LONDON — Richard Chang, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Chinese foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), is being threatened with a fine of at least $160,000 by the Taiwan government, according to a Taiwan Economic News report.
The report did not mention the possibility of jail, something which Chang had been threatened with previously by a government that believes Chang guilty of aiding mainland China develop its semiconductor industry, in contravention of its laws. Chang, grew up in Taiwan but is now a U.S. citizen. At the time of the original allegations,July 2004, Chang denied any wrong doing. The latest report also shows a reduction in the level of fine, which had been mooted at $750,000.
The recent report quoted un-named officials of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) saying the ministry would seek to detain chairman Richard Zhang (sic) of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. and impose punishment for his illegal investments in chip-making business in mainland China.
The ministry's position is that Chang, a Taiwan citizen has broken bans on fostering mainland Chinese semiconductor industry by opening chip-making facilities in the mainland. The MOEA has requested Chang return to establish his nationality, the report said.
The report quoted MOEA officials saying that Chang would be sent a "punishment letter" as soon as it "completes all necessary verifications".
Taiwan threatens SMIC CEO with jail, says report
07/05/2004 8:32 AM EST
LONDON -- Richard Chang, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Chinese foundry chip supplier Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), has reported the receipt of a fax from the Taiwanese government threatening him with a US$750,000 fine and a two-year jail term, according to a BusinessWeek Online report.
Chang was reported as saying that Taiwanese government had accused him of violating Taipei's investment rules in China.
Taiwan has set rules for Taiwanese companies investing in mainland China but SMIC is a Cayman Islands registered company with its operational and manufacturing base in Shanghai. Chang grew up in Taiwan but is now a U.S. citizen, and denied any wrong-doing according to the report.
"They're just trying to harass us. They don't want to see China have a semiconductor business," the report quoted Chang as saying.
Taiwan is home to the two largest chip foundries; Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and United Microelectronics Corp. SMIC is a startup company that has spent money on a grand scale to get foundry manufacturing up and running in China. SMIC is still small compared with TSMC and UMC.