Taipei, June 15 (CNA) MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), Taiwan's largest integrated circuit (IC) designer, said Wednesday that Taiwan should allow China to invest in the local IC design sector under certain conditions.
MediaTek said that a removal of the ban on Chinese funds entering Taiwan's IC design industry would help Taiwanese firms to set up strategic partnerships with their Chinese counterparts through mergers and acquisitions.
However, MediaTek said that the presence of Chinese investors in Taiwan's IC design industry must not compromise Taiwan's national security, lower the country's competitive edge, or hurt the local job market.
Currently, Chinese investors are allowed to buy shares in Taiwan's contract chip makers and IC packaging and testing service providers, but cannot hold a controlling stake. Chinese funds remain barred from the local IC design industry.
MediaTek said that the government should establish a task force to screen any applications filed by Chinese investors to take a stake in a local IC design firm, to ensure that Taiwan's national security and industrial development remain intact.
As long as Taiwan's national security is not hurt by Chinese investment in the local IC design industry, Taiwanese IC designers in turn should follow local laws to protect the rights of shareholders and employees once Chinese investors have a presence.
Meanwhile, citing local media reports, MediaTek Chairman Tsai Ming-kai (蔡明介) said Wednesday that Taiwan cannot afford to ignore the IC market in China, since Chinese IC firms currently have a more-than 50 percent share of the global semiconductor market.
Tsai said that a move to set up strategic partnerships with Chinese investors is necessary if Taiwan's IC design industry is to gain easier access to the growing China IC market.
However, Tsai reiterated that MediaTek has no plans to sell a stake to China's Tsinghua Unigroup (清華紫光), a high-tech group backed by the authorities in Beijing, although the Chinese conglomerate has long coveted a stake in MediaTek.
Tsai said that MediaTek has its roots in Taiwan and will continue to do so, adding that his company will maintain its determination to create job openings with high remuneration in the local market, and protect its intellectual property rights against infringement.
Tsinghua Unigroup has proposed buying a 25 percent stake in Powertech Technology (力成) and ChipMos Technologies (南茂), Taiwan's third- and fourth-largest IC packaging and testing firms.
(By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)ENDITEM/J