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SBI Holdings to help Taiwan’s Powerchip build a plant in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Financial firm SBI Holdings said on Wednesday it would help Taiwan’s Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp establish a factory in Japan as the country looks to revive its chip industry.

SBI will establish a company to aid with planning and fundraising, including lobbying for government subsidies, and will help the chipmaker find a location to produce semiconductors for automakers and industrial machinery manufacturers and for a research lab to develop more advanced chips, the Japanese firm’s CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, told reporters.

“This is the best possible time to enter chip manufacturing,” Kitao said at a joint press conference with the Taiwanese company’s chairman, Frank Huang. Powerchip is currently looking at three or four potential sites and manufacturing could begin two years after construction starts, Kitao added.

SBI’s partnership with Powerchip comes as Japan provides billions of dollars in subsidies to foreign chip companies to lure them to build or expand production to ensure that its carmakers and technology companies have access to the key component amid growing global demand.

Japan has already promised 400 billion yen ($2.8 billion) to help Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s leading maker of logic chips, build a plant in Kumamoto prefecture that will supply semiconductors to Sony Group and auto parts maker Denso Corp.

It has also offered subsidies to help memory chip makers Kioxia Corp and Western Digital Corp expand output at their plant in Japan, and has given money to U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology to add capacity at its plant in Hiroshima.

Japan is also funding a homegrown venture, Rapidus, which says it plans to produce advanced logic chips from the middle of the decade with help from IBM Corp.

Powerchip provides contract manufacturing services for logic and memory chips for power management to customers including MediaTek Inc, Taiwan’s largest designer of mobile phone chips.

($1 = 144.6100 yen)

(This story has been refiled to fix a typographical error in paragraph 1)

 

(Reporting by Miho Uranaka; Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Jamie Freed and Louise Heavens)

 

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