China might have recently lost access to another vital aspect of its efforts to build out its semiconductor industry: skilled workers. Nikkei Asia Review today reported that Taiwan, has told recruitment firms to remove listings for jobs based in China.
According to the report, Taiwan's Labor Ministry recently sent a notice to those firms saying that they "may no longer post openings for jobs located in China, especially those involving critical industries, such as integrated circuits and semiconductors."
Firms that violate those rules will be fined, with jobs related to the chip industry carrying larger fines, Nikkei Asia Review said. The new rule will also force multinational companies to re-post jobs in China under their Chinese subsidiaries.
Taiwan, home to the likes of TSMC and Foxconn, is a massive player in the chip industry—a recent study claimed the country is responsible for 92% of the global manufacturing capacity for sub-10nm chips. Losing experienced workers to China might threaten its dominance over the market.
The restrictions could also help strengthen relations between the U.S. and Taiwan. The U.S. has obstructed China's efforts to develop its semiconductor industry for years by making it increasingly difficult for Chinese companies to use U.S. tech.
Here's a section of the notice obtained by Nikkei Asia Review related to that subject:
"Due to geopolitical tension between the U.S. and China, China's semiconductor development has suffered some setbacks, and as a result China has become more aggressive in poaching and targeting top Taiwanese chip talent to help build a self-sufficient supply chain."
So these new restrictions could allow Taiwanese companies to focus on dealing with record droughts, an ongoing chip shortage and increasing demand for their wares instead of the fear their skilled employees will be poached by Chinese companies, while also making it clear to the U.S. that Taiwan doesn't support China's efforts.