New TSMC chairman CC Wei brands OpenAI's Sam Altman 'too aggressive for me to believe'

CC Wei giving a talk to Yale University students
(Image credit: Yale University)

TSMC's newly elected board of directors elevated Dr. C. C. Wei, the chipmaker's current CEO, to Chairman. This happened today in Taiwan during the company's 2024 Annual Shareholders' Meeting, and Wei came out of the gates swinging.

On the day Wei became chairman of the world's largest semiconductor firm, Taiwan's Business Today reminded us that, back in February, Wei insisted that Samsung and Intel "have no way to compete with TSMC." Moreover, when Bloomberg columnist Tim Culpan asked Wei about Sam Altman's plans to build AI fabs after he visited a TSMC facility, Wei replied, "Sam Altman, he’s too aggressive, too aggressive for me to believe." (via X)

Wei replaces Mark Liu, who was reportedly forced to retire from TSMC in December last year, after the company's Arizona fab faced delays and labor disputes. TSMC's first US facility even had an accident last month that killed a truck driver.

Aside from keeping TSMC's US ambitions on track, C. C. Wei also must deal with the brewing tensions along the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. is gravely concerned about China's ambitions in Taiwan, with the U.S. Commerce Secretary proclaiming that a Chinese seizure of TSMC would devastate the American economy. This has progressed to the point that TSMC's Taiwan fabs are equipped with remote self-destruct functions in case of any hostile invasion.

According to Reuters, the threat of war across the Taiwan Straits is a consideration but largely moot. Wei explains that moving the company's fabs away from the island, with about 80-90% of its production capacity, is impossible.

However, he is not alone in saying that the island is crucial for making chips — AI or otherwise. AMD's Lisa Su said, "We do a lot of our manufacturing here with key suppliers like TSMC… And then we also have a number of partners that help us build out the ecosystem here in Taiwan." (via Reuters) Nvidia's Jensen Huang was also quoted saying that Taiwan is one of the most important countries in the world during his night market dinner with the heads of TSMC, MediaTek, and Quanta.

Nevertheless, TSMC's decision to keep leading-edge production on the island might be more politically motivated, especially as some would consider that keeping the world technologically dependent on Taiwan might be the only thing keeping the U.S. on its toes and China at bay.

Freelance News Writer
  • redgarl
    Here you go, the reason why China will not invade Taiwan. If you you want America to get involved, you only have to target their economy. TSMC knows it and it is using their influence as geopolitical leverage.

    "However, he is not alone in saying that the island is crucial for making chips — AI or otherwise. AMD's Lisa Su said, "We do a lot of our manufacturing here with key suppliers like TSMC… And then we also have a number of partners that help us build out the ecosystem here in Taiwan." (via Reuters) Nvidia's Jensen Huang was also quoted saying that Taiwan is one of the most important countries in the world during his night market dinner with the heads of TSMC, MediaTek, and Quanta."
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