European TSMC chip factory talks reportedly collapse

The European Commission may be forced to rely on Dutch semiconductor companies ASML, NXL, or US' Intel

Discussions regarding the building of a TSMC semiconductor manufacturing plant in Europe have reportedly collapsed, according to sources close to the matter.

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton had been in talks with the Taiwanese tech giant about opening a factory in the region in efforts to remedy the impact of the global semiconductor shortage on the continent. The EU’s share of global semiconductor production is currently at 9%, with Breton seeking to increase it to 20% by 2030.

However, according to information given to Reuters by an anonymous source, talks have gone "very poorly”, and TSMC has now diverted its attention to the US where some of its biggest customers, including Apple, are headquartered. It's believed North America is responsible for 67% of TSMC’s sales, compared to 6% in the EMEA region.

This is despite Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen stating earlier this week that the country will cooperate with the EU to ensure a more "resilient supply" of semiconductors. Tsai also called for Taiwan and the EU to restart the stalled talks for a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) between the two regions.

"A BIA would not just help secure our supply chains; it would protect our mutual geopolitical and economic interests, and send a message about the partnerships and values on which our interests depend,” she said on Monday.

However, a TSMC spokeswoman has now told Reuters that the company doesn’t have any plans for a plant in Europe.

The faltering discussions between TSMC and the EU could mean that the European Commission would have to shift its attention to Dutch semiconductor companies ASML, NXL, or US firm Intel. Late last month, Breton met with the latter tech giant’s CEO Pat Gelsinger, who is seeking roughly €8 billion (£6.9bn) in subsidies in exchange for a European manufacturing plant.

"What we're asking from both the US and the European governments is to make it competitive for us to do it here compared to in Asia," Gelsinger told Politico in an interview.

Featured Resources

How to choose an AI vendor

Five key things to look for in an AI vendor

Download now

The UK 2020 Databerg report

Cloud adoption trends in the UK and recommendations for cloud migration

Download now

2021 state of email security report: Ransomware on the rise

Securing the enterprise in the COVID world

Download now

The impact of AWS in the UK

How AWS is powering Britain's fastest-growing companies

Download now

Most Popular

Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app

Ten-year-old iOS 4 recreated as an iPhone app

10 Jun 2021
Fastly blames software bug for major outage
public cloud

Fastly blames software bug for major outage

9 Jun 2021
GitHub to prohibit code that’s used in active attacks
cyber security

GitHub to prohibit code that’s used in active attacks

7 Jun 2021