- TSMC site in Germany?
- Deputy Prime Minister attends BASF opening ceremony
- German MPs travel to Taiwan
- Evergrande headquarters in Hong Kong seized
- Troops withdraw from the Himalayan region
- BYD develops plant in Thailand
- Beijing hardly benefits from Russia sanctions
- China Perspective: Compliance through education and surveillance
When a global chip giant invests in Europe, it is highly welcome news. It reduces dependencies on other countries, shortens supply and communication routes to industrial customers, and creates high-quality jobs. After Intel has already been persuaded to build plants in Germany, all eyes are now on the Taiwanese market leader TSMC. The EU Commission is currently campaigning for such an investment, as is Germany. For background information, see our analysis below.
Whether it’s German Chancellor Scholz, Foreign Minister Baerbock, the head of Deutsche Bank or major economic research institutes – warnings about excessive dependence on China have increased in recent months. How does BASF’s €10 billion investment in Guangdong fit into the picture? The new BASF plant is the largest single investment ever made by a German company in the People’s Republic, as Fabian Kretschmer writes. This step is not without risk for the company. If relations with China deteriorate even faster, the chemical giant will find itself in a bad spot.
And the company has already had a bad experience with Russia. For decades, BASF expanded its gas trade with Gazprom. Even a year after the annexation of Crimea, the company still handed over German gas storage facilities to its Russian partner in exchange for shares in extraction projects in Siberia. These deals have contributed significantly to Germany’s dependence on Russian gas. Is the company taking too great a risk again with its €10 billion investment in China?
Today’s part of our “China Perspective” series shows just how China’s society differs from free Western ones. In it, our voice from the People’s Republic describes why so many Chinese people often so tacitly accept the government’s harsh Covid lockdowns and restrictions on freedom of expression. A major role plays the education in kindergartens and schools, where obedience is instilled and individuality is largely suppressed. Everyday life is dominated by virtually omnipresent camera surveillance and Internet censorship – and there is also a fear of government informers. Dissenters who seek to express their opinions too freely certainly life a dangerous life in China.
Promoting a TSMC site in the EU
EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, hopes to persuade Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC to build a factory in the EU. “We would be very happy if they would set up in Europe – either alone or together with others,” he said on Thursday in Berlin. The world’s largest contract manufacturer is a “very important player.”
The TSMC management has been probing an investment in Europe since last year. The company’s clients, especially in the automotive industry, are urging TSMC to build its own factory on the continent. They suffer under supply bottlenecks and are afraid of being cut off from suppliers in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Without Taiwanese semiconductors, the assembly lines of German carmakers would come to a standstill.
Industry circles are discussing Bosch, Infineon and NXP as possible partners for TSMC in the semiconductor industry. The German government is closely involved in the negotiations, which are already at an advanced stage, according to information from industry circles. In the chip industry, high subsidies from tax funds are common to encourage companies to make a capital-intensive investment.