It is against this backdrop that the Biden administration says it wants to «de-risk» its relationship with China, keeping trade essentially open but restricting certain areas that Washington believes could give China the upper hand when it comes to national security. or the definition of the future. technology.

Last year, Biden imposed a broad set of export controls designed to block China’s access to certain types of semiconductor chips made using American technology.

These export controls and other technological restrictions have had implications for companies around the world, and Macronix is ​​no exception. Like other Taiwanese chipmakers, it is barred from selling advanced chips to China, the island’s biggest trading partner.

China has criticized the export controls as an abuse of trade measures aimed at protecting the «technological hegemony» of the United States. Many industry figures agree that Washington’s attempt to control the market is counterproductive.

US export controls will «delay but not prevent China» from achieving technology parity, Penn said in Future Horizons.

“It may take 10 years, but they will do it: they have the resources to do it, they have the science, they have the money, they have the market and now they have the need,” he said.

Penn is among the experts who are deeply critical of Washington’s export controls, calling them counterproductive. And this week, the chief financial officer of US technology company Nvidia, Colette Kress, told an investor conference that introducing new restrictions would result in a «permanent loss of opportunity for the US industry to compete and lead in one of the largest markets in the world.

The United States, which produces about 10% of the world’s semiconductor chips and none of the most advanced ones, is also trying to boost domestic manufacturing, offering tax breaks for projects like the $40 billion factory it is building in Arizona on Taiwanese chip giant TSMC.

But building such a complex industry will take time, Wu said. “I would say 10 years,” she added.

Ultimately, he said, the stability of the semiconductor industry, and people’s access to the devices powered by it, depends on the leaders of China, Taiwan and the US.

«They have to make the right decision with their wisdom,» Wu said. «That is the solution».

Richard Engel and Charlotte Gardiner reported from Hsinchu, Taiwan. Jennifer Jett reported from Hong Kong and Alexander Smith reported from London.