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TSMC vows NT$336 mil. in extra bonuses

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) yesterday promised extra bonuses totaling NT$336 million to its employees to mark its 25th anniversary, plus a pay raise and assurance of employment stability next year despite the weak global economic situation.

TSMC's employees burst into cheers of joy as Morris Chang, chairman of the world's number-one contract chip-maker, announced the promises during a company sports meet in Hsinchu.

About 28,000 low- and mid-level employees are expected to each receive NT$12,000 for the anniversary bonus, which Chang described as a show of support for the government's efforts to improve the economy.

The semiconductor guru said if every firm did the same, the entire nation would feel the difference — a reference to President Ma Ying-jeou's promise of a tangible economic recovery.

He noted that some TSMC employees have been pessimistic over the global economic downturn. Although the company's regular bonuses have been substantial, it decided to give out the extra bonus anyway as a show of support for the firm's employees and the country, he added.

He also pledged that regardless of the global economy, TSMC will not carry out any layoffs or unpaid leave policies next year, nor will it change the pay raise plan for 2013.

TSMC was founded in 1987 with a team of 285 people and only one 6-inch fab rented from the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute.

Summing up the company's hard work over the past 25 years, Chang noted that it now has a global workforce of 36,000, and 11 chip-making fabs, most of which process 12-inch wafers.

According to the chairman, TSMC's 2012 revenues are expected to hit a company record, exceeding NT$500 billion.

He noted that 25 years ago, a production line worker at TSMC had an annual income of NT$133,000 on average, but this year the average is expected to be more than NT$600,000.

Commenting on the current international economic condition, Chang said the economy of the world, as well as that of Taiwan, will likely remain poor in the coming one to two years.

TSMC's business will be affected by the high levels of client inventories in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, he noted.

But beginning from the second quarter of 2013, TSMC will return to the growth track, with the company hitting record sales every year in the near future, he said.

He added that mobile devices will provide TSMC with the biggest business opportunities, with each smartphone expected to contribute US$9 to the company's revenues a year from now. Currently the contribution is about US$7 to US$8, he noted.

To seize mobile device opportunities, TSMC's research and development funding this year is twice that of 2009, he said.

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Chairman Morris Chang, center right, and his wife wave to colleagues at a company sports meet held in Hsinchu, yesterday. Chang announced a generous plan to distribute additional bonuses totaling NT$336 million to employees to mark the company's 25th anniversary. (CNA)

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