Once technology rivals, Taiwan and South Korea are joining forces under geopolitical pressure.

With 100 million app downloads worldwide, this Taiwanese developer is no exception.

High-tech companies from two Asian economies that rapidly industrialized at the same time nearly half a century ago now view each other as business allies rather than competitors.

South Korea and Taiwan will remain economic competitors, but will likely be more cooperative in science and technology.

Hu Jinli
Although the two companies still compete as exporters of high-tech hardware, they are now keen to work together to navigate the world’s geopolitical changes. Chinese and US pressure It will join the chip supply chain.

“Both economies are now shifting toward U.S.-led supply chains and economic integration,” said Hu Jinli, a professor at the Institute of Business Administration at National Yangming Jiaotong University in Taipei.

“Economically, South Korea and Taiwan will still be competitors, but they will be more cooperative in science and technology.”

The two countries’ tech giants have not actively pursued mergers and acquisitions, but officials have been in talks this year, including anonymous potential investors, while companies such as Gogolook are eyeing business deals. This includes our Korean partners.

Taiwan’s chip sector torn between China and the US may remain domestic

Some of tech giant Samsung’s flash memory modules are assembled in Taiwan, but the iconic South Korean company’s smartphones also use application processors designed by Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek, according to market research firm IDC. It is said that there is

“[Taiwan and South Korea] Each has different benefits, and further collaboration can help reduce costs,” said Galen Zeng, IDC Senior Research Manager.

“As long as appropriate measures are taken to protect information security and patents, the risks associated with collaboration should be small.”

Taiwan-based chipmaker United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) makes Samsung’s driver integrated circuits that control other circuits within the same device, according to IDC.

South Korea is an important market for UMC, and the company is actively seeking to increase collaboration with existing and potential customers in South Korea.

United Microelectronics Corporation

A UMC spokesperson said, “South Korea is an important market for UMC, and the company is actively seeking to strengthen cooperation with existing and potential customers in South Korea.”

On June 1, the Korea-Taiwan Economic Council gathered approximately 60 participants from both sides for a meeting.

A spokesperson for Taipei-based organizer China International Economic Cooperation said many people took part in “lively” discussions about cooperation in the chip field.

Taiwan’s exports to South Korea increased from US$15.1 billion in 2020 to US$22.2 billion last year, according to Taiwan’s Foreign Trade Bureau. It added that during the same period, imports from South Korea also jumped from US$20.6 billion to US$34.3 billion.

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Sean Hsu, an independent technology commentator in Taipei, said politicians in Seoul have responded to concerns about China by aligning more closely with global supply chains led by the United States.

While South Korea specializes in memory chips, Taiwan relies more on processor chips, which means the two countries can cooperate without jeopardizing their competitiveness, Su said.

The U.S. government launched the “Chip 4” dialogue with Taiwan, Japan and South Korea last year to address the escalating tech war between the world’s two largest economies and U.S. government concerns about China’s military use of foreign technology. In the midst of this, the focus was on strengthening the semiconductor supply chain alliance excluding China. the purpose.

South Korea looks to the United States as a security ally and is economically dependent on the Chinese market, but relations between China and South Korea have deteriorated under pro-Washington President Yoon Seok-yeol, particularly over the Taiwan issue. It is believed to be worsening.


China imposes restrictions on US semiconductor maker Micron, intensifying technology war

China imposes restrictions on US semiconductor maker Micron, intensifying technology war

April, Beijing called a senior diplomat South Korea expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the joint statement with the United States targeting China in the Indo-Pacific region, which was announced during Yun’s visit to the United States. According to the White House, Yun and U.S. President Joe Biden also reiterated “the importance of safeguarding peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

The United States and China have been embroiled in a trade and technology-sharing dispute since 2018, while economic competition between Beijing and Seoul has also intensified in recent years.

Hu added that Yun’s economic and foreign policy is geared toward the United States and Japan.

The Chinese government considers Taiwan to be a breakaway region of China, and believes it should be unified by force if necessary. Most countries, including South Korea and the United States, do not recognize the island as a sovereign state, but oppose forced changes to the status quo.

Countries with diplomatic relations with the Chinese government, including the United States, acknowledge the existence of the “one China” principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China, but may not explicitly agree to this.

Koreans are really important players especially when it comes to Samsung

keith crack
“The Koreans are a really important player, especially when it comes to Samsung,” said Keith Clack, former U.S. undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment. I visited Taiwan in 2020.

But Clack said South Korea has been “slow in accepting” joining the so-called Chip-4 alliance, adding, “If South Korea continues to sell to China, [the US] are in a disadvantageous situation. ”

Seoul’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy did not respond to a request for comment.

The Taipei Times reported in March that Lee Eun-ho, South Korea’s representative to Taiwan, told domestic media in Taipei earlier this year that semiconductors between the two countries would be developed to “improve the resilience of global supply chains.” He expressed his desire to support closer ties.

Taiwan’s semiconductor production is expected to decline by 5.6% in 2023

Earlier this month, Lee met with the head of Taiwan’s National Development Council to discuss two-way cooperation focused on chips, the council said in a statement.

Kunmingxin, chairman of the council, told Li that although the two countries had competed in the past due to their similar economic development processes, “it seems that there are still many opportunities for cooperation between the two countries.” the statement added.

“Taking the semiconductor industry as an example, South Korea’s strength is in memory, and Taiwan’s wafer contractors are developing well, so Taiwan and South Korea can complement each other in their supply chain roles,” the statement said.

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