(Corrects Apple RIC)
TAIPEI, March 20 Taiwan's TSMC, the
world's largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple Inc
supplier, on Monday said it would take a decision next
year on whether to build a U.S. chip plant.
In January, TSMC Chairman Morris Chang had said the company
did not rule out the idea of building a U.S. foundry, joining a
slew of global firms from automakers to luggage makers that are
considering manufacturing in the United States amid President
Donald Trump's push to create more jobs.
"We won't make a decision until next year," TSMC
spokesperson Michael Kramer said. The company currently gets
about 65 percent of its total revenue from the United States.
"We would sacrifice some benefits if we move to the States.
But we have flexibility in Taiwan. If an earthquake happened for
instance (in Taiwan), we could send thousands of people here as
support, whereas it's harder in the States," he told Reuters.
Local media CNA news agency reported on Monday that TSMC
would make a decision on the plant in the first half of 2018,
citing unnamed sources.
The report also said TSMC was considering a T$500 billion
($16.41 billion) investment for the plant.
The consideration for a U.S. plant comes at a time when TSMC
is reportedly looking at investing in Toshiba Corp's
chip business. An industry source familiar with the matter said
TSMC was deeply interested in the Toshiba unit.
($1 = 30.4710 Taiwan dollars)
(Reporting by Jess Macy Yu and J.R. Wu in Taipei; Editing by