US semiconductor confidentiality demands and TSMC, Samsung, SK

Yugyeong Jeong

At the supply chain countermeasures meeting convened during the G20 summit, President Biden once again made clear to the leaders of his allies his commitment to contain China and build its own supply chain. The list of information submissions that the U.S. is pressing with, emphasizing voluntary submissions by November 8, includes confidential information such as major customers, sales share by client companies, and semiconductor technology stage. In addition, they requested information on the possibility of technology leakage and strategic exposure, such as the production period and investment plan for the most sold products. This information is not disclosed because it may hinder fair market competition if disclosed. The submission of information is a known fact and it is evaluated that the level and scope of disclosure are key.

As the deadline for submitting semiconductor information required by the US government approaches, global semiconductor companies are also deeply concerned. TSMC is considering how to respond to a request from the United States, but in the end issued a statement that it would not hand over confidential customer information. As Taiwan’s TSMC, the world’s largest foundry company, is reported every day, attention is also focused on the decisions of Korean companies. On the surface, it is a form of request, but companies are in a situation where it is difficult to avoid submitting information because they are putting pressure on companies by mentioning again the means of coercion in case of non-cooperation. The Korean government is also cooperating with the US semiconductor supply and responding in a way to minimize the disadvantages of Korean companies.

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