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Political Feud Overseas Involves Apple’s Chip Supplier

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company – or TSMC – has found itself at the center of an election campaigning clash in the first days of 2024.

Apart from being the largest contract chipmaker and Taiwan’s most important company, TSMC is Apple’s chip supplier and the Cupertino giant is TSMC’s biggest customer. Apart from the sweet deal it managed to cut with TSMC and save a ton of money not so long ago, Apple’s new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max devices pack something very special as an SoC – TSMC’s A17 Pro chip which is using the 3nm process node. 3nm is cutting-edge technology, as the lower the number, the more transistors a chip can hold, making it more powerful and energy efficient.

Now, TSMC is being argued over by two vice presidential candidates in Taiwan. The candidates argued over the company’s overseas investments and whether tensions with China made Taiwan too dangerous a place to invest (via Reuters) The 2024 Taiwanese presidential elections are happening in days, on January 13 and the report is highlighting how China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has stepped up military pressure to assert those claims, including staging war games near the island.

Speaking at a live debate, Jaw Shaw-kong ( VP candidate for Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT) party), said that Wall Street financiers had met him before he knew he was entering the presidential race and asked if there was going to be war.

“If Taiwan does not have a peaceful environment, nobody will dare invest,” Jaw said, blaming the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for tensions with China. “Our TSMC wants to run off overseas. Taiwan plus one – one factory in Taiwan, one overseas, hollowing out our Taiwan.”

TSMC, which is building factories in Japan and the U.S. state of Arizona plus planning another in Germany, did not immediately respond to Reuters for comment.

“TSMC is the pride of Taiwan and should not be used for political competition or consumption. It is our sacred mountain protecting the country,” said the DPP’s vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim, formerly Taiwan’s high-profile de facto ambassador to the United States.

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