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Recently, China’s Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. announced to invest about US$ 2.8 trillion in three Taiwanese chip assemblers and testers; meanwhile Minister of Economic Affairs Deng Zheng-zhong raised controversy by saying that he will allow Chinese investments to enter the segment before his term ends.

On December 10, a scholar-organized alliance launched a petition on the Internet opposing the trade pact opening up the information and communication technology (ICT) industry for Chinese investors. So far more than 246 scholars, experts and people from other fields have signed the petition, and the number continues to grow.

Apple Daily reports, according to the petition, the Taiwanese integrated-circuit-design industry accounted for 22% of the global market share in 2014, which ranks second in the world, following the US.

The petition also says that the alliance would like to see cross-strait cooperation in the industry and to jointly participate in the development and expansion of the market. However, the alliance is against opening up the market to Chinese investors because their acquisition might swallow up the Taiwanese integrated-circuit-design industry.

According to the petition, once the Chinese government purchases a significant 10% or 15% stake of the companies in the industry, the country can take control over the operation and direction of local integrated-circuit-design companies.

In addition, China’s Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. has already admitted that they are a state enterprise supported by the Chinese government.

The alliance will not allow the Chinese government to take over both the upstream and downstream of the semiconductor chain and further help the country’s national defense.

Liberty Times reports, former national policy adviser, Hao Ming-yi, says on a Facebook post that Mainland Chinese investments in the island’s microchip industry concern national policies. Hao suggests Ma should refer this issue to the next government; meanwhile, DPP presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen, should express her opinions on the issue to win support from those who are looking forward to seeing party alternation in the next presidential election.

Regarding this, the Industrial Development Bureau points out that the Ministry of Economic Affairs will carefully assess the future impact of allowing Chinese investments in the integrated-circuit-design industry, and will not consider doing so before the industry and society reach a consensus.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang