Chip manufacturers all around the world are struggling to increase production to meet demand. Chip shortages are impacting all sorts of industries, including automotive and electronics manufacturers. TSMC, the largest chipmaker in the world, and Sony are considering building a jointly operated chip factory in Japan. Reports indicate that the Japanese government is also considering investing a massive amount of money into the joint venture.
Reports indicate the Japanese government would invest about ¥800 billion, equating to about $7.15 billion into the venture. The plant would be located in southern Japan and would produce semiconductors used in automobiles, photography equipment, and other products. While we typically think of gaming consoles when we think of Sony, the company is also big in photography and other parts of the electronics industry.
No official comment has been offered by Sony or TSMC. However, TSMC said in July that it was considering a plan to begin production in Japan. TSMC is headquartered in Taiwan. Many manufacturers who have operations based in Taiwan have grown concerned about the increasing aggression of China, a country that hasn’t ruled out using force to bring Taiwan under its control.
Japan, and other countries around the world, are concerned about concentrating manufacturing of chips and other high-tech products in Taiwan. Expanding production into other countries would help ensure high-tech products continue to be manufactured if a conflict over Taiwan arose with China in the future.
There have been calls for chip manufacturers such as TSMC and others to open manufacturing facilities in the US. The US and other countries want to guarantee a supply of chips necessary for all manner of products used today. Governments would have more control over manufacturing if factories were located inside their country if a conflict with China broke out.