TAIPEI, Feb. 25 (Reuters) – The US-led “Fab 4” semiconductor alliance of Taiwan, the United States, Japan and South Korea held its first video meeting of senior officials focused on supply chain resilience last week, Taiwan’s ministry said of Foreign Affairs on Saturday.
The United States convened the first meeting of the working group, colloquially referred to as “Fab 4” or “Chip 4”, last September to discuss how to strengthen the semiconductor supply chain, following a global chip crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shortage of semiconductors, forcing some automakers to halt production, has thrust chip powerhouse Taiwan into the spotlight and has made supply chain management a higher priority for governments around the world.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the “US-East Asia Semiconductor Supply Chain Resilience Working Group,” or “Fab 4,” held the first video meeting of senior officials of its working group on Feb. 16 after many months of coordination.
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“The focus of the participating quartet’s discussions at the meeting was mainly on how to maintain the resilience of the semiconductor supply chain and explore the possible future directions of cooperation of all parties,” the ministry said in a statement.
“As an important member of the Indo-Pacific region, our country also plays a key role in the global semiconductor industry and has deep economic and trade relations with countries in the region.”
The ministry does not want to say which civil servants participated in the meeting.
President Tsai Ing-wen has said Taiwan is determined to ensure its partners have a reliable supply of semiconductors, which she has dubbed “democratic chips”, and urged allies to boost cooperation amid increasing threats from China.
Beijing regards democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory.
The “Fab” in the name refers to an abbreviated industrial expression for the factories that make chips used in everything from refrigerators and smartphones to fighter jets.
The group’s members are home to the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (2330.TW), South Korean memory chip giants Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) and SK Hynix (000660.KS) and major Japanese suppliers of semiconductor materials and equipment.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Edited by Andrew Heavens
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.
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