torsdag 18. april 2024

'World’s factory' status threatened as supply chain shifts away from China

Globalisation has not receded, and the US’s implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act is attracting foreign capital to the country. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is building factories in the US, with the first one due to begin operations in 2025 and the second one possibly starting operations in 2027. Operations at TSMC’s Japan factory are expected to start this year.

At the same time, South Korea’s SK Hynix is planning to invest about US$4 billion to build an advanced packaging plant in the US, while South Korean battery maker Samsung SDI is also set to build a battery plant in the US. These examples are enough to show that globalisation, which was once led by the US, is not going in reverse.

Yet the US has continued to strengthen its chip export controls on China. On 29 March, the US’s Joe Biden administration revised rules aimed at preventing China from accessing US artificial intelligence (AI) chips and chipmaking tools. Released in October last year, the rules were meant to halt shipments to China of more advanced AI chips designed by Nvidia and others.