TSMC is concerned about the consequences of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan

The undisputed and indisputable king of semiconductors explains that his business would be devastated in the event of an armed conflict.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, despite warnings from the Chinese government, was like a diplomatic bombshell. Although the island is effectively self-governed, Beijing is aggressively claiming ownership…especially since it has become a major global computing hub.

If Taiwan is so important in this field, it is because it outrageously dominates the semiconductor industry. These are materials which are essential for the production of transistors, for example, which are themselves ubiquitous in all electronic devices. Much of the world’s electronics and computing therefore depends directly on what happens in Taiwanese factories.

A coveted island and a geopolitical sticking point

This particularity makes it a strategic stronghold without equivalent on Earth; controlling access to Taiwanese products is the guarantee of having a phenomenal means of pressure on the rest of the planet. And inevitably, this is of great interest to Xi Jinping, who has made China’s international influence his top priority.

Since he came to power, some observers have therefore worried about a possible military invasion. Communist Party officials have traditionally denied this interpretation; according to the official position of China, it has no reason to invade a territory which it asserts that it already belongs to it on the basis of several treaties for some rather ambiguous (see Three Joint Communiqués, Six Assurances and Taiwan Relations Act ).

But following the very noticed visit of Pelosi, China wanted to mark the occasion. In addition to countless incendiary reactions from dignitaries and government officials, the country has also launched major demonstrative military maneuvers to mark its intransigence on the Taiwan question. Whether justified or not, the widespread fear of a full-fledged military invasion is very present; enough, in any case, for the leader of TSMC to consider it necessary to grant rare interviews.

TSMC, keystone of the status quo

TSMC is the nerve center of Taiwanese industry. This firm alone dominates more than half of the world market for semiconductors; it therefore occupies a prominent place in this industry. And according to its leader Mark Liu, who spoke in an interview with CNN, a possible war with China would have a catastrophic impact on the entire industry.

No one can control TSMC by force “, he says. ” If someone takes military action or an invasion, they will stop TSMC’s factories from operating. These are extremely sophisticated manufacturing sites that depend on real-time connection with the outside world, with Europe, Japan, the United States… “, he explains.

If those logistical ties were severed, that means TSMC would simply be unable to carry on business normally. Several of the most influential firms in the world would find themselves deprived of essential products. Judge for yourself: TSMC’s address book is overflowing with high-sounding names like Apple, AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Sony…

Mark Liu also explained that China and its economy would also be affected in this scenario. With these declarations, he probably hopes to dissuade the other actors from engaging in an infernal spiral which would not benefit anyone.

Because it is indisputable that in the event of an armed conflict, the weather could quickly turn into a storm in the world of hardware. The logistics chains could be greatly reduced; the whole industry would undergo new very large-scale shortages of semiconductor-based componentswith all that this implies for the supply of sometimes essential electronic devices.

It is therefore to be hoped that all the players in this major diplomatic friction will find common ground to avoid a human tragedy in the first place, but also the paralysis of a very important industry for our civilisation.

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