The founder of the world's largest chipmaker, Maurice Chang, said on Thursday that rising tensions between the United States and China over technology will slow down the global chip industry.
Chang, who founded Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co in the late 1980s, made the announcement at an event hosted by the Asia Society in New York. The company helped the democratically-ruled island of Taiwan become the world's leading producer of advanced chips.
Earlier this month, US officials imposed another set of export restrictions got stuck What chips and chip-making tools can be exported to China after Huawei Technologies last month showed A phone with a new in-house chip.
Chang, 92, said the isolation of China's chip industry from the rest of the world would affect other players outside of China.
“I think connectivity will eventually slow everybody down. Of course, the immediate goal is to slow China down, and I think it's doing that,” Chang said.
Chang said the consequences of such disintegration were already becoming apparent, and that many previous economic conflicts between established and developing nations had ended in wars.
“Countries seem to be angry at each other, it worries me,” said Chang, who characterized geopolitical tensions between the US and China as an existing power pitted against an emerging power.
“Our only hope is that it doesn't lead to something more serious,” Chang said.
He also praised the higher education system in the US and added his optimism for the country as TMSC invests to build chip manufacturing facilities in Arizona.
Born and raised in China, Chang built his career in the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1962 before being sent to Taiwan to build the chip industry. He is now seen as a legendary figure in an industry caught in the middle of geopolitical tensions.
“I really think that this country, which is my country, (the) United States, is still the hope of the world, despite all the problems that we have,” Chang said.