What you need to know
- The U.S. government asked several tech giants to share information regarding the global chip shortage in September 2021.
- The deadline to answer the questionnaire is today, November 8, 2021.
- Sharing information is technically voluntary, but the U.S. government implied consequences for companies that do not cooperate.
Several major chipmakers have shared data with the U.S. government to help combat the ongoing global chip shortage. In September, the U.S. government sent out a questionnaire to several companies in the semiconductor supply chain asking for information. It asked for details regarding key customers, production capacity, and inventories. The request was met by pushback from some tech giants, including TSMC, one of the world's largest chipmakers. The deadline to share information is today, November 8, 2021.
While the U.S. government technically requested that companies share the information voluntarily, it implied that there could be consequences for withholding information.
"What I told them is, 'I don't want to have to do anything compulsory but if they don't comply, then they'll leave me no choice,'" said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to Bloomberg in October 2021.
TSMC shared information with the U.S. government. A TSMC spokesperson ensured that the company did not share customer-specific information in a statement to Bloomberg. Micron Technology, Western Digital, and United Microelectronics have also responded to the questionnaire, according to a U.S. government website.
Bloomberg reported that several tech companies in South Korea were preparing to submit information before the deadline. Those companies and the U.S. have negotiated regarding how much data would be shared.
Concerns arose regarding the questionnaire about customer privacy. Some were also worried that the U.S. was trying to force companies to share trade secrets.