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Working for SMIC -

Working there will be a challenge to your ethics, and your patriotism.

There's two issues going on. Both of which have made the semiconductor press. However in light of this, I would still consider going to work there. As they are a place of opportunity, however I offer this warning.

Ongoing Lawsuit between SMIC and TSMC

Article 1
Article 2
Article 3
Article 4

Ongoing Threats

(commentary omitted)

Like most things, we will never know the real story. It's locked behind closed doors, and will never be revealed for fear of pubic shame.

A history of Animosity between the two companies.

The president of SMIC used to run a company which was bought out by TSMC. I don't know how much overlap he personally had in the incident. But likely that there's a personal feud going on between the president of SMIC, and the president of TSMC. In what amounts to almost a biography, the LA Times curiously omits that the "Taiwanese Chip Maker" is in fact, TSMC.

I wouldn't be surprised if TSMC by virtue of it's size, initially was dismissive. Till they looked and saw they had a real competitor, in the their most highly targeted market.

While SMIC finds the whole situation profoundly, uncomfortably, irritating.

Their business is being supported by not only the Chinese Government,
but by the US government as well.

I briefly read about one of the people from out here in Boston, who went out to work for SMIC. Before he went, he simply worked as a loan officer, at mid level position at Fleet Bank. Not exactly very glamorous stuff. All of a sudden after going there to China, he's negotiating international multimillion dollar loans. He's doing stuff he'd probably never dreamed of. Bizarre, once in a blue moon things, like his story of having to get in a taxi and carry a suitcase with 10 million in cash, across town.

I read in the newspaper, about his latest project which he'd been working on for the past six months. It seems to be going down in flames, because there's a US government supported entity (called the Export-Import Bank, EXIM) won't guarantee a loan to a Chinese company, because a senator from Idaho believed it was bad for companies in the US, particularly in his home district. I have a hunch it was protectionist thinking.

I don't quite know if I agree with the whole assessment or not. Nonetheless something's fishy, and it's been getting my patriotic blood boiling. Do political decisions made in the United States senate affect companies in far-flung countries around the world?

Of course they do.

But the issue is much more complex. If they don't buy it from the United States will they go to Europe.

updated 02.23.2004