The criteria for new US semiconductor subsidies worry companies including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and SK Hynix Inc, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Thursday, a concern shared by the world’s top contract chipmaker in Taiwan.
The conditions include sharing excess profits with the US government, and three industry sources said the application process itself could expose confidential corporate strategy.
Yoon met with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Seoul and asked her to take into account firms’ concerns about a “excessive level of information provision”, according to the presidential office.
The grants would come from a $52 billion pool for research and manufacturing under the so-called US CHIPS Act, for which the Commerce Department announced guidance and templates this month.
SK Group, parent of SK Hynix, plans to invest $15 billion in the US chip sector, including building an advanced chip packaging factory, and has said it is considering applying for financing.
For its part, Samsung is building a semiconductor plant in Texas that could cost more than $25 billion and has said it is reviewing guidelines.
However, funding applications may require detailed information on the cost structure, as well as expected returns, utilization rates and price changes, which three Korean chip sources told Reuters is tantamount to revealing corporate strategy. .
“All of this is confidential information. The most important thing in chips is the cost structure. Experts will be able to see our strategy at a glancesaid one of the sources, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter.
At an industry event in Taiwan, the chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said he was also concerned.
“We continue to discuss with them. There are some conditions that we cannot accept. We hope that they can be adjusted so that there are no negative effects. We will continue to talk to the US government”, Mark Liu declared to the press. TSMC is investing $40 billion in a new plant in Arizona.
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