The leader in semiconductor manufacturing, TSMC, will no longer accept orders from Huawei. The company reportedly gave in to pressure from the United States, despite the importance of the Chinese smartphone maker in its order book.
Things get a little more complicated for Huawei in the smartphone market. A year after being struck with an embargo prohibiting any exchange with American companies, the Chinese giant may have to do without a capital asset. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world leader in the manufacture of semiconductors and therefore chips for smartphones, is no longer accepting orders from Huawei, according to the newspaper Nikkei. A decision motivated by the American sanctions which aim to cut access to their technology to the Chinese company. All orders placed by Huawei to date and to be delivered before September 14, 2020 will be honored.
This announcement also falls at the same time as that of the TSMC factory project on American soil: an investment of 12 billion dollars which certainly weighs heavily in the balance for the Taiwanese company.
An undeniable blow
To say that this announcement is colossal is not an understatement. Indeed, Huawei is the second largest customer of TSMC behind Apple. The Taiwanese company is, for its part, the largest founder in the world and especially one of the only ones to master certain technologies. TSMC is able to burn chips in 7 nm, the fineness of engraving of the latest HiSilicon Kirin 990 SoC from Huawei, used, for example, in the P40 Pro. Samsung is currently the only other chip maker capable of such finesse, and South Korea is also on the US side.
In China, no company is currently able to technically align with Huawei's requirements for the manufacture of its latest SoC. However, this could have a beneficial effect for local players, in which Huawei and the Chinese State could invest massively in order to catch up with the technological gap.