Taiwan minister says TSMC has offset lost Huawei orders
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) has collated its order book with other customers after losing China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], which is subject to U.S. sales restrictions, a government minister said Monday.
TSMC's customers include the Huawei HiSilicon chip division. However, Huawei's blacklist in the US for security concerns and trade disputes with China has exposed the world's largest contract chip maker to diplomatic developments between two countries where it also has manufacturing facilities.
Last month, the company unveiled plans for a $ 12 billion plant in the U.S. just hours before the U.S. Department of Commerce made a proposal to change chip export rules - a move that would limit TSMC's sales to Huawei .
The change would require licenses to sell semiconductors manufactured abroad with U.S. technology to Huawei, the world's largest provider of telecommunications equipment and its second largest smartphone maker.
Kung Ming-hsin, the new head of the National Development Council's Taiwanese economic planning agency, said the United States is targeting a specific company, not Taiwan's economic relationship with China, the island's largest trading partner.
"The United States has not asked Taiwan to cut all ties with China. It is aimed at Huawei," Kung told reporters in Taipei.
The main reason the US targeted Huawei is that it wasn't transparent and had too close a relationship with the Chinese government, he added, charges that the company has denied.
"TSMC is no longer ordered with Huawei, but it is quickly resolved because other people really need it," said Kung, without going into more detail.
TSMC declined to comment and said it had not commented on its customers.
The chairman of TSMC, a supplier of U.S. technology giants like Apple Inc, said the company could quickly fill any order gap this month if U.S. restrictions prevent sales to Huawei.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; editor of Clarence Fernandez)
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