TSMC’s U.S. Fab Is Top Priority Assures Former Chairman Toppled In Power Bid

Ramish Zafar
A snapshot of TSMC's chipmaking process. Image: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company

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The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) major supplier for its planned U.S.  fab, Jiangxi Hantang System Integration Co., has assured customers and investors that the facility remains its top priority. The company underwent a power struggle earlier in Taiwan today, which led to significant changes to its board of directors and management and resulted in its chairman being replaced. Hantang is responsible for helping TSMC set up environmentally controlled cleanrooms inside its chip fabrication facilities, and the assurance came in the form of a statement made by the company's largest investor and new chairperson.

New Chairperson Of TSMC's Cleanroom Supplier Issues Statement Promising To Complete 'Customer's Entrusted Matters'

Today's news marks the culmination of a months-long power struggle at the company, which saw its largest shareholder, Ms. Li Huiwen, succeed in her bid to replace the board of directors with a consortium of representatives of investment banks and industry members. Following today's shareholder's meeting, which took a vote to elect the new board members, Ms. Huiwen also successfully became Hantang's new chairperson.

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The company's current chairperson, Mr. Chao Shui Chen, gained prominence after its founder passed away in 2015. He and Hantang's former general manager are credited for spearheading the company's entrance into the modern era since then, which has seen it become the supplier for several semiconductor firms, including TSMC.

Mr. Chao Shui left the company after the board elected Ms. Huiwen as the chairperson today, despite industry reports suggesting a broad list of future plans that the executive has for his employees, customers and Hantang.

In a statement to the United Daily News (UDN) yesterday, he shed light on his company's engagement with TSMC for the U.S. chip plant. According to (a translated statement from) him:

The TSMC US plant is the first priority for Han and Tang Dynasties, and it is also the most important indicator for subsequent development. There must be no problems!

Additionally, the departing executive also shared that the Taiwanese fab has expressed its concerns about the management shakeup, and he has assured TSMC's management that the changes will not hamper progress for the facility.

In his comments after today's meeting, Mr. Chao Shui stated that while he intended to retire from the company a year and a half from now, the current state of affairs brought forward the timeline. He also shared that his plans included appointing Mr. Chen Baicheng, Hantang's outgoing general manager, as his successor upon retirement.

Hantang's new chairperson Ms. Li Huiwen after being elected today. Image: Li Xunying

Following her election as chairperson, Ms. Huiwen also released a statement to the press. This statement briefly mentioned TSMC's U.S. chip plant, with the executive simply stating that her company will work with the fab's management team to execute all plans successfully.

The complete text of her (translated) statement courtesy of UDN is as follows:

Thanks to the shareholders of Hantang Company for their support, so that Huiwenji and Huiwen directors who share the same philosophy can be elected with high votes.
Huiwen has been a shareholder since the founding of Hantang Company, working together with Xianfu, former chairman of Chen Chaoshui, and general manager Chen Baichen, so that Hantang Company can grow steadily and have the hard-won foundation and reputation of Han and Tang Dynasties today.

After the end of today’s shareholders’ meeting, we will organize a management team under the goal of stability and development, and for the future operation of the company, we will also implement the principle of separation of ownership and management rights, fully authorize professional management teams, respect professional opinions, and truly Implement corporate governance. Regarding the important customer TSMC's US plant related projects, we will work together with the management team to complete customer entrusted matters, and will continue to invest in high value-added product research and development, wholeheartedly provide all customers with the best service, create maximum shareholder profits, and Promote ESG and fulfill corporate responsibility related requirements.

Huiwen once again thank the shareholders for their entrustment, we will work diligently, walking on thin ice, and creating the peak of Hantang Company again!

Industry reports floating in Taiwan last month had confirmed statements made by Hantang's former management that it would formalize all contracts with TSMC in July. Hantang is expected to begin installing cleanroom equipment in Arizona by September next year, and TSMC targets the facility to enter mass production by 2024.

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