February 2022: Europe approves the Chip Law to promote the creation of a semiconductor infrastructure at the same level as the US and thereby attract foreEsports Extrascompanies such as Intel, Samsung or TSMC to European soil. Incidentally, it was intended to promote the R&D of companies to catch up with the Americans in design… September 2022: companies threatening not to join the initiative, only Intel is determined to open Mega FAB and the Chips Law is in the air, because from Taiwan they are dragging their feet and what Europe is doing is almost idolizing their companies. How has the US achieved the impossible?
The EU has been trying to woo Taiwan and its companies for many months, almost a year, since its industry is the strongest in terms of semiconductors in the world and already competes with China in many leading technology sectors. The problem is that the courtship is reaching the most political absurdity possiblebecause instead of investing in the very creation of a strong industry having ASML As the world’s leading producer of scanners, it tries to attract talent from abroad when it has it at home.
Europe, courtship and Taiwan, is it worth insisting on the Chips Law?
The €43 billion that the EU is putting on the table does not seem to convince Taiwan. In June of this year, the high-ranking leaders of both countries/continents met to enter into cooperation agreements under the pretext of the millions of the Chip Law, but as we saw at the time, TSMC was totally averse to this, alleging very clearly that they had no plans for Europe in terms of high-performance FABs.
Something changed without a doubt, when in 2020 the rhetoric used was different and it was considered to open a FAB in Germany because of its large industry and related companies, but… Everything has cooled down to a point where it may be impossible to convince the Taiwanese, and perhaps it is better this way, because it seems that Europe has lost its dignity with this issue.
Taiwanese Vice Minister of Economy Chen Chern-chyi has commented on the following:
“As far as I know, the European Commission and member states are talking to some of our companies, which is a decision purely commercial that companies should take. From a government perspective, we are pleased to see our companies deploying globally and with our allies. democraticas long as we share the same values that we like to form an association of confidence“
The EU does not want to copy the US strategy.
These words are really good, but they are not being translated into actions even though there is money on the table. The problem is that, as often happens in these cases, the EU through its ambassador, Mr. Filip Grzegorzewski, is attempting the impossible based on good words:
“It is one of the highlights of my stay in Taiwan when I hear a Taiwanese government representative at a press conference encouraging Taiwanese companies to ‘go to Europe,’ to invest in Europe.”
As we can see, there is a clear predisposition (let’s call it “pants drop”) to make Taiwan happy to invest. The problem is that the Taiwanese are not as interested as they are in the US, but we don’t know for sure why, and therein lies the main problem.
Why is the EU dropping its pants so much with Taiwan when they are clearly giving up on any politician who approaches them? How has the US managed with just one visit to the country to do more than the EU in more than a year? Apparently, Taiwan is not interested in investing as such outside its soil, is interested in survive and not be attacked by China.
The move of the United States seems to be the following: I protect you if you invest in my country and break relations of all kinds with China, a common enemy. EU diplomats are either not getting the game, or if they are, they don’t want to subdue innovation to a military cause. Meanwhile, Samsung is still in negotiations with Europe, where at the moment we have no statements about possible expansions, we will have to see what South Korea wants in exchange for investing in a super FAB.
What is clear is that if TSMC and Samsung do not end up with Mega FAB on European soil, the Chips Law hangs in the balance, because then minor industry players will want to claim the site to exploit high-volume production of less cutting-edge, but more in-demand chips. Perhaps it is the place that corresponds to us for having some politicians who have not been able to understand the situations or move in time.