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Redoubled efforts in chip manufacturing begin to pay off

Taiwan's semiconductor manufacturers face grave challenges, but have only intensified their efforts to produce and deliver chips. Loosening labor restrictions are motivating Taiwanese companies to hire foreign workers. Time will tell whether this infusion of talent will effectively boost industrial production of semiconductors. Although chip foundries have big plans for expansion of their facilities, the chaos in international transportation and business caused by fear of the COVID-19 virus has delayed the best-laid plans of business leaders. Foxconn has stirred hope by saying that the chip shortage is already improving and will continue to improve, despite some tough challenges.

Electronics makers hope more migrant workers will help: For years, Taiwanese companies have wanted to hire more foreign workers, but Taiwan's government has restricted the availability of foreign labor. Effective February 15, Taiwan's government will allow additional foreign workers to work in Taiwan.

Foundry capacity expansion projects may face delays: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused bottlenecks in labor relations, transport, and logistics operations worldwide, which may lead to delays in foundries' installation of new equipment and facilities, according to industry sources.

Foxconn sees chip shortage improve: Foxconn (Hon Hai) Technology Group, which recently ranked 22nd in Fortune magazine's Global 500, has said that chip shortages are improving and will be further relieved in the second half of this year. However, products using mature processes such as power components and power management ICs (PMICs) remain in short supply.