November 8, 2007 – Days after a Taiwan court struck down indictments against UMC execs for dealings with Chinese chip firm He Jian, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission has approved the company’s first official application to invest in the mainland: a $20M deal with a printed-circuit board manufacturer held by affiliate Unimicron Technology Corp. UMC became involved when Unimicron reached the government-mandated cap in its own investment in the Chinese PCB manufacturer, notes the Taiwan Economic News.
Despite the overturned indictment of former UMC execs including ex-chairman Robert Tsao, the MOEA reviews any mainland-bound investment without prejudice, as long as they conform to regulations, according to Vice Economic Minister Y.S. Shih, cited by the paper. And Investment Commission senior officials noted that the government already allows Taiwan PCB makers to invest in the mainland.
The overturned indictment against UMC just weeks ago has already renewed calls for the Taiwan government to revisit and loosen its restrictions for investments into the mainland, which the Taiwan government has agreed to consider, and also perhaps help Taiwanese IC makers develop domestic 450mm capabilities to support the local IC industry. An Associated Press report noted that since UMC’s activities came under scrutiny, Taiwanese investments in China have surpassed $100 billion.