Taipei, Dec. 7 (CNA) Taiwan's economics authorities said Monday that a review of an investment plan by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest contract chip maker, to build a 12-inch wafer plant and a design service center in China will be completed within two months.
The review will be finalized before the Lunar New Year holiday in February next year, said Chang Ming-pin (張銘斌), executive secretary of the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), after confirming the commission had received TSMC's application for government approval of the investment project.
The US$3 billion investment is the largest plan proposed by any Taiwanese business for China so far. TSMC will bear the full cost of the project.
Chang said the commission will first check if the investor has prepared all the required documents, and then a key technology team of experts in the industrial, governmental and academic sectors will be organized for a discussion on the project.
The commission will decide whether or not to give the green light to the investment project based on the opinions of the expert team, Chang noted.
The TSMC investment project was submitted after the Executive Yuan, Taiwan's top administrative branch, changed on Sept. 4 the list of manufactured products that are banned from investment and technology cooperation in China.
Under the adjustment, the restriction on investments aimed at building silicon wafer fabrication plants or merging or buying shares of Chinese wafer factories has been relaxed to allow 12-inch wafer fabrication.
The exemption was made to help local businesses with their competitiveness in China, where their main rivals, such as Intel and Samsung, have already made inroads with their 12-inch plants, according to the MOEA.
TSMC announced the investment project earlier in the day, with its Chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) calling the plan to build two advanced facilities in Nanjing an effort "to assist clients from a short distance and further boost business opportunities."
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Elizabeth Hsu)ENDITEM/ke