TSMC provides data requested by the US, but not unique to Apple [U].

Update: In response to the demand, TSMC is one of a handful of chipmakers that have obtained ‘partial’ data. According to Bloomberg, the corporation stated that “no customer particular information was exposed.” Capabilities and industry divides are revealed in a spreadsheet, but customer-specific pages are blank. TSMC has also left blank pages asking information on manufacturing interruptions. It’s almost clear that the corporation advised Apple about which data to publish and which to keep hidden.

The US Commerce Department has requested TSMC’s data, as well as those of other chipmakers throughout the world, in order to better comprehend the worldwide chip shortage.

The deadline for this is November 8, and Apple’s A-series and M-series chipmaker looks to be one of the firms that has yet to react.

The US and Taiwan are working together to secure supply chains, Washington’s envoy to Taipei said, as global chip manufacturers face a looming deadline to meet the Biden administration’s request for company data […]

“The Commerce Department’s request for information is designed to better understand the semiconductor supply chain,” [Sandra] Oudkirk, who is the U.S.’s de facto ambassador in the absence of official ties, said at her first news conference since being appointed in July.

She added that the drive was designed to enable the department make regulations to “improve or alleviate the disruptions to the supply chain” […]

[The call] has faced resistance in Taiwan and South Korea due to concerns over possible leaks of trade secrets […]

South Korea’s industry minister, Moon Sung-wook, indicated local chipmakers were likely to submit minimal data, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said it wouldn’t give away sensitive customer information.

While the request is described as optional, it appears that the US is prepared to take action if chipmakers refuse to comply.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has warned that the US might use the Defense Production Act, or other tools, to force the hands of companies that don’t respond by Nov. 8.  

However, it’s difficult to understand how the DPA might be implemented effectively. This is a law meant to be used in times of war, when the government can compel US corporations to focus their production efforts on defense-related items.

It might also be used to prohibit the entry of certain foreign items, but prohibiting chip imports into the US is unlikely to alleviate a chip shortage, so this doesn’t seem believable, even as a threat.

Apple announced yesterday that supply restrictions cost the firm $6 billion in the previous quarter and that the situation is expected to worsen in the coming quarter.

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