MediaTek Inc (聯發科) has hired a former US Department of Commerce official to help it navigate worsening US-China tensions that have already ensnared its customer Huawei Technologies Co (華為).
Patrick Wilson, who most recently served as director of the department’s Office of Business Liaison, has been appointed vice president of government affairs at MediaTek USA to lead its public policy initiatives, the chip designer said in a draft press statement seen by Bloomberg News.
Wilson previously worked at the Semiconductor Industry Association, where he led the trade group’s dealings with the US federal government.
Technology companies with ties to or operations in China have come under increasing scrutiny from Washington amid growing tensions with Beijing, forcing them to ramp up spending on lobbying efforts in the US.
The department said in May that it would require licenses before allowing US technology to be used by Huawei or its 114 subsidiaries, including its chip-design unit HiSilicon Technologies Co (海思半導體), thus preventing suppliers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) from shipping HiSilicon-designed parts to the Chinese company.
Earlier this year, TSMC hired former Intel Corp lobbyist Peter Cleveland, while ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動), the Chinese owner of the TikTok app that has also come under US scrutiny, spent a record US$500,000 on federal lobbying in the quarter ended June 30.
Analysts are expecting Huawei to rely on MediaTek for chip design after TSMC said it would not ship new chips designed by HiSilicon after Sept. 15.
MediaTek might supply its chips to Huawei for a flagship handset that is expected to be introduced this year as US export controls affect supply from Qualcomm Inc and TSMC, Sanford C. Bernstein analysts, including Mark Li, wrote in a note on Thursday last week.
MediaTek shares closed up 0.29 percent at NT$682 yesterday in Taipei trading. The stock has gained 148.9 percent since its March low of NT$274, Taiwan Stock exchange data showed.
Additional reporting by staff writer
Intel Corp has talked with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and Samsung Electronics Co about the Asian companies making some of its best chips, but the Silicon Valley pioneer is still holding out hope for last-minute improvements in its own production capabilities. After successive delays in its chip fabrication processes, Santa Clara, California-based Intel has yet to make a decision less than two weeks ahead of a scheduled announcement of its plans, people familiar with the deliberations said. Any components that Intel might source from Taiwan would not come to market until 2023 at the earliest and would be based on
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday announced it would give incentive bonuses totaling NT$1.7 billion (US$59.7 million) to its employees and those at the firm’s major subsidiaries, after the smartphone chip supplier’s revenue hit US$10 billion last year. This is the biggest incentive bonus the Hsinchu-based handset chip designer has ever distributed in its 23-year history. About 17,000 full-time employees of MediaTek and five of its subsidiaries, including Richtek Technology Corp (立錡科技) and Airoha Technology Corp (絡達科技), would receive a “red envelope” of NT$100,000 each, the company said. “Surpassing US$10 billion is just the beginning. We will continue to [grow] on this basis,” MediaTek
TO SPUR REVENUE: The contract chipmaker expects its profit to grow 15 percent this year, outpacing the foundry industry’s projected advance of about 10 percent Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday raised its projected capital spending for this year by 62 percent, a new high, in an attempt to satisfy customer demand for advanced technologies in the production of central processing units, high-performance-computing (HPC) devices and 5G applications. After investing US$17.24 billion last year, TSMC this year plans to spend US$25 billion to US$28 billion on manufacturing equipment and new facilities, including a fab in the US. About 80 percent of the budget would be allocated for developing advanced technologies including 3, 5 and 7-nanometer technologies, the company said. The larger-than-expected capital spending prompted speculation
RIPPLE EFFECTS: Diminished supply, which has for the past few months affected auto firms worldwide, might prove to be a short-term issue due to COVID-19, an expert said A widening global shortage of semiconductors for auto parts is forcing major auto companies to halt or slow vehicle production just as they were recovering from COVID-19 pandemic-related factory shutdowns. Officials at Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co all say they have been hit by the shortage and been forced to delay production of some models in order to keep other factories running. “This is absolutely an industry issue,” Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin said in an e-mail on Friday. “We are evaluating the supply constraint of semiconductors and developing countermeasures to minimize