TSMC and Foxconn to buy 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Taiwan

Taiwan will allow Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Foxconn to buy 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the government, as companies race to safeguard the island’s flagship tech industry from the pandemic.

TSMC
The logo of electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, is displayed at its headquarters in Taipei. Photo: Agence France-Presse

Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li for Nikkei Asia:

It is the first time private companies in Taiwan will be given permission to purchase vaccines, a move that comes as the government struggles to quickly inoculate people. The self-governing island, which was seen as a global role model for containing the deadly virus early on, has experienced a sudden surge in local infections since the middle of last month.

“Both TSMC and Foxconn’s Yonglin Foundation proposed to donate 5 million [BioNtech] vaccine doses to Taiwan,” government spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng told a news conference on Friday. BioNtech is a German pharmaceutical company.

Taiwan has been gripped by a serious COVID outbreak since mid-May that has killed more than 450 people in less than a month. The rise in cases has also threatened to disrupt the round-the-clock production that many tech manufacturing plants rely on, which could further worsen the ongoing global chip shortage.

But Taiwan has struggled to secure vaccines due to geopolitical issues. China views the island as part of its territory, and Taiwan is not a formal member of the World Health Organization. President Tsai has accused China of interfering in her government’s attempt to buy BioNtech vaccines, a claim that Beijing denies. Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said it is difficult for Taiwan to get enough vaccines from COVAX, a global COVID vaccine-sharing platform led by the WHO.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple could, and should, have done this long ago, but is far too beholden to China to risk any blowback. And, so, it’s TSMC and Foxconn, companies with leaders who have intestinal fortitude, who ride to the rescue!

31 Comments

  1. Re MDN take: Apple could not have bought vaccines for Taiwan. The Taiwanese government only this week allowed Taiwanese companies to purchase and import vaccines. It still prohibits outside entities. Until the last month, Taiwan had an extremely low case count thanks to high compliance with its excellent public health measures. That put it at a low priority for vaccine allocations. Vaccine has been scarce everywhere in Asia because India isn’t exporting any.

    1. Thank you for your strong leadership President Trump fast tracking vaccine development and removing burdensome government regulations hindering progress.

      In record time “Project Warp Speed” under your attentive leadership produced three vaccines and the results saved thousands, if not millions of lives on your watch.

      Certainly you are not getting the accolades you deserve from the biased Big Media, Leftists and Commiecrats constantly rewriting history with their partisan lies and removal from reality.

      No matter. Thank you sir President Trump!!!…🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻

        1. A German vaccine from a company that conspicuously refused to participate in Project Warp Speed or accept US Government funding. People have been correcting the false statement for months, so it has officially graduated from being a misstatement to being a deliberate lie.

  2. Although Apple 🍏 definitely COULD have donated… it’s probably best to support TSMC over the long-term, by rewarding them for opening factories in places like Vietnam. Of note: My my HomePod mini is made in Vietnam 🇻🇳

    1. You may have a point, Tim Cook is a substantial donor to Auburn University, which was founded in 1856. It took a federal judge and a small army of federal law enforcement officers to force the admission of the first Black graduate student in 1964, who was then denied a degree after successfully completing his thesis. The student body is 5% Black (down from 7.4% in 2011) in a state that is 28% Black.

      Is that what you had in mind?

            1. Not at all confused. HB 3979 provides that: “A teacher may not be compelled to discuss a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs. A teacher who chooses to discuss a topic so described shall, to the best of the teacher’s ability, strive to explore the topic from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective. A teacher may not make part of a course the concept that an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the person’s race or sex.”

              So it is public policy in my state that, even if I were being paid to answer students’ questions, I could not be required to answer a controversial question like why a university founded to educate only white students that only taught white students for over a century and fought against admitting non-white students to the point of calling out a hundred riot police to drive them from the campus might, even decades later, still have fewer nonwhite students than their proportion of the population.

              If I did answer, I would have to explore the question from the perspectives of both the Alabama natives who were excluded from Auburn from the 1850s well into the 1960s and the Alabama citizens who excluded them, without giving deference to either perspective and without making any white people uncomfortable.

              I’m not sure that is doable.

            2. Yup, you’re confused all right!

              “A teacher may not be compelled…” Do you feel as though you are a teacher and who do you feel is compelling you? Are they the voices in your head?

              Tell me more.

            3. If teachers and other public employees are forbidden to teach history without giving equal deference to both racists and those who fought racism, why is it OK for other people? It can’t be the First Amendment, since that applies to teachers the same as everyone else.

            4. You really seem confused and you also have a problem answering questions, so getting back…

              “A teacher may not be compelled…” Do you feel as though you are a teacher and who do you feel is compelling you? Are they the voices in your head?

              Tell me more.

            5. @Sigmund Freud I appreciate your dogged persistence seeking answers. Bravo!

              But unfortunately your last two posts to TxUseless went unanswered. “You really seem confused and you also have a problem answering questions, so getting back…”

              Not a surprise, his daily M.O. Incapable of answering direct questions and consistent failure keeping on topic when it does not match his Leftist religion. Instead, we are treated with reflexively throwing out meaningless DEFLECTION red herrings.

              It is, what it is…

            1. No, the “muzzle the teachers” bill was the brainchild of our Governor, the same guy who showed his respect for checks and balances and the constitutional separation of powers by completely defunding the Legislative Branch of our state government (both houses of which have commanding Republican majorities).

            2. Of course Leftist TxUseless cannot answer questions and would impugn a great Republican governor, particularly his handling of the Covid, with more falsehoods.

              “muzzle the teachers” is a false accusation! Teachers are allowed to teach U.S. history, slavery, Civil War, Jim Crow, Republican Party freeing the slaves et al., along with reading, writing, arithmetic — like they have been doing for over 200 years.

              Not familiar with the governors law, but no teacher in the United States should be allowed to teach Leftist flavor of the
              month “Critical Race Theory.”

              A very destructive “theory” indoctrinating our children, pitting them against one another causing anxiety and mental health issues and MUCH WORSE — teaching systemic RACISM everywhere in life outraging parents.

              Refer to Loudon Co. Virginia ground zero where parents are holding school officials feet to the fire. The deaf ears of the arrogant school board is stunning to behold.

              So what’s your problem preacher of woke religion, you have an issue when arrogant Leftist teachers go off the rails and are held accountable by parents and public officials?

              Of course you do have a major problem anytime Leftists are held to account. Buckle up, much more accountability coming in 2022…🇺🇸🦅

          1. You are impugning “white people” in an irresponsible RACIST comment absent facts and evidence, only opinion.

            That makes your racist comment irrelevant and please keep it to yourself not needed around here…

  3. Title is accurate, but misleading. It should read “China has yet to approve TSMC and Foxconn’s purchase of 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Taiwan.” The Taiwanese government agreeing to allow Taiwanese companies to purchase vaccines for Taiwanese people is the easy part. But, where and how will the Foxconn and TSMC make their purchases? Remember, global pharmaceutical companies’s Asian headquarters are in… China. So, China controls a hefty chunk of ALL drugs sold to… Taiwan (and many other countries). It is not yet a done deal without China’s blessing. As of yesterday, daily cases continue to rise in Taiwan and several tech factories remain closed. As of Friday, 5.55% of the Taiwanese population has been vaccinated.

    1. Re: “So, China controls a hefty chunk of ALL drugs sold to… Taiwan (and many other countries). It is not yet a done deal without China’s blessing.”

      Taiwan doesn’t ask for China’s blessing to import materiel to defend itself against China’s military aggression, so why would it need China‘s approval to import vaccine to defend itself against China’s aggressive C-19 virus?

    2. So the western pharmaceutical companies’s, like every other western company sold out to the east (China), but it is the Chinese fault? Man in the mirror, the blame is entirely at the foot of western management seeking slave wages at all cost… The headshot originated in the West and continues on.

      Apple can and should do something behind the scene like Mossad low key and out of Chinese sight.

      1. US weaponry sold to Taiwan is made in the US and sold by the US directly to the buyer (Taiwan).

        Taiwan cannot purchase vaccines directly from the manufacturers because international sales are controlled by regional agents. Kind of like the old DVDs that were Region 1 or Region 2. Same movie, but incompatible. If you wanted to watch a Region 1 DVD on a Region 2 player, you had to hack/ unlock it first. Same is true of drugs and all other items involved in international trade.

        China isn’t “blocking” sales of vaccines to Taiwan. China is simply not selling vaccines to Taiwan. It is quite simple.

        A further example… the Crestor pills I take for cholesterol are made by AstraZenaca… in China. A Chinese pharmaceutical company in China has a licensing agreement with AZ to produce the drug for Asia. The drug taken in Taiwan is MADE IN CHINA.

  4. Good to know tech companies are showing interest to save humanity instead of just making profit. Gov should encourage them and make possible law to insure everything go in the line without messing as we always see in private sectors.

    1. I’m not so sure Foxconn and TSMC are doing this for humanitarian reasons. Sure, these guys are loaded. Tens of millions in USD for vaccines is nothing for them. However, they may be going this to keep factories open and running. Closed factories = unmet contractual obligations to customers. These guys are businessmen. It may just be about dollars and not about people.

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