KED Global: US forcing TSMC, Samsung, chipmakers to hand over business data
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Asian Tech Press (Sep 28) -- The U.S. is forcing Taiwan's TSMC, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. and other chipmakers to hand over business data, a South Korean media reported last Sunday.

The US government is asking TSMC, Samsung and other foundries to hand over data on chip inventory, the number of orders and sales records that are considered trade secrets, which could undermine the bargaining power and competitiveness of chipmakers, according to a Sunday report in KED Global, citing the need to "increase transparency" of the supply chain.

According to the report, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo declared on September 23 at the White House-hosted meeting on semiconductors that the U.S. government needs more information about the chip supply chain to improve transparency in handling the crisis and determine the root causes of the shortage.

However, when asked what would happen if companies were unwilling to comply with the request to hand over their data, Raimondo claimed, "then we have other tools in our tool box that require them to give us data. I hope we don't get there. But if we have to we will."

The media said that the U.S. has asked the companies to give up their relevant data within 45 days, and such a request would put companies in a difficult situation.

Industry sources said, "Disclosing yield information means disclosing a company's specific level of semiconductor technology. Such information may put the foundry companies in an unfavorable position regarding price negotiations with global clients."

The report also mentioned that global semiconductor manufacturers, especially not based in the U.S., are also concerned about the U.S. government handing over the information obtained to U.S. companies.

South Korean semiconductor industry sources said, "It's not impossible that the information submitted by Samsung and TSMC to the American government may be leaked to US-based companies such as Intel."

Especially Intel has recently revealed a number of strategic developments that are closely linked to the White House, and many of Intel's foundry plans are designed to match Biden's initiative to build a localized chip industry chain, in line with the U.S. initiative to set up a stronger global supply chain, the report stressed.

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