Apple chip maker TSMC says war between Taiwan and China will make everyone losers

A man walks past the TSMC logo at the company’s headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Sam Ye | AFP | Getty Images

If China invaded Taiwan, the world’s most advanced chip factory would be “put out of action,” TSMC chairman Mark Liu said in an interview in English. with CNN this week.

In an undated interview, Liu said that if Taiwan were to be invaded by China, the chipmaker’s plant would not be able to operate because it was dependent on global supply chains.

“No one can control TSMC by force. If you use military force or an invasion, you will disable the TSMC plant,” Liu said. “Because this is such a complex manufacturing enterprise, it depends on real-time communication with the outside world, with Europe, with Japan, with the US, from materials to chemicals, spare parts, engineering software and diagnostics.”

TSMC, the most advanced chipmaker in the world, makes processors for US companies, including Apple as well as Qualcomm. It manufactures Apple’s A-series and M-series chips and has over 50% of the global semiconductor foundry market.

The remarks come amid escalating tensions between China and Taiwan in recent days, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits the island.

“There are no winners in a war, everyone is a loser,” Liu said.

Last week the House of Representatives passed the Chip and Science Act, which provides billions of dollars in incentives to build chip factories across the US. President Biden is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday.

Supporters of the legislation to tell it is critical to national security to ensure the supply of efficient and up-to-date chips for use in the US should China invade or otherwise impede chip production in Taiwan.

While most of the bill’s stimulus will go to US companies such as IntelTSMC is building a $12 billion chip manufacturing plant in Arizona that could benefit from subsidies.

Liu compared the potential conflict in Taiwan to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying that while the two conflicts are very different, the economic consequences for other countries would be similar. He urged political leaders to try to avoid war.

“The war in Ukraine is not beneficial to either side, it is a win-win scenario,” Liu said.

Liu said that the invasion of the territory would cause economic turmoil for China, Taiwan and Western countries. He said TSMC sells chips to Chinese consumer-facing companies that need the company’s services and supply of advanced computer chips.

“How can we avoid war? How can we ensure that the engine of the world economy continues to work, and let’s have fair competition,” said Liu.