May 29, 2003 – Tokyo, Japan – Toshiba Corp. will hold off on its plans to strengthen the capabilities of its Chinese microchip assembly and inspection plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, due to the effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), said a report in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.
Toshiba planned by 2004 to invest about 5 billion yen in Toshiba Semiconductor (Wuxi) Co., a wholly owned subsidiary, boosting monthly production of such products as commodity-grade microchips used in home appliances from 3 million units to 30 million. But the SARS outbreak has prevented engineers from going to the plant.
Toshiba has no intention of altering its medium- to long-range plans to increase the production capabilities at Toshiba Semiconductor (Wuxi) in light of projections that local demand for microchips will remain strong.
The increase in production scheduled for the Wuxi plant in the current fiscal year will be handled by a Fukuoka-based subsidiary specializing in the second stage of semiconductor-manufacturing operations. Toshiba has not disclosed the scale of production or the investment that will be switched to its domestic operations.
Once the SARS situation is more settled, the company intends to boost the production capacity at the Wuxi plant by transferring equipment from the Fukuoka subsidiary and through other measures.