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June 24, 2017

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Fujitsu to withdraw from chip business

TOKYO--Japan's Fujitsu plans to pull out of the semiconductor business and sell a pair of chip-manufacturing factories to Taiwanese and U.S. firms over the new few years, a report said Friday.

The move is the last major step in a wide-ranging corporate overhaul for the electronics and IT services giant, the leading Nikkei business daily reported.

It will sell one plant in western Japan to Taiwan's United Microelectronics, and is considering the sale of another in the country's northeast to U.S.-based ON Semiconductor, the report said.

Responding to the story, Fujitsu said "no concrete decision has been made."

"We are not thinking about withdrawing from manufacturing at our Mie plant and Aizuwakamatsu plant, but we are studying various possibilities, including cooperation with other companies," it said in a statement.

Japan's semiconductor industry has been undergoing a major shakeup in recent years as firms have been battered by fierce competition from lower-cost overseas rivals.

Elpida, one of the world's top microchip makers, was bought by U.S. giant Micron Technology last year, while Renesas, the world's biggest supplier of automotive microcontroller chips, has been undergoing a painful restructuring, including shedding more than 1,000 jobs in Europe.

Fujitsu's Tokyo-listed shares rose 1.43 percent to 779 on Friday morning.

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