Business News: Virus Hits TSMC, Semiconductor Sales Up 20.4%, and US-China Trade War Update

August 8, 2018 | 17:45
Each week, the Elektor Business team curates noteworthy electronics industry-related news items from the past several days. Contact our editors and engineers on social media if you have questions or comments.

Virus Causes Shutdown of TSMC Plants
On Friday, August 3, a variant of the WannaCry virus caused Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the lead manufacturer of chips for Apple and Qualcomm, to shut down some of its factories. The virus affected some of its computer systems and fab tools in Taiwan. TSMC said in a statement on August 5 that it "expects this incident to cause shipment delays and additional costs. We estimate the impact to third quarter revenue to be about three percent, and impact to gross margin to be about one percentage point." It is currently unclear how the production delays will affect the manufacturing of new iPhones slated for sale this fall.

Global Semiconductor Sales Up 20.4%
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), global semiconductor sales for the first six months of 2018 were up 20.4% compared to the same period last year. In Q2 2018 global sales hit $117.9 billion, which was an increase of 20.5% from Q2 2017. The largest largest sales increases compared to June 2017 were in China (up 30.7%) and the Americas (up 26.7%).

New US-China Tariff Details
Later this month, the United States will implement a 25% tarriff on a wide variety of Chinese imports. Earlier this week, the Trump administration released a list of $16 billion worth of Chinese products that will be affected, many of which are electronics related. The Chinese goverment retaliated with a 25% tarriff on $16 billion of US products. Here is a list of just a few of the many electronics-related imports that the US is targeting:
  • Machines and apparatus for the manufacture of semiconductor devices or electronic ICs
  • Parts and accessories of the machines and apparatus for the manufacture of
  • semiconductor devices, electronic integrated circuits
  • Diodes for semiconductor devices other than light-emitting diodes
  • Electronic ICs: processors and controllers
  • Electronic ICs: memories
  • Electronic ICs: amplifiers
  • Parts of electronic ICs and microassemblies
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