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.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
I don't make a habit of defending politicians or bureaucrats but if the government is going to give money to boost chipmaking they need to know how much of a boost to pay for and how to allocate it among the chipmakers to avoid favoring any one player or flooding the market with excess capacity. To do that they need to know who produces how much for what countries. It's part of the Golden Rule: "him that provides the gold, rules." Anybody who doesn't want to go along can always refuse the money.
So the big bad bully is at it again. So sad to see TSMC fold to US demands.
"Sharing information is technically voluntary, but the U.S. government implied consequences for companies that do not cooperate. " voluntary my rear end.
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