TAIPEI -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is considering building its first chipmaking plant in Japan as Tokyo urges companies to expand semiconductor production in the country.
TSMC -- the world's biggest contract chipmaker and a key supplier to Sony and other Japanese chipmakers -- is evaluating plans to build a plant in Kumamoto Prefecture, in western Japan, four people told Nikkei Asia. The facility would be near one of Sony's plants and help meet growing demand for image sensors, automotive microcontrollers and other chips, they said.
"TSMC is considering a proposal by the Japanese government to build an advanced chip factory in Japan, though it has not yet fully committed and finalized [the plan]," one of the sources said.
The plant would be the Taiwanese company's first chipmaking facility in Japan, whose companies accounted for 4.7% of TSMC's revenue in 2020. It would mark a significant departure from the company's decadeslong strategy of maintaining most of its production in its home market.
TSMC is building an advanced chip plant in the U.S. in response to pressure from Washington, which, like Tokyo, has been urging companies to build semiconductor facilities locally. Around 62% of TSMC's revenue came from North American clients in 2020.