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By On April 25, 2018

US chipmaker expands Taiwan workforce to counter China poaching

Micron's building in Taoyuan. The world's leading maker of memory chips will expand its workforce in Taiwan. (Photo by Cheng Ting-Fang)

TAOYUAN, Taiwan -- Memory chip maker Micron Technology looks to increase its Taiwanese workforce by at least 800 by 2019, downplaying the risk of losing workers to Beijing-backed rivals aggressively building their own operations in China.

The U.S. company has lost hundreds of engineers in Taiwan since moving in December 2015 to purchase full control of Inotera Memories, a joint venture with local partner Nanya Technology. The $4 billion deal was completed in late 2016.

"[Chinese emerging players] certainly have the incentive to hire people from our talent pool," Wayne R. Allan, senior vice president of global manufacturing at Micron, told a small group of reporters in Taiwan on Tuesday. "It's natural when you go through an acquisition like Inotera, the attrition rate can go up. But that's coming down significantly, with the annual attrition rate of 10% for the past 12 months ... Many of them are not going to China."

Taiwan serves as the company's biggest production base for dynamic random access memory, while Singapore plays that role for NAND flash products. DRAM and NAND are crucial memory chips used in electronic devices ranging from smartphones to connected cars.

Micron Taiwan had 6,800 workers as of March, Allan said, and his company intends to raise that count to 7,650 by the end of 2019. This compares with 7,500 st affers in Singapore. With more than 34,000 employees globally, Micron is the world's third-largest DRAM provider and ranks fourth as a NAND chipmaker, supplying to a wide variety of electronics brands including Apple.

Senior Vice President Wayne Allan of Micron said his company anticipates healthy market conditions for memory chips through this year. (Photo by Cheng Ting-Fang)

Allan said aggressive Chinese newcomers are unlikely to catch up with existing players soon. Notable new players include Beijing-backed Tsinghua Unigroup's Yangtze Memory Technologies, which is building a giant NAND factory. Innotron Memory and Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, sponsored by local governments, are developing DRAM.

"As we look at the potential threats in China, what I can say is there is a very high bar for new entrance to this business because intellectual property is very rich," Allan said. "That's not something you can replicate overnight."

Micron sees no incentive to license the intellectual properties to emerging Chinese competitors. "We have a lot of business in China. But when it comes to licensing chip technology, that's not something we will currently contemplate," Allan said.

Most memory chip makers including Micron have enjoyed a strong financial performance since late 2016 thanks to surging memory prices and tight supply. Micron's revenue jumped 58% on the year to $7.35 billion for its fiscal second quarter, which ended March 1. The company's net profit of $3.31 billion for the period surged 270% fro m a year ago.

Allan said his company still sees a healthy market throughout this calendar year, with demand ranging from data centers to connected vehicles driving the need for memory chips.

Micron continues to expand operations globally, having begun a new NAND project this month bringing 1,000 jobs in Singapore. The chipmaker also is expanding sites in the Japanese city of Hiroshima and the western U.S. city of Boise, while bolstering in-house chip testing and packaging capacities in Taiwan.

Nikkei staff writer Lauly Li contributed to this report.

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Source: Google News Taiwan | Netizen 24 Taiwan

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By On April 25, 2018

Taiwan to simulate repelling invasion amid China tensions

Discover Thomson ReutersFinancialGovernment SolutionsLegalReuters News AgencyRisk Management SolutionsTax & AccountingBlog: Answers OnInnovation @ Thomson ReutersDirectory of sitesLoginContactSupport#World NewsApril 24, 2018 / 5:08 AM / in a dayTaiwan to simulate repelling invasion amid China tensions

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TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan will simulate repelling an invading force, emergency repairs of a major air base and using civilian-operated drones as part of military exercises starting next week, the defense ministry said on Tuesday amid growing tensions with China.

A Taiwanese flag is seen behind standard Type II missiles on Kee Lung (DDG-1801) destroyer during a drill near Yilan naval base, Taiwan April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Over the past year or so, China has ramped up military drills around self-ruled and democratic Taiwan, including flying b ombers and other military aircraft around the island.

China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory, and its hostility toward the island has grown since the 2016 election as president of Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

China has been issuing increasingly strident calls for Taiwan to toe the line, even as Tsai has pledged to maintain the status quo and keep the peace.

Taiwan’s annual Han Kuang drills, which start next week with a computer-aided command post exercise, do not make explicit mention of China, instead referring to “offensive forces invading Taiwan”.

The major part of it will be a live-fire field training exercise from June 4-8, including “enemy elimination on beaches”, the ministry said. “Civilian resources will also be integrated into this exercise to support military operations,” it added.

Tech companies will offer support with drones to mark targets and provide battlefield surveillance , and building companies will help with emergency runway repairs for the Ching Chuan Kang air base in central Taiwan, the ministry said.

The Air Combat Command will issue air raid alerts with an “aerial threat warning system” during the air defense drills, and the Coast Guard will also join in exercises with the navy, it added.

Taiwan is well equipped with mostly U.S.-made weaponry, but has been pushing for Washington to sell it more advanced equipment, including new fighter jets, to help it better deter its giant neighbor.

Military experts say the balance of power between Taiwan and China has now shifted decisively in China’s favor, and China could likely overwhelm the island unless U.S. forces came quickly to Taiwan’s aid.

The United States is bound by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, but it is unclear whether Washington would want to be dragged into what would likely be a hugely destructive war with China over the island.

Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Editing by Ben Blanchard

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Source: Google News Taiwan | Netizen 24 Taiwan