, it is in the middle. But it also means that it will be subject to all kinds of political and economic tensions in primary economies such as the United States, Japan, Europe, and China. “

A senior executive of Powertech Technology Inc. , the world’s largest supplier of reminiscence chip testing and meetings, said TSMC and Taiwan’s entire semiconductor industry have made the island a safer place. “As long as TSMC continues to lead the technology, Taiwan will have this significant merit and position on China, the United States, Japan and Europe, all of which want corporate chips. “

While China and the United States are competing, Taiwan has attracted about $1. 19 trillion in new Taiwan dollars ($42. 5 billion) in investments from 783 corporations since late 2018, according to the government’s most recent knowledge of February 4 and iPad manufacturer Compal Electronics is among those developing investments.

Taiwan’s good fortune in controlling the coronavirus (it has recorded fewer than 950 cases to date) has helped brands keep factories booming, as many parts of the world have imposed blockades.

Investments also took Taiwan’s average genuine salary in the commercial sector and sector to a record NT$53,173 consistent with the month in the first 11 months of 2020, according to TIER. Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Tainan.

Prices for new homes in Hsinchu and Tainan, cities where TSMC is wearing down giant extensions of factories and studios, have increased by about 15% in the past two years, housing knowledge provider Ubhouse said. Taoyuan, where TSMC operates a chip pack. The plant and other Apple suppliers, such as Quanta, Pegatron and Foxconn, which are increasing production capacity, have noticed an increase in house prices.

“The trend is transparent that Taiwan’s space costs are following these new investments and technological developments,” said Greg Yeh, Ubspace’s leading analyst. “Housing transactions near these spaces have also increased significantly.

In fact, real estate transactions in Taiwan increased by more than 31% in 2020 over a year to succeed at around NT$100 billion, of which more than 50% came from factory and building acquisitions through generation manufacturers, according to genuine real estate studies. firm Cushman

The government expects an economic expansion of 3. 83% this year, driven by investments in the semiconductor industry and generation brands that bring domestic production. Exports increased 36. 8% in January compared to the previous year, the seventh consecutive month, to $34. 27 billion in January, the highest per monthly figure recorded.

But the boom raises the question of whether the island’s limited resources of labor, water and energy can satisfy the long-term call for growth.

“In addition to the low birth rate, fewer and fewer young people are willing to paint on the structure sites,” said Liu, the structure supervisor. “Foreign staff are not the ultimate solution because the government sets limits on their access and many positions, such as galvanoplasty specialists, require professional knowledge. “

Huang, the site manager, said the shortage of hard work does not disturb large technology companies, but can cause delays in public projects and real estate advertising.

“It’s not unusual for some projects to be delayed and some structured corporations have even retired amid the projects,” he said. “Most structured corporations are more cautious when embarking on new projects, because you only have to fight for enough workers, but you also have to fight for metal later when projects move forward.

The government has put the cities and counties of Hsinchu, Miaoli, Changhua and Taichung on alert for water scarcity amid limited rains since December.

The administration of President Tsai Ing-wen began using a new pipe to draw water from Taoyuan on February 1 to Hsinchu, the home of the flea industry center. His government’s commitment to increasingly adopting renewable force and abandoning nuclear force until 2025 has raised considerations about energy-providing electricity.

“The global total wants TSMC complex chips . . . but other people are involved in Taiwan’s infrastructure, such as the power source, not being able to fully expand and expand its expansion because these complex appliances and chip plants consume much more power than before. “, said veteran chip analyst Mark Li of Bernstein Research.

The sautomobilecity of car chips and tensions between the United States and China have led governments to their semiconductor source chains.

“The pandemic and the latest shortage of chips in the automotive industry have made key countries around the world aware that they want to build a local source for all kinds of important components, adding key medical equipment, semiconductors and electronic devices,” Liu said. TIER. ” In the long run, all of these primary economies hope to inspire their own chip brands to expand their local plants or continue to attract more foreign investment. “

Willy Shih, a professor at Harvard Business School, told Nikkei Asia that TSMC’s good fortune has made it a new focus of global tension.

“It would be sensible for TSMC to diversify [production], however complicated. In reality, they don’t need to become a political pawn, there’s a good chance they’re already a political pawn,” Shih said. .

“What other people are worried about, but no one will say is that the simplest way for China to become a semiconductor leader is to take Taiwan. “

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