A globally connected supply chain
Despite consistent efforts, “no government has been able to achieve true self-sufficiency in semiconductor manufacturing to date,” noted a recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Even though Taiwan is the epicenter of all things chip manufacturing, it’s still reliant on China as a supply chain partner as the country is a major manufacturer of complementary components to its chips or for services like packaging and testing.
Taiwanese government data shows China is Taiwan’s largest export market, and largest source of imports, though, like the US, it’s also trying to rid itself of reliance on the country.
“It’s the very first time in 2022 that Taiwanese investment in Southeast Asia and South Asia actually outpaced [that going to] China,” Taiwan’s minister of economic affairs Wang Mei-hua recently told Nikkei Asia. “We think the trend will only continue because of the push from the US-China trade tensions.”
Wang also emphasized that Taiwan closely adheres to US export controls and rules, using the US Entity List as a guideline for its tech sector, particularly semiconductors, with US experts assisting in understanding these rules, amid tightened US restrictions on AI chip sales and semiconductor equipment exports to certain countries.
Nvidia remains bullish on China
Nvidia’s Huang is quite familiar with the US restrictions on chip exports to China, with the company’s high-margin AI-focused GPUs being at the center of recent export bans – which also had the side effect of including certain consumer-grade GPUs in the criteria leading to skewed prices worldwide.