Taiwan says US-led Chip 4 group discussed supply chain resilience

The global chip shortage over the past two years has wreaked havoc on supply chains and forced carmakers to halt production. PHOTO: REUTERS

TAIPEI - The United States convened a preliminary meeting of a working group with East Asian countries to discuss semiconductor supply chain resilience and cooperation, a Taiwan official said on Friday.

"We exchanged views at a first preliminary meeting, and hope everyone can discuss how to collaborate in the future on supply chain problems like the ones we recently encountered," Taiwan Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua told reporters in Taipei.

The global chip shortage, which over the past two years has wreaked havoc on supply chains and forced carmakers to halt production, thrust chip powerhouse Taiwan into the spotlight and made supply chain management a bigger priority for governments around the world.

The preliminary meeting of the working group - which has been dubbed Chip 4 - also included representatives from South Korea and Japan, Ms Wang said.

The group is home to critical players in the global semiconductor industry, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world's largest contract chip maker, South Korean memory chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, as well as key Japanese suppliers of semiconductor materials and equipment.

President Tsai Ing-wen told visiting US lawmakers in August that Taiwan is committed to ensuring its partners have reliable supplies of semiconductors, or "democracy chips", and urged allies to boost collaboration amid intensified threats from China.

China considers democratically governed Taiwan as a breakaway province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. Taiwan's government rejects China's sovereignty claims.

The American Institute in Taiwan, its de facto US embassy, hosted the virtual meeting of the US-East Asia Semiconductor Supply Chain Resiliency Working Group, a spokesperson told Reuters.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said the country’s top representative in Taiwan attended the meeting on Wednesday.

Mr Kyung Kye-hyun, who heads Samsung's chip business, said earlier in September that his company has conveyed concerns about the proposed Chip 4 alliance, including the need for South Korea to seek China's understanding before any negotiations. REUTERS

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.