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Alternative to Taiwan/China conflict

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
Building, staffing, and bringing on high-end fabs would be far cheaper and less dangerous than a world conflict over Taiwan or to put it bluntly, TSM. It would be in everyone's interests to build the ecosystem, much of which is already dispersed around the world(AMAT, ASML, LAM, KLA, Tokyo Electron, and many others). This would be the equivalent of a war effort, but far, far cheaper and with great benefits. It's time to think outside the box. Just starting this effort on this scale would change the political equation and has already been started to some degree. This would be a Marshal Plan in reverse before a war could start. If all the stops were pulled out, this could be done in three years. It would be a massive effort involving governments, companies, universities, and true international cooperation. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.
 

Portland

Active member
Show me a harder working free people than the Taiwanese. I feel bad for them because most of it goes to defense. The leadership of morris Chang can't be dismissed. He does what Intel can't get foundry customers.

Taiwan has two decades of independence but after that is anyone's guess. We do know they can detect the stealth j-20.
 

tonyget

Member
Conflict or not, the US already determined to move all the semiconductor productions back to home in order be self-sufficient. Other places such as EU Japan Korea China are all moving towards this direction. In the future everyone will make their own stuff rather than rely on trade,The relative importance of Taiwan semiconductor on the world stage will only continue to decline, and that is exactly what Morris Chang has been worried about.
 

soAsian

Member
Tsmc is easier said then done. Other countries doing it, I'll believe it when I see it.
agree. China threat is always there for decades. is it really that easy to bring everything back to the US?

Trump's trade war didn't do much. unless American want their goods to double or triple the cost.

even if you take China out of trade, there's still a lot of goods that's made outside of US. if you add in the current inflation without cheap labors from oversea production. the cost of goods is even higher.
 

Portland

Active member
I was not referring to the US as a destination, but the rest of the world and much of the technology is already dispersed over range of countries.

Taiwanese work ethic and dedication will be near impossible to find in another country.

It's a weird situation because China is only a quasi-superpower as the island chain is around but they're dependent on tsmc for foxcomm, Lenovo and others. It's a lose-lose for china.
 

slin

New member
Taiwanese work ethic and dedication will be near impossible to find in another country.

It's a weird situation because China is only a quasi-superpower as the island chain is around but they're dependent on tsmc for foxcomm, Lenovo and others. It's a lose-lose for china.
Foxconn is actually a Taiwanese company.
 

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
Even though countries may not match the TSM culture and work ethic, they could come close enough. Just starting this process would reduce the reasons China wants to take over Taiwan. In fact, it would be far cheaper and politically expedient for China to pursue this process over military action which would be needed for Taiwan would never voluntarily capitulate.
 

mozartct

Member
Globalization is beneficial. Localization is a pipe dream used to fleece taxpayers in Japan, Europe and US. Globalization allows each company to focus on what they do best. I do not want to buy a Ford surgical mask because it's not what Ford is good at (they made masks during covid). The current system, perfected over decades has served us well. I prefer to buy my wine made in France rather then Denmark, regardless of ancillary (and largely imaginary) benefits...

China is not suicidal. They are undoubtedly in a wolf-warrior phase but that does not mean they are ready to start WW3 (or want to). Yes, there is a conflict about Taiwan with very deep roots that have absolutely nothing to do with tsmc or the IC business. Yes, China is aggressive in Taiwan Strait and in SE Asia seas in general. So was the Soviet Union and we never went to a hot war; we waited them out. The political class and the commentariat live in a bubble of their own when it comes with "war with China". We just got out of a 20-year mess, let's not start another one. Deal with reality instead. We are NOT going to do large scale chip packaging in the West, we are not going to go back to PCB manufacturing or cell phone assembly or making wafer shippers... We dominate other segments (OEMs, chip design, ATE...) and I would surmise that we get more dollars per device that does Taiwan or China, BECAUSE we are focused on value added steps (whatever they may be) and not people in bunny suits.

tsmc has admitted that its model is predicated on local conditions. As a result, new complexes were announced in Kaohsiung and Hsinchu all the while they lower the political temperature with some construction in AZ. If the Taiwanese were so worried, they would already be building in Europe and Japan. They are not. They would close their fabs in China. They are not.

Worrying about supposedly existential conflict with China is used as a fig leaf for much larger issues (climate change - how you solve that without China, political paralysis - China is a nimble giant in comparison, growing income inequality - see Paradise/Panama/Pandora papers, at least China is clumsily trying to do something about it while we sit on our hands).
 

Portland

Active member
It's a bizarre situation where geopolitical adversaries are huge trading partners. China offers labor and Taiwan technology both are essential. Taiwan and tsmc are the tip of the spear in technology and in 5 years the gap will be worse. I don't see Taiwan being part of the prc for the majority of people's lifetimes at semiwiki.
 

mozartct

Member
The fact that we are trading gives us some leverage. Give us fair IP treatment, open borders without unwritten rules (which should be allowed on WTO rules) and let's partner on climate change and other global challenges. Agree to push Taiwan into the far future (in other words when we are dead) and compromise on IC manufacturing/high-tech in general. There is simply no escaping China, as much as the Bannons of this world would say otherwise. Stasis should be our goal. Talk, talk and then talk some more.
 

PBealo

New member
All this is quite nice and very logical. But we are ignoring the elephant in the room: China has worsening domestic issues such as the burst housing bubble, slowing growth, etc. In order to take their peoples' minds off of these issues they need them too focus on an external issue that they can rally behind such as taking Taiwan.

There are similarities between this situation and Argentina taking the Falklands for a while back in the 80's.
 

EliteBeatAgent

New member
Taiwanese work ethic and dedication will be near impossible to find in another country.

It's a weird situation because China is only a quasi-superpower as the island chain is around but they're dependent on tsmc for foxcomm, Lenovo and others. It's a lose-lose for china.
You can recruit extremely talented and hardworking engineers in China, Japan, and especially Korea. What is a hard to replicate is the culture, customer trust, ecosystem, and leading edge technology imo.
 

Arthur Hanson

Well-known member
I have worked in numerous companies, far more than most working in physical plant data distribution, and have seen many companies and people with a very high standard of work ethics in their very DNA. It is possible to create a top culture from scratch, it just takes a good core that knows how to cultivate a great, goal-oriented culture that constantly expands and lets people grow to their maximum potential. As a project manager, I did this with many, many people over the years. I even ended up splitting a hotel room with a female subordinate working under me when in a pinch and she liked the extra money and trust, so we did this for about two months. My coworker liked the money and my wife liked the gifts I bought her each week. Trust is key.
 
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