10/12/2023, 16.27
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Taiwan investigates companies that may have cooperated with Huawei

by John Ai

Deemed a “rebel province”, Taiwan is investigating four companies involved in the construction of a microchip plant in Shenzhen. Taiwanese authorities are also planning to establish a list of key technologies banned from export for its own national security.

Taipei (AsiaNews) – The Taiwanese government has started an investigation into four companies that allegedly helped Chinese company Huawei build a microchip plant in Shenzhen, possibly violating regulations on transactions with China and US sanctions.

Wang Mei-hua, Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs, said that his ministry has asked the four companies to provide details about the plant. He did not, however, explain which regulations the four companies are supposed to have violated.

If the plant is not consistent with the plan approved by the government, the companies may be fined up to 250 million Taiwan dollars (US$ 7.8 million).

All four have been involved in projects like wastewater treatment and environmental protection, but Taiwan has strict regulations on key technologies. After a preliminary assessment, it seems none has been shared with mainland China.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's National Security Council (NSC) is planning to impose export controls on key technologies, with a list of such technologies available by the end of the year.

NSC Secretary General Wellington Koo said that the list will cover technologies from semiconductors, agriculture and aerospace to information and communication.

Koo expects the new measures to prevent mainland China from obtaining crucial technologies, while the Taiwanese government will also control investment, human resources and technology transfer in the listed areas.

China considers Taiwan a "rebel province", part of its territory, and in recent years has boosted its military presence in the Taiwan Strait, and lobbied internationally to isolate the island.

Both the United States and the European Union have strengthened cooperation with Taiwan, one of the world's leading suppliers of microchips.

The US has also imposed various constraints and restrictions on Chinese microchip manufacturers, while the EU is taking de-risking measures as well, including banning China from acquiring the most advanced microchip manufacturing lithography.

In response, Beijing has imposed export controls on some rare earths, which are crucial to the semiconductor industry, and over which China holds a quasi-monopoly.


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