Taiwan earthquake sends shockwaves through global supply chain

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by Emily Atkins

In the aftermath Taiwan’s biggest earthquake in at least 25 years, several major semiconductor and electronics companies have been forced to temporarily halt operations and evacuate production facilities.

According to Jena Santoro, senior manager of global risk intelligence for Everstream Analytics, the impacts have been significant.

The earthquake has resulted in at least nine fatalities and over 900 injuries, with extensive damage to more than 100 buildings and infrastructure reported across Taiwan. More than a dozen aftershocks, some measuring above magnitude 5, have compounded the region, disrupting transportation networks, jeopardizing manufacturing operations and resulting in power outages affecting an estimated 91,000 customers. Due to rockfall and landslides, regional road and rail connections have also been disrupted.

Major players like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), United Microelectronics Corporation, and Innolux Corporation have all reported material damages, preventive shutdowns, and facility evacuations. The ripple effects are affecting global supply chains for microchips, LCD panels, integrated circuits, and more.

Authorities have closed the Suhua Highway, which connects Su’ao Township in Yilan County to Hualien City in Hualien County. Meanwhile, rail links between Yilan County and Taitung County that cross through Hualien Country remain suspended. 

With road and rail connections disrupted and power outages affecting thousands, the flow of goods and materials in and out of Taiwan face significant hurdles. As recovery efforts continue in Hualien County and assessments of damages progress, the possibility of prolonged operational halts looms. Potential aftershocks and ongoing infrastructure challenges could exacerbate supply chain disruptions in the weeks ahead.

Company 

Product/Industry 

Confirmed impacts as of April 3 

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. 

Microchips and semiconductor chips 

Multiple fabs announced preventive shutdowns, evacuations of local workers reported. 

United Microelectronics Corporation 

Computing chips, Consumer electronic ICs, memory ICs, personal computer peripheral ICs, and communication ICs 

Production halt at facilities in Hsinchu and Tainan. 

Innolux Corporation 

LCD panels 

Production halted at factory in Zhunan, Miaoli County. 

King Yuan Electronics Co., Ltd. 

Integrated circuits 

All workers at production site in Hsinchu were evacuated as a precautionary measure.  

Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp 

Semiconductors chips 

All workers evacuated and production halt at factory in Zhunan, Miaoli.  

Nanya Technology Corporation 

Dynamic random access memories (DRAMs) 

Production halted at factory in New Taipei City. 

Formosa Petrochemical Corp 

Gasoline, jet fuel, and fuel oil 

Production halted at refinery in Mailiao. Resumption expected in the afternoon hours of April 3.  

Vate Technology Co., Ltd. 

Semiconductor testing services 

Production resumed following safety inspection at plant in Hsinchu. 

Cathay Consolidated Inc. 

Technical fabrics and Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) films 

Production resumed after short disruption at plant in Dongshan, Yilan. 

Tokyo Electron Taiwan Ltd. 

Semiconductor production equipment, Wafer Thinning Systems 

Confirmed damages to several factory buildings in Taiwan, further damage assessments ongoing. 

Advanced Wireless Semiconductor Co. 

Wafers, foundry services 

Production halted at factory in Xinshi, Tainan. 

Unitech Printed Circuit Corp. 

Printed circuit boards 

Production halted at factory in Su’ao, Yilan. 

GlobalWafers Co., Ltd. 

Silicon wafers 

Workers evacuated and production halted at factory in East District, Hsinchu. 

Macronix International Co., Ltd. 

NOR Flash, NAND Flash, and ROM products 

Workers evacuated and production halted at factory in East District, Hsinchu. 

AUO Corporation 

Display panels 

Workers evacuated and production halted at factory in East District, Hsinchu. 

Epistar Corporation 

LED panels 

Workers evacuated and production halted at factory in East District, Hsinchu. 

Vanguard International Semiconductor Corporation 

Specialty IC foundry services 

Workers evacuated and production halted at factories in Baoshan, Hsinchu, and Luzhu, Taoyuan. 

Companies affected by the magnitude 7.4 earthquake and aftershocks in Taiwan as of April 3, 2024 (source: Everstream Analytics).