Bad news for the world champion of semiconductors. Taiwanese company TSMC announced this Thursday in October that its profit had dropped by a quarter in the third quarter. Specifically, the microchip giant stated that its net profit had decreased by 24.9% year-on-year during the July-September period to 211 billion Taiwanese dollars (6.5 billion dollars), while its revenue also dropped by 11% to 546.7 billion Taiwanese dollars during the same period.
Pour rappel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) est le plus grand fabricant de micropuces sous contrat au monde. Il contrôle plus de la moitié de la production mondiale de puces utilisées dans tous les domaines, des smartphones aux missiles.
« I cannot reword »
Les Etats-Unis renforcent les restrictions contre la Chine
The demand for high-performance chips has been strong, with companies equipping themselves with the necessary hardware for AI development following the successful launch of ChatGPT. However, the chip industry is facing uncertainty due to high inflation and sluggish global economic growth, partly caused by geopolitical tensions.
Les États-Unis ont annoncé ce mardi dernier qu’ils restreignaient davantage les exportations de puces d’IA de pointe vers la Chine. Ces mesures s’inscrivent dans une série d’initiatives prises par le gouvernement de Donald Trump, puis celui de Joe Biden, pour limiter l’accès des entreprises chinoises à des équipements de pointe achetés à l’étranger.
The new rules enhance the measures implemented a year ago that prohibited the sale of microchips essential for the production of powerful AI systems to China. According to the US Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, this is aimed at preventing their use by China for military purposes and « addressing the threats to national security » of the United States, as stated in the press release.
« The impact on TSMC is limited and manageable. »
The American Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has warned that « overly extensive and unilateral control measures may penalize the American semiconductor ecosystem without improving national security, as they encourage foreign customers to seek supplies elsewhere. »
Responding to a question about the impact of the new export restrictions, CC Wei stated that the company is still in the process of evaluating it. « So far, we can tell you that the impact on TSMC is limited and manageable, at least in the short term, » he said.
The Taiwanese group was among the companies that received exemptions last year when the US government imposed export restrictions to China on American semiconductors and technological components.
In the name of « national security, » Washington had already announced in October 2022 additional export controls to limit Beijing’s purchase and manufacturing of high-end chips « used in military applications. » However, this decision had raised concerns among the world’s largest chip manufacturers regarding the future of their operations in China.