Caught in China-U.S. trade war, Taiwan offers support to chipmakers

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen promised on Thursday to help the island’s key semiconductor industry overcome difficulties and consolidate its leading position, offering support to a sector increasingly caught up in China-U.S. trade tensions.

Companies such as the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, are major suppliers to the likes of Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc, as well as Chinese firms like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

In July, TSMC said it had stopped taking new orders from Huawei in May and did not plan to ship wafers after Sept. 15, responding to U.S. curbs on supplying the Chinese company, which the Trump administration views as a security threat.

China, for its part, is trying to nurture tech champions of its own, such as SMIC, its biggest chipmaker, and wean itself off reliance on U.S. suppliers.

Taiwan’s chipmakers were a crucial part of the global supply

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