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Taiwan says its chip companies will follow new US rules on China By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A circular printed plate is displayed at the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) at Hsinchu Science Park in Hsinchu, Taiwan, September 16, 2022. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The island government said on Saturday that Taiwanese semiconductor companies attach “great importance” to complying with the law, noting that they will comply with new US export controls aimed at hampering China’s chip industry.

The rules announced by President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday include a measure to separate China from some chips made anywhere in the world with US equipment, dramatically expanding its reach as it tries to slow Beijing’s technological and military advances.

Taiwan, a major producer of chips, is home to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest chip maker and a major supplier to companies including Apple Inc (NASDAQ :).

Taiwan’s Ministry of Economy said in a statement in response to the US announcement that Taiwanese companies abide by the law.

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“The Taiwanese semiconductor industry has long served global customers and attaches great importance to compliance with laws,” she said.

“In addition to complying with local laws and regulations, you will also cooperate with the needs of international customers who place orders and customer standards in their countries.”

The ministry said Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is a technological leader and continues to “maintain an advantage in competition for international orders”.

The ministry said the government continues to maintain close contact with manufacturers and supports them in investing in expanding factories and supplying products to the world for technological development.

TSMC declined to comment on the US rules, saying it was in a quiet period before next week’s quarterly earnings. Smaller competitor United Microelectronics Corp. also declined to comment before releasing its earnings later this month.

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Taiwan has its own concerns about China, especially the efforts of Chinese companies to hunt down talent and technical know-how. The government severely restricts investment in Taiwanese chips in China, the island’s largest trading partner.

Taiwan’s fears have grown with China holding regular military exercises near the island in an attempt to force it to accept Beijing’s sovereignty.

The United States is Taiwan’s most important international supporter and supplier of arms, although it does not have formal diplomatic relations.

Taiwan’s Economy Minister Wang Mei-hwa will visit the United States next week to respond to what her office called “concerns” about supply chains and geopolitical issues. She will visit US technology companies that are major clients of Taiwan’s semiconductor companies.

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Volkswagen delays decision on gigafactory in Eastern Europe, by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Volkswagen logo is pictured at the 2022 New York International Auto Show, in Manhattan, New York City, US, April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDiarmid

PRAGUE/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen has delayed its decision on where to build a giant electric car battery plant in Eastern Europe until after 2022, citing economic uncertainty and rising energy prices in the region.

“Volkswagen AG (OTC:) and its battery subsidiary Powerco are constantly evaluating suitable locations for its next giant plant in Europe,” the automaker said in an email Thursday.

“There is no pressure to act because we are taking more time to decide given the current circumstances,” she said. “At present, there is no impact on the planned start of construction or start of production.”

The European Union fears a mass exodus of investment to the United States in light of the generous subsidies for green energy provided by companies under the law to reduce inflation, just as energy prices in Europe recorded record levels with the continued lack of securing supplies for next year.

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Sweden’s Northvolt said in October that it may prioritize expanding battery plants in the United States over Europe in light of Europe’s energy landscape.

In an interview on Tuesday, Volkswagen (ETR:) brand chief Thomas Schaefer said energy prices in Europe make it difficult for shareholders to justify to shareholders why the automaker is building a battery plant there.

“If you have the option of building a battery plant in Europe, where electricity costs 15 cents a kilowatt-hour, but you can get it in China or America for 2-3 cents, we’re not in a position under financial corporation law to say we’ll do that,” Schaefer said. Here in solidarity.

“This is a hot topic and people often underestimate the complexity of it going forward here,” he added.

The Eastern European plant will be the fourth under former CEO Herbert Diess’ plan to build six such sites with partners across Europe by the end of the decade.

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The sites under study include the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Skoda Auto, Volkswagen’s Czech unit, said in October that it expected the parent company to make a decision on the site by the end of 2022.

However, Volkswagen’s new chief Oliver Blum is putting much of his predecessor’s legacy under the microscope, overhauling the company’s software strategy and reevaluating the factories that make the models.

It began looking for sites for its first large-scale factory outside Europe, in Canada.

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Tesla is preparing to bring out the short Model Y in China as demand fades

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Tesla (TSLA) – Get a free report China will suspend production of its Model Y sedan during the last week of the year, reports said Friday, adding to concerns about weak demand in the world’s largest auto market.

Reuters reported on Friday that the Model Y production suspension will begin December 25 and run through January 1, according to a company note, and will eventually reduce production of the sedan by about 30% from November levels.

The move would be the first time Tesla has voluntarily reduced production levels since the factory opened in 2018, despite Covid restrictions and scheduled maintenance that curtailed production earlier this year.

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Telecom Italia piques investor interest as government reviews network options, by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Team logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Rome, Italy on November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/File Photo

Written by Elvira Polina and Giuseppe Fonte

Milan (Reuters) – Telecom Italia BIT 🙂 (TIM) is exploring investor interest in buying its assets, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday, as officials within Italy’s right-wing government seek agreement on how to fix the debt-laden company’s problems. The Italian government said last month that it would seek to identify the “best market-friendly options” by the end of the year to counter ailing TIM, and laid out a planned bid for the group’s telephone network by state lender CDP.

The discussed multi-billion dollar deal, part of a broader project to create a unified Italian network company with CDP’s broadband unit Open Fiber, was a focal point of CEO Pietro Labriola’s strategy to split TIM into several units and cut €25 billion ($26.4 USD) . billion) debt pile.

Labriola is looking to prepare for any outcome of the talks within the government. Three informed sources told Reuters that the executive had been working privately with US fund KKR recently. The sources said the US fund, which already owns a stake in TIM’s last-mile network and had a bid to take over TIM as a whole that was rejected this year, recently renewed interest in tightening its grip on TIM’s terrestrial network. TIM has also made contacts with other potential investors interested in buying into its domestic service operations, including French telecoms group Iliad and Poste Italiane, the sources said.

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Any deal involving foreign investors and TIM assets would be subject to government scrutiny under “golden power” regulation, which gives Rome the possibility to block the deal.

According to sources, at least two have expressed interest in TIM’s Brazil-listed subsidiary TIM SA. However, in Labriola’s view, selling a unit that generates about 30% of the group’s underlying profit could be dangerous to TIM’s credit rating, unless it comes up with an excellent rating, according to People. Telecom Italia, KKR, Poste and Iliad all declined to comment.

Discussions within Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s administration focus on how to take control of TIM’s precious landline network, an asset considered strategic. The government has not yet started talks with TIM stakeholders – including major investor Vivendi (OTC:). Raising cash to reduce debt and shore up its finances is key for TIM, which has been under pressure for years in its highly competitive domestic market and hit by multiple credit rating downgrades to junk territory over the past year.

($1 = 0.9475 euros)

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