TSMC's Taiwan Investment Plan Has Not Changed, Says Minister

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Sarah Wu and Ben Blanchard

TAIPEI, Taiwan (Reuters) – Taiwan's TSMC did not change its investment plan for a new chip factory to be built in Kaohsiung on the southern tip of the island, said Economy Minister Wang Mei Hua, responding to a report that the chipmaker was slowing expansion at home.

Wang, a reporter on the sidelines parliament, said that "TSMC's making Taiwan its global R&D and manufacturing hub hasn't changed." "TSMC investing both in Taiwan and Kaohsiung has also not changed."

Wang's remarks come after Taiwan's DigiTimes magazine reported, citing a source, that TSMC was slowing down their expansion plans in Kaohsiung, and other Taiwanese Cities.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, a major Apple Supplier, declined to comment citing a period of quietness before the quarterly earnings that are due next week.

The Kaohsiung facility, which will manufacture semiconductors with a 28-nanometer maturity, was inaugurated last year.

TSMC had originally planned to manufacture advanced 7-nanometer chip technology in Kaohsiung by 2021. However, the company has now postponed its plans.

TSMC, world's biggest contract chipmaker, announced in January that it expected softer demand as a result of a slower global economy. It will reduce its capital expenditures this year from $36.3 billion to $32-$36.9 billion.

In recent years, the company has increased its investments overseas. It announced new chip factories both in Japan and in the United States.