US-China rift spells opportunity for Taiwanese tech firms to explore Malaysia
10 Nov 2022
The rising tension between the United States and China makes it an opportune time for Taiwanese semiconductor companies to shift their focus to the Malaysian market.
Taiwan Superconductor International Semiconductor Technology Co Ltd (TSIST) chief executive officer Professor Liu Chien-Lung said a lot of countries were affected by the US-China tension and were exploring other markets to reduce reliance on the two major countries.
“Now is the right time for Taiwanese semiconductor companies to explore the Malaysian market amid tensions between the US and China.
“China joined the industry not too long ago, about 20 years back. It is important for Malaysia to initiate collaboration with other industry players to catch up with China’s market,” Liu said at a joint press conference with MQ Technology Bhd (MQTech) here today.
Commenting on the current shortage of semiconductors, Liu noted that these concerns were attributed to the political tension, lack of raw material as well as insufficient talents in the industry.
He said Malaysia was a suitable location to produce semiconductors due to the multiple languages used in the country that would facilitate trade with Taiwan.
“Malaysia is also abundant with natural resources which makes it cost efficient for the production of semiconductor.
“In the future, I expect more semiconductor companies to come to Malaysia because it is one of the strongest economy in Asean, besides Singapore,” said Liu.
TSIST had on Aug 2 this year signed an initial agreement with MQTech expressing interest to invest up to 30 per cent equity in the latter via participation in a forthcoming corporate exercise of MQTech.
With the proceeds from the exercise, TSIST will assist and provide technical know-how to MQTech to expand its semiconductor operation in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, MQTech is exploring plans to set up semiconductor facilities in Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) to enable the growth of semiconductor industry in the country while training talents for the industry.
Vice chairperson Datuk Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid said the discussion was initiated two months ago, although no investment value had been decided yet.
“We will announce the total investment soon after we have finalised the discussion. The facilities will be utilised to produce semiconductors for both the local market and export.
“We will focus on the domestic market first because we want to ensure there is knowledge transfer to the university students with regards to the industry,” she said during a press conference.
She said UTeM would provide land, factory, machinery and interns while MQTech would provide management, technology and training.