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September 26, 2017

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TSMC to gift workers over NT$400 million in bonuses

TAIPEI -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電), the world's largest contract chip-maker, announced Saturday that it would distribute more than NT$400 million in bonuses to its employees by the end of November.

During the company's annual sports day held in Hsinchu, TSMC Chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀) said that the chip-maker would present the bonuses as "a gift" to its employees as a reward for their contributions to the profitable firm.

Chang said that each of more than 36,000 employees who started to work for TSMC prior to May 31 would receive NT$12,000 in bonuses next month. The eligible employees for the bonuses include workers on the production lines, engineers and technicians, and administrative staffers.

In the third quarter of this year, TSMC, which accounts for an over-50 percent share of the global contract chip production market, posted a new company high in net profit of NT$96.76 billion, up 33.4 percent from a quarter earlier and up 28.4 percent from a year earlier.

Speaking on the performance of the company, Chang said that TSMC boasts a pool of talented people to stay competitive in the global market.

Chang said TSMC would have a better pool of employees, which is expected to help the company develop high-end technology processes and keep the chip-maker more competitive in the market.

Firm Eyes Edge in Processors

TSMC launched commercial production of the 16-nm process last year and is scheduled to begin mass production of the 10-nm process in the first quarter of next year. The chip-maker is planning to start commercial production of the more advanced 7-nm process in the first quarter of 2018.

Chang said he had faith in TSMC's efforts in developing the 10-nm process, which South Korean rival Samsung Electronics Co. has also been developing. He said TSMC was expected to lead Samsung in the 10-nm process development by moving at a quicker pace than the South Korean rival.

In a recent research note, a U.S.-based brokerage forecast that TSMC would dominate the global 7-nm market in 2018, which would increase the chance that it would secure all the orders placed by Apple Inc. for new iPhone models scheduled to be unveiled that year.

Chang said that since the global economy was expected to improve next year, even though the world economy remains haunted by uncertainty resulting from Brexit and a possible rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast earlier this month that the global economy would grow 3.1 percent in 2016 and rise 3.4 percent in 2017.

As for the United States, the largest economy in the world, the IMF has estimated that its growth would hit 1.6 percent in 2016 and reach 2.2 percent in 2017.

Chang said that TSMC had been riding the wave of solid demand in the global smartphone market, adding that its shipments could peak in the second and third quarters of next year after a slow season in the first quarter.

Commenting on China's move to cultivate its own contract chip-making industry by expanding production capacity, Chang said that TSMC had forecast that competition would increase, but due to its strong lead in high-tech technology development, his company would continue to dominate the global market.

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