20-F 1 d592628d20f.htm FORM 20-F Form 20-F
Table of Contents
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
 
 
FORM
20-F
 
 
 
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
OR
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report
     
For the transition period from
     
to
     
Commission file number
1-14700
 
 
台灣積體電路製造股份有限公司
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
 
 
 
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited
  
Republic of China
(Translation of Registrant’s Name Into English)
  
(Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)
 
 
No. 8,
Li-Hsin
Road 6
Hsinchu Science Park
Hsinchu
300-096,
Taiwan
Republic of China
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Wendell Huang, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer & Spokesperson
Telephone:
886-3-5055901
/ Email: invest@tsmc.com
No. 8,
Li-Hsin
Road 6
, Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu
300-096,
Taiwan, Republic of China
(Name, Telephone,
E-mail
and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of Each Class
 
Trading Symbol(s)
 
Name of Each Exchange
on Which Registered
Common Shares, par value NT$10.00 each*
 
TSM
 
The New York Stock Exchange, Inc.
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)
 
 
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
As of December 31, 2023, 25,932,070,992 Common Shares, par value NT$10 each were outstanding.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☑ No ☐
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes ☐  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes
 ☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation
S-T
(§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes
 ☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act.
 
Large Accelerated Filer ☑    Accelerated Filer ☐   
Non-Accelerated Filer ☐
   Emerging Growth Company 
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
†The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. 
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. 
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to
§240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
U.S. GAAP ☐
    
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued
by the International Accounting Standards Board ☑
   Other ☐
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
Item 17 ☐ Item 18 ☐
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act).  Yes ☐ No 
 
*
Not for trading, but only in connection with the listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. of American Depositary Shares (“ADS”) representing such Common Shares.
 
 
 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited

 

     Page  

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

     1  

PART I

     3  

ITEM 1.

   IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISORS      3  

ITEM 2.

   OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE      3  

ITEM 3.

   KEY INFORMATION      3  

ITEM 4.

   INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY      13  

ITEM 4A.

   UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS      23  

ITEM 5.

   OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEWS AND PROSPECTS      23  

ITEM 6.

   DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES      33  

ITEM 7.

   MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS      49  

ITEM 8.

   FINANCIAL INFORMATION      51  

ITEM 9.

   THE OFFER AND LISTING      52  

ITEM 10.

   ADDITIONAL INFORMATION      52  

ITEM 11.

   QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISKS      65  

ITEM 12D.

   DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES      67  
PART II      68  

ITEM 13.

   DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES      68  

ITEM 14.

   MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS      68  

ITEM 15.

   CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES      68  

ITEM 16A.

   AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT      69  

ITEM 16B.

   CODE OF ETHICS      69  

ITEM 16C.

   PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES      70  

ITEM 16D.

   EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES      71  

ITEM 16E.

   PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS      71  

ITEM 16F.

   CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT      71  

ITEM 16G.

   CORPORATE GOVERNANCE      71  

ITEM 16H.

   MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE      75  

ITEM 16I.

   DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS      75  

ITEM 16K.

   CYBERSECURITY      75  

PART III

     77  

ITEM 17.

   FINANCIAL STATEMENTS      77  

ITEM 18.

   FINANCIAL STATEMENTS      77  

ITEM 19.

   EXHIBITS      77  

EX-1.1 ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OF TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LIMITED, AS AMENDED AND RESTATED ON JUNE 8, 2022.

EX-2a.1 DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE EXCHANGE ACT.

EX-3.1 RULES FOR ELECTION OF DIRECTORS, AS AMENDED AND RESTATED ON JULY 26, 2021.

 

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EX-3.2 RULES AND PROCEDURES OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS, AS AMENDED AND RESTATED ON NOVEMBER 8, 2022.

EX-4.13 LAND LEASE WITH CENTRAL TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO THE FABS LOCATED IN TAICHUNG SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2024 TO SEPTEMBER 1, 2029) (ENGLISH SUMMARY).

EX-4.31 LAND LEASE WITH HSINCHU SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO AP3 LOCATED IN LONGTAN SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2024 TO DECEMBER 31, 2034) (ENGLISH SUMMARY).

EX-4.34 LAND LEASE WITH CENTRAL TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO AP5 LOCATED IN TAICHUNG SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2024 TO JULY 26, 2031) (ENGLISH SUMMARY).

EX-4.52 TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LTD. EMPLOYEE RESTRICTED STOCK AWARDS RULES FOR YEAR 2023.

EX-4.53 TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LTD. EMPLOYEE RESTRICTED STOCK AWARDS RULES FOR YEAR 2024 (AS APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS IN FEBRUARY 2024, AND SUBJECT TO SHAREHOLDER APPROVAL AND APPROVAL BY THE R.O.C. FINANCIAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION).

EX-4.62 LAND LEASE WITH HSINCHU SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO FAB20 (EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2023 TO DECEMBER 31, 2042) (ENGLISH SUMMARY).

EX-4.63 LAND LEASE WITH HSINCHU SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO FAB20 (EFFECTIVE JULY 14, 2023 TO DECEMBER 31, 2042) (ENGLISH SUMMARY).

EX-4.64 LAND LEASE WITH SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO THE FABS (FAB 14 BRIDGE) LOCATED IN SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2023 TO MAY 31, 2043) (ENGLISH SUMMARY).

EX-4.65 LAND LEASE WITH SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO AP7(EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 15, 2024 TO FEBRUARY 14, 2044) (ENGLISH SUMMARY).

EX-8.1 SUBSIDIARIES OF TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LTD.

EX-12.1 CERTIFICATION OF CEO - RULE 13A-14(A)

EX-12.2 CERTIFICATION OF CFO - RULE 13A-14(A)

EX-13.1 CERTIFICATION OF CEO - RULE 13A-14(B)

EX-13.2 CERTIFICATION OF CFO - RULE 13A-14(B)

EX-15.1 CONSENT OF DELOITTE & TOUCHE

EX-17 ISSUERS OF GUARANTEED SECURITIES

EX-97 TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LIMITED CLAWBACK POLICY

EX-101.INS iXBRL INSTANCE DOCUMENT (EMBEDDED WITHIN THE INLINE XBRL DOCUMENT)

EX-101.SCH iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION SCHEMA DOCUMENT

EX-101.CAL iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION CALCULATION LINKBASE DOCUMENT

EX-101.DEF iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION DEFINITION LINKBASE DOCUMENT

EX-101.LAB iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION LABEL LINKBASE DOCUMENT

EX-101.PRE iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION PRESENTATION LINKBASE DOCUMENT

EX-104 COVER PAGE INTERACTIVE DATA FILE (EMBEDDED WITHIN THE INLINE XBRL DOCUMENT)

“TSMC”, “tsmc”, “GIGAFAB”, “Open Innovation Platform”, “CyberShuttle”, “CoWoS”, “TSMC-SoIC”, “3DFabric”, “N6e”, and “N12e” are some of our registered and/or pending trademarks used by us in various jurisdictions, including the United States of America. All rights reserved.

 

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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This annual report includes statements that are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of U.S. securities laws. Such statements are made under the “safe harbor” provision under Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The terms “anticipates,” “expects,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “should” and other similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These statements appear in a number of places throughout this annual report and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the industries in which we operate.

By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industries in which we operate may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this annual report. Important factors that could cause those differences include, but are not limited to:

 

   

general local and global economic conditions;

 

   

the political stability of our local region;

 

   

our ability to deal with the challenges and risks related to our global operations and expansion;

 

   

outlook of the major and emerging end markets for our products, such as high performance computing, smartphones, internet of things (“IoT”), automotive and digital consumer electronics;

 

   

the volatility of the semiconductor and electronics industry;

 

   

our ability to develop new technologies successfully and remain a technological leader;

 

   

the increased competition from other companies;

 

   

overcapacity in the semiconductor industry;

 

   

our reliance on certain major customers;

 

   

the reliability of our information technology systems and resilience to any cyberattacks;

 

   

our ability to maintain control over expansion and facility modifications;

 

   

our ability to generate growth and profitability;

 

   

our ability to hire and retain qualified personnel;

 

   

our ability to acquire required equipment and supplies necessary to meet business needs;

 

   

our ability to protect our technologies, intellectual property (“IP”) rights and third-party licenses;

 

   

disruptive events or industrial accidents;

 

   

shortages or increased prices of power and other utilities; and

 

   

fluctuations in foreign currency rates, in particular, any material appreciation of the NT dollar against the U.S. dollar, and our ability to manage such risks.

 

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Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our strategy and future plans, future business condition and financial results, our capital expenditure plans, our capacity management plans, expectations as to the commercial production using 2-nanometer and more advanced technologies, technological upgrades, investment in research and development, future market demand, future regulatory or other developments in our industry, business expansion plans or new investments as well as business acquisitions and financing plans. If any one or more of the assumptions underlying the industry or market data turns out to be incorrect, actual results may differ from the projections based on these assumptions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Please see “Item 3. Key Information – Risk Factors” for a further discussion of certain factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by our forward-looking statements.

As used in this annual report, all references to “we,” “us,” the “Company” and “TSMC” are to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited and its consolidated subsidiaries.

EXCHANGE RATES

We publish our financial statements in New Taiwan dollars, the lawful currency of the R.O.C. In this annual report, “$,” “US$” and “U.S. dollars” mean United States dollars, the lawful currency of the United States, and “NT$” and “NT dollars” mean New Taiwan dollars. This annual report contains translations of certain NT dollar amounts into U.S. dollars at specified rates solely for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from NT dollars to U.S. dollars in this annual report were made at NT$30.62 to US$1.00, the exchange rate set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board on December 29, 2023.

No representation is made that the NT dollar or U.S. dollar amounts referred to herein could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars or NT dollars, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all.

 

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PART I

 

ITEM 1.

IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISORS

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 2.

OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 3.

KEY INFORMATION

Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not applicable.

Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.

Risk Factors

We wish to caution readers that the following important factors, and those important factors described in other reports submitted to, or filed with, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“U.S. SEC”), among other factors, could affect our actual results and could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf, and that such factors may adversely affect our business and financial status and therefore the value of your investment.

Risks Relating to Our Business

Any global systemic political, economic and financial crisis (as well as the indirect effects flowing therefrom) could negatively affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

In recent times, several major systemic political, economic and financial crises negatively affected global business, banking and financial sectors, including the semiconductor industry and markets.

Since 2018, there have been political and trade tensions among a number of the world’s major economies. These tensions have resulted or may result in the implementation of tariff, non-tariff trade barriers, sanctions, export controls and other measures that have been particularly impactful to the semiconductor industry and related markets. Prolonged or increased use of such measures may negatively impact the growth of the global economy and the semiconductor industry, resulting in declines in electronic products sales from which we generate our income through our products and services. Also, any increase in the use of export control restrictions and sanctions to target certain countries and entities, any expansion of the extraterritorial jurisdiction of such measures, or complete or partial ban on semiconductor products sales to certain entities could impact not only our ability to continue supplying products to those customers, but also our customers’ demand for our products, and could even lead to changes in semiconductor supply chains. For example, the U.S. tightened its export control measures against Huawei Technology Co. Ltd. and its affiliates (collectively, “Huawei”) in 2020. To comply with relevant laws and regulations, we have discontinued shipment of products to Huawei since September 2020. Since February 2022, there have been expansive sanctions and export controls imposed by several countries and regions against Russia, including certain individuals and entities, in connection with the military conflict in Ukraine. In October 2022 and October 2023, the U.S. adopted additional export controls over specified countries (including China) under the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (“U.S. EAR”) on certain advanced computing integrated circuits (“ICs”), computer commodities that contain such ICs, and certain semiconductor manufacturing items, as well as controls on transactions involving items for supercomputer and semiconductor manufacturing end-uses. The new controls add new license requirements for items subject to the U.S. EAR where the items are destined to a semiconductor fabrication facility in China that fabricates ICs meeting specified advanced node parameters as well as for U.S. persons’ activities supporting such facility or semiconductor manufacturing items. In October 2022, we secured a one-year general authorization from the U.S. government, which allows us to maintain our fab’s operations in Nanjing, China. This general authorization has been renewed and extended to be effective until May 31, 2024. We are also applying for a Validated End-User (the “VEU”) authorization for our Nanjing fab, which, once obtained, would be a permanent authorization that allows us to receive exports of eligible items from the U.S. without separate licenses. However, there is no assurance that we will be able to obtain the VEU authorization for our Nanjing fab or that the obtained general authorization will not be terminated in the future. On the other hand, measures adopted by an affected country to counteract the impact of another country’s actions or regulations could lead to significant legal liability to multinational corporations including our own. For example, in January 2021, China adopted a blocking statute that, among other matters, entitles Chinese entities incurring damages from a multinational’s compliance with foreign laws to seek civil remedies. As of the date of this annual report, our current results of operations have not been materially affected by the expanded export control regulations or the novel rules or measures adopted to counteract them. Nevertheless, depending on future developments in global trade tensions and military conflicts, such regulations, rules, or measures may have an adverse impact on our business and operations, and we may incur significant legal liability and financial losses as a result.

 

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Any future systemic political, economic or financial crisis or market volatility, including but not limited to interest rate and foreign exchange rate fluctuations, inflation or deflation or changes in economic, fiscal and monetary policies in major economies, could cause revenue or profits for the semiconductor industry as a whole to decline dramatically. If the economic conditions or financial conditions of our customers were to deteriorate, the demand for our products and services may decrease and additional accounting related allowances may be required, which could reduce our operating income and net income. In addition, sufficient external financing may not be available to us on a timely basis, on commercially reasonable terms to us, or at all. If sufficient external financing is not available when we need such financing to meet our capital requirements, we may be forced to curtail our expansion, modify plans or delay the deployment of new or expanded services until we obtain such financing. In conclusion, any of these events, including any future global systemic crisis or further escalation of trade tensions as described above, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

Our global manufacturing, design and sales activities subject us to risks associated with political, economic, financial, military or other conditions or developments in various jurisdictions, including in particular the R.O.C., as well as in international trade, which could negatively affect our business and financial status and therefore the market value of your investment.

The majority of our principal executive officers and our principal production facilities are located in the R.O.C., and the majority of our net revenue is derived from our operations in the R.O.C. In addition, we have operations worldwide and a significant percentage of our revenue comes from sales to locations outside the R.O.C. Operating in the R.O.C. and overseas exposes us to changes in laws, rules, regulations and the enforcements of such laws, rules and regulations in certain key areas that could have a material impact on our operations, such as intellectual property, labor, antitrust, export control, import restrictions, and trade barriers or disputes. In addition, deterioration in general political, economic, financial or social conditions, military conflicts, the risk of outbreak of war or hostilities, terrorism events, security risks, social unrest, health conditions and possible disruptions in transportation networks in the various jurisdictions in which we operate or elsewhere, could have an adverse impact on our business and results of operations as well as the market price and the liquidity of our ADSs and common shares. Furthermore, any major change in economic, fiscal and/or trade policies in the U.S. from which we derive a substantial portion of our revenue or in another major jurisdiction could severely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, recent political and trade tensions among major economies as well as military conflicts (such as the conflict in Ukraine since early 2022) have resulted in the imposition of trade barriers, such as sanctions and import and export controls, which could increase our manufacturing costs, limit our access to certain supplies, make our pricing less competitive, and limit our ability to offer our products and services in some markets or source key materials and key production equipment, which may have adverse direct or indirect effects on our sales.

Any law or government policy that encourages our customers to relocate their manufacturing capacity or supply chain to their own countries or require their respective contractors, subcontractors and relevant agents to do so could also impair our ability to sustain our current level of productivity and manufacturing efficiency. An important aspect of our business operation is an ecosystem of interconnected semiconductor fabs, employees and suppliers in the R.O.C. that provides us with significant operational synergies, flexibility and efficiencies. For example, we are able to temporarily reassign thousands of our engineers and other relevant personnel from one manufacturing site to another to refine specific designs and adapt manufacturing processes in a timely manner. These advantages permit us to operate our manufacturing fabs efficiently and resolve any technical or commercial difficulties quickly to maintain our competitive edge. Restrictions on our ability to transfer people among our operations in the R.O.C., the United States, the P.R.C., Japan, and Europe efficiently due to, for example, immigration or travel restrictions may impair or reduce these advantages, and we may not be able to sustain our current ability to supply our customers with goods and services at the current level of cost, quality, quantity and delivery schedule to which our customers have been accustomed.

In addition, the financial markets have viewed certain past developments in relations between the R.O.C. and the P.R.C. as occasions to depress general market prices of the securities of R.O.C. companies, including our own. Also, the R.O.C. government has not lifted some trade and investment restrictions imposed on R.O.C. companies on the amount and types of certain investments that can be made in the P.R.C. Our plans, investment applications and/or any relevant regulatory approvals to establish or possibly expand operations in the P.R.C. may be delayed, interrupted, suspended or cancelled due to unforeseeable social and political factors in the R.O.C. or the P.R.C., and these potential operational risks can be aggravated by applicable export controls which impose license requirements on our P.R.C. fab’s acquisition of certain manufacturing tools.

 

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If we are unable to successfully manage the complexity of our global operations and deal with the challenges and risks related to our global expansion, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

We have multiple expansion projects that are currently underway, including the design and construction of new fabs worldwide. Global expansion has required and will continue to require considerable managerial, financial and other resources. We expect to face particular challenges in global expansion and operations, including but not limited to:

 

   

higher costs associated with construction of new fabs, establishing supply chains for various materials in different overseas locations, the impact on our ability to sustain our current level of productivity and manufacturing efficiency provided by our ecosystem of interconnected semiconductor fabs, employees and suppliers in the R.O.C., and recruiting and retaining talent in various overseas locations;

 

   

labor shortages, interruptions in the supply chains for various materials, and construction issues, which could substantially delay the completion of our expansion projects, and could further result in substantial additional costs or failure to meet our capacity expansion plans;

 

   

disruptions to our operations caused by natural or man-made disasters, including earthquakes, flooding, typhoons, droughts, tsunamis, sandstorms, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, fire, gas/chemical leakage, pandemic, supply chain disruption, geopolitical tensions, sabotage, failure of critical facilities and equipment and shortages in the supply of utilities, such as water, electricity and natural gas, etc.;

 

   

scarcity of industrial-use land, which could limit our future expansion of operations;

 

   

compliance with applicable foreign laws and regulations, and the risk of penalties if our practices are deemed not to be in compliance;

 

   

challenges in managing information technology infrastructure in multiple locations and across different systems and risks of our information technology infrastructure succumbing to cyberattacks by third parties worldwide;

 

   

adverse changes relating to government grants or other government incentives;

 

   

challenges in creating an inclusive workplace in new sites to embrace the cultural differences and managing the operation over large geographic distances;

 

   

limited or insufficient intellectual property protection or difficulties enforcing our rights to intellectual property; and

 

   

exposure to different tax jurisdictions and potential adverse tax consequences.

If we are unable to overcome the above challenges, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Decreases in demand and average selling prices for products that contain semiconductors may adversely affect demand for our products and may result in a decrease in our revenue and earnings.

A vast majority of our revenue is derived from customers who use our products in high performance computing (“HPC”), smartphones, IoT, automotive, and digital consumer electronics. Any deterioration in or a slowdown in the growth of such end markets resulting in a substantial decrease in the demand for overall global semiconductor foundry services, including our products and services, could adversely affect our revenue. Further, semiconductor manufacturing facilities require substantial investment to construct and are largely fixed cost assets once they are in operation. Because we own most of our manufacturing capacities, a significant portion of our operating costs is fixed. In general, these costs do not decline when customer demand or our capacity utilization rates drop, and thus declines in customer demand, among other factors, may significantly decrease our margins. Conversely, as product demand rises and factory utilization increases, the fixed costs are spread over increased output, which can improve our margins. In addition, the historical trend of declining average selling prices (“ASP”) of end-use applications places downward pressure on the prices of the components that go into such applications. Decreases in the ASP of end use applications may increase pricing pressure on components produced by us, which, in turn, may negatively impact our revenue, margin and earnings.

 

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Since we are dependent on the highly cyclical semiconductor and electronics industries, which have experienced significant and sometimes prolonged periods of downturns and overcapacity, our revenue, margins and earnings may fluctuate significantly.

The electronics industries and semiconductor market are cyclical and subject to significant and often rapid fluctuations in product demand, which could impact our semiconductor foundry business. Variations in customer order levels may result in volatility in our revenue and earnings. From time to time, the electronics and semiconductor industries have experienced significant and occasionally prolonged periods of downturns and overcapacity. Because we are, and will continue to be, dependent on the demand of electronics and semiconductor companies for our services, periods of downturns and overcapacity in the general electronics and semiconductor industries could lead to reduced demand for overall semiconductor foundry services, including our services. If we are not able to take appropriate actions, such as reducing our costs to sufficiently offset declines in demand, our revenue, margins and earnings will likely suffer during periods of downturns and overcapacity.

If we are unable to remain a technological leader in the semiconductor industry, unable to timely respond to fast-changing semiconductor market dynamics, or unable to maintain our edge in product quality, we may become less competitive.

The semiconductor industry and its technologies are constantly changing. We compete by developing process technologies using increasingly advanced nodes and manufacturing products with more functions. We also compete by developing new derivative technologies. If we do not anticipate these changes in technologies and rapidly develop new and innovative technologies, or our competitors unforeseeably gain sudden access to additional technologies, we may not be able to provide foundry services on competitive terms. For example, the global surge in the development of artificial intelligence (“AI”) has had a significant impact on customer demand for advanced semiconductor chips and the market dynamics in our industry; thus, our ability to continuously develop relevant technologies, products and services to meet these customer needs will be critical for us to effectively compete in this space. We also believe that the effective use of AI in our internal operations is important to our long-term success. As the AI technologies are rapidly evolving, if we are unable to deploy new AI technologies in our internal operations as effectively as our competitors, it may hurt our competitive position. In addition, our customers have significantly decreased the time in which their products or services are launched into the market. If we are unable to meet these shorter product time-to-market, we risk losing these customers. These factors have also been intensified by the shift of the global technology market to consumer driven products, such as smartphones, and increasing competition and concentration of customers (all further discussed among these risk factors). Also, the uncertainty and instability inherent in advanced technologies impose challenges for achieving expected product quality and product yield. If we fail to maintain quality, it may result in loss of revenue and additional cost, as well as loss of business or customer trust. If we are unable to overcome the above factors, we may become less competitive and our revenue may decline significantly.

In light of the rise of new foundry service providers worldwide, if we are unable to compete effectively in the highly competitive foundry segment of the semiconductor industry, we may lose customers and/or our profit margin and earnings may decrease.

The competition in the semiconductor foundry industry is fierce. We compete with other foundry service providers, as well as a number of integrated device manufacturers. Some of these companies may have access to more advanced or different technologies than us. Other companies may have greater financial and other resources than us, such as the possibility of receiving direct or indirect government subsidies, economic stimulus funds, or other incentives that may be unavailable to us. The governments of the United States, China, Europe, South Korea and Japan provide various incentive programs to promote developments of their domestic semiconductor industries, such as the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act of 2022 (the “U.S. CHIPS Act”), which provides financial incentives to incentivize the development of U.S. semiconductor industry. Although governments in certain of the countries or regions where we are currently expanding or planning to expand our production capacity have extended or may in the future extend certain financial incentives to us, there is no assurance that we will be able to receive such financial incentives at the levels we anticipate or at all. Additionally, any financial incentives we receive may be subject to conditions imposed by the grantors, such as restrictions on the expansion of facilities in foreign countries of concern and on joint research and technology licensing efforts with foreign entities of concern on any technology or product that raises national security concerns, or the grantors could seek to recover any funds provided to us, or cancel, reduce or deny our requested subsidies or grants in the future. This could materially increase our costs or otherwise adversely affect our operations.

Moreover, our competitors may, from time to time, also decide to undertake aggressive pricing initiatives in one or several technology nodes. Our competitors may also compete for our customers who seek to diversify their supply chains. These competitive activities may decrease our customer base, our pricing, or both. If we are unable to compete effectively with such competitors on technology, manufacturing capacity, product quality, supply chain diversification and resilience, and customer satisfaction, we risk losing customers or business to such contenders.

If we are unable to manage our capacity and production facilities effectively, our competitiveness may be weakened.

We perform long-term market demand forecasts for our products and services to manage our overall capacity. Based on our market demand forecasts, we have continued to add capacity to meet market needs for our products and services, including in Taiwan, in Arizona, U.S., in Nanjing, China, in Kumamoto, Japan and in Dresden, Germany.

 

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Implementing these capacity expansion plans will increase our costs, and the increases may be substantial. For example, we would need to build new facilities, purchase additional equipment and hire and train personnel to operate the new equipment. If we do not increase our net revenue accordingly, our financial performance may be adversely affected by these increased costs. See “Item 4. Information on The Company – Capacity Management and Technology Upgrade Plans” for a further discussion.

In addition, market conditions are dynamic and our market demand forecasts may change significantly at any time. During periods of decreased demand, certain manufacturing lines or tools in some of our manufacturing facilities may be suspended or shut down temporarily. However, if demand subsequently increases rapidly over a short period of time, we may not be able to restore the capacity in a timely manner to take advantage of the upturn. In such circumstances, our financial performance and competitiveness may be adversely affected.

Having one or more large customers that account for a significant percentage of our revenue may render us vulnerable to the loss of or significant curtailment of purchases by such customers that could in turn adversely affect our results of operations. Similarly, the increasing consolidation of our customers may further increase our revenue concentration.

Over the years, our customer profile and the nature of our customers’ business have changed dramatically. While we generate revenue from hundreds of customers worldwide, our ten largest customers in 2021, 2022 and 2023 accounted for approximately, 71%, 68% and 70% of our net revenue in the respective year. Our largest customer in 2021, 2022 and 2023 accounted for 26%, 23% and 25% of our net revenue in the respective year. Our second largest customer in 2021, 2022 and 2023 accounted for 10%, less than 10% and 11% of our net revenue in the respective year. A more concentrated customer base will subject our revenue to seasonal demand fluctuations from our large customers and cause different seasonal patterns in our business. This customer concentration results in part from the changing dynamics of the electronics industry with the structural shift to mobile and high performance computing devices and applications and software that provide the content for such devices.

There are only a limited number of customers who are successfully exploiting this new business model paradigm. Also, we have seen changes in the nature of our customers’ business models in response to this new business model paradigm. For example, there is a growing trend among system companies designing their own semiconductors and working directly with the semiconductor foundries, which makes their products and services more marketable in a changing consumer market.

Also, since the global semiconductor industry has become increasingly competitive, some of our customers have engaged in industry consolidations in order to remain competitive. Such consolidations have taken the form of mergers and acquisitions. If more of our major customers consolidate, this will further decrease the overall number of our customer pool. In addition, regulatory restrictions, such as export controls directed at our major customers, could impact our ability to supply products to those customers or reduce those customers’ demand for our products and services and thus impact their business operations.

The loss of, or significant curtailment of purchases by, one or more of our top customers including curtailments due to increased competitive pressures, industry consolidation, changes in applicable regulatory restrictions, product designs, manufacturing sourcing or outsourcing policies or practices of these customers, the timing of customer inventory adjustments, or changes in our major customers’ business models, may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

If our information technology systems or those of our service providers with whom we share our confidential information succumb to cyberattacks by third parties worldwide, our business and operations may be severely interrupted or even shut down, and our results of operations, financial condition, prospects and reputation may also be materially and adversely affected.

Even though we have established a comprehensive internet and computing security network, we cannot guarantee that our computing systems which control or maintain vital corporate functions, such as our manufacturing operations and enterprise accounting, would be completely immune to crippling cyberattacks. In the event of a serious cyberattack, our systems may lose important corporate data or our production lines may be shut down pending the resolution of such attack. Major cyberattacks could also lead to loss or divulgence of trade secrets and other sensitive information, such as proprietary information of our customers and other stakeholders and personal information of our employees. While we seek to continuously review and assess our cybersecurity policies and procedures to ensure their adequacy and effectiveness, we cannot guarantee that we will not be susceptible to new and emerging risks and attacks in the evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats. For example, as AI continues to evolve, cyber-attackers could also use AI to develop malicious codes and sophisticated phishing attempts.

Malicious hackers may also try to introduce computer viruses, corrupted software or ransomware into our network systems to disrupt our operations, blackmail us to regain control of our computing systems, or spy on us for sensitive information. These attacks may result in us having to pay damages for our delayed or disrupted orders or incur significant expenses in implementing remedial and improvement measures to further enhance our cybersecurity network, and may also expose us to significant legal liabilities arising from or related to legal proceedings or regulatory investigations associated with such breaches.

 

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In the past, we experienced and may in the future be subject to attack by malicious software. We have implemented and continually update rigorous cybersecurity measures to prevent and minimize harm caused by such attacks. See “Item 16K. Cybersecurity” for a further discussion. While these ongoing enhancements further improve our cybersecurity defense solutions, there can be no assurance that we are immune to cyberattacks.

In addition, we employ certain third-party service providers for us and our affiliates worldwide with whom we need to share highly sensitive and confidential information to enable them to provide the relevant services. While we require such third-party service providers to strictly fulfill the confidentiality and/or internet security requirements in our service agreements with them, there is no assurance that each of them will comply with such obligations. Moreover, such third-party service providers may also be susceptible to cyberattacks. If we or our service providers are not able to timely resolve the respective technical difficulties caused by such cyberattacks, or ensure the integrity and availability of our data (and data belonging to our customers and other third parties) or maintain control of our or our service providers’ computing systems, our commitments to our customers and other stakeholders may be materially impaired and our results of operations, financial condition, prospects and reputation may also be materially and adversely affected.

We may not be able to implement our planned growth and development or maintain our leading position if we are unable to recruit and retain key executives, managers and skilled technical and service personnel.

We rely on the continued services and contributions of our management team, as well as skilled technical and professional personnel. Our business could suffer from the inability to fulfill personnel needs with high quality professionals in a timely fashion caused by the loss of personnel, talent shortages, illegal talent poaching, immigration controls, or related changes in market demand for our products and services. Since there is fierce competition for talent recruitment, we cannot ensure timely fulfillment of our personnel demand.

We may be unable to obtain in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost equipment that is necessary for us to remain competitive.

Our operations and ongoing expansion plans depend on our ability to obtain necessary equipment and related services available from a limited number of suppliers. As a result, we may encounter the situation of limited supply and/or long delivery cycles. To better manage our supply chain, we evaluate and project delivery lead times to minimize the impact of supply chain risks on operating costs. We have also implemented various collaborative business models and risk management contingencies with suppliers to ensure supply and shorten the procurement lead time. To enhance our sourcing capabilities for our global sites, we have also taken steps to strengthen our understanding of local regulations, policies, and supply chains. However, if we are unable to acquire in a timely manner the equipment and parts we need, we may fail to successfully implement capacity expansion plans and exploit time sensitive business opportunities. Additionally, ongoing trade tensions could result in increased prices for, or even unavailability of, key equipment, through delay or denial of necessary export licenses, adoption of additional export control measures and other tariff or non-tariff barriers. If we are unable to obtain equipment in a timely fashion to fulfill our customers’ demand for technology and production capacity, or unable to do so at a reasonable cost, our financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted.

Our revenue and profitability may decline if we are unable to obtain adequate supplies of raw materials in a timely manner and at commercially reasonable prices.

Our production operations require that we obtain adequate supplies of raw materials, such as silicon wafers, gases, chemicals, and photoresist, on a timely basis and at commercially reasonable prices. In the past, shortages in the supply of some materials, whether by specific suppliers or by the semiconductor industry generally, have resulted in occasional industry-wide price adjustments and delivery delays. Moreover, major natural disasters, trade barriers and political or economic turmoil, including military conflicts and inflation, occurring within the country of origin of such raw materials may also significantly disrupt the availability of such raw materials or increase their prices. Also, since we procure some of our raw materials from sole-sourced suppliers, there is a risk that our need for such raw materials may not be met or that back-up supplies may not be readily available. Importation and domestic production limitations may also limit our ability to obtain adequate supplies of raw materials as well as materials of the necessary quality. In addition, recent trade tensions could result in increased prices or even unavailability of raw materials due to tariffs, export control or other non-tariff barriers. Our revenue and earnings could decline if we are unable to obtain adequate supplies of the necessary raw materials in a timely manner or if there are significant increases in the costs of raw materials.

 

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Any inability to obtain, preserve, enforce, defend and protect our technologies, intellectual property rights and third-party licenses could harm our competitive position.

Our ability to compete successfully and to achieve future growth depends in part on the continued strength of our intellectual property portfolio. While we actively enforce and protect our intellectual property rights, there can be no assurance that our efforts will be adequate to prevent the misappropriation or improper use of our proprietary technologies, software, trade secrets or know-how. Also, we cannot assure you that, as our business or business models expand into new areas, we will be able to develop independently the technologies, patents, software, trade secrets or know-how necessary to conduct our business or that we can do so without unknowingly infringing the intellectual property rights of others. As a result, we may have to rely on, to a certain degree, licensed technologies and patent licenses from others. To the extent that we rely on licenses from others, there can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain any or all of the necessary licenses in the future on terms we consider reasonable or at all. The lack of necessary licenses could expose us to claims for damages and/or injunctions from third parties, as well as claims for indemnification by our customers in instances where we have contractually agreed to indemnify our customers against damages resulting from infringement claims.

We have received, from time to time, communications from third parties, including non-practicing entities and semiconductor companies, asserting that our technologies, our manufacturing processes, or the design IPs of the semiconductors made by us or the use of those semiconductors by our customers may infringe their patents or other intellectual property rights. Because of the nature of the industry, our market position, and the expansion of our manufacturing operations outside of Taiwan, we may receive an increased number of such communications in the future. The assertions made and lawsuits initiated by litigious, well-funded, non-practicing entities are particularly aggressive in their monetary demand and in seeking court-issued injunctions. Such lawsuits and assertions may increase our cost of doing business and may potentially be extremely disruptive if these asserting entities succeed in blocking the trade of products made and services offered by us. See “Item 8. Financial Information – Legal Proceedings” for a further discussion. Also, with the expansion of our manufacturing operations into certain non-R.O.C jurisdictions, we have faced increased challenges in managing risks of intellectual property misappropriation. Despite our efforts to adopt robust measures to mitigate the risk of intellectual property misappropriation in such new jurisdictions, we cannot guarantee that the protection measures we adopted will be sufficient to prevent us from potential infringements by others, or at all.

If we fail to obtain or maintain certain technologies or intellectual property licenses or fail to prevent our intellectual property from being misappropriated and, if litigation relating to alleged intellectual property matters occurs, it could: (i) prevent us from manufacturing particular products or selling particular services or applying particular technologies; and (ii) reduce our ability to compete effectively against entities benefiting from our misappropriated intellectual property, which could reduce our opportunities to generate revenue.

Our operational results could also be materially and adversely affected by disruptive events or industrial accidents, in the locations in which we, our customers or our suppliers operate.

Disruptions caused by natural and man-made disasters, including earthquakes, flooding, typhoons, droughts, tsunamis, sandstorms, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, fire, gas/chemical leakage, pandemic, supply chain disruption, geopolitical tensions, cyberattacks, sabotage, failure of critical facilities and equipment, shortages in the supply of utilities, such as water, electricity and natural gas, etc., could interrupt our operations. Most of our production facilities, as well as those of many of our suppliers, customers and upstream providers of complementary semiconductor manufacturing services, are located in areas susceptible to natural disasters and may face potential shortages of electricity or water, which could cause interruptions to our operations. On April 3, 2024, an earthquake struck Taiwan. The resulting damage was mostly to inventories and equipment. Based on a preliminary assessment, we estimated that related earthquake losses will be approximately NT$3 billion, net of insurance claim, and will be recognized in the second quarter of 2024.

Thus, if one or more natural disasters result in a prolonged disruption to our operations or those of our customers or suppliers, or if any of our fabs or vendor facilities were to be damaged or cease operations as a result of an unforeseen disruptive event, it could reduce our manufacturing capacity and cause the loss of important customers, and thereby have an adverse, material impact on our operational and financial performance.

Our operations may be interrupted, and our expansion may be limited, by power or other utility outages or shortages, and our financial results may be adversely affected by increased prices of power or other utilities.

We have occasionally suffered power outages, dips or surges caused by difficulties encountered by our electricity supplier or other power consumers on the same power grid. Some of these incidents have resulted in interruptions to our operations. Such outages, shortages or interruptions in electricity supply could further be exacerbated by changes in the energy policy of the governments. If we are unable to secure reliable and uninterrupted supply of electricity to power our manufacturing fabs, our ability to fill customers’ orders would be jeopardized. Moreover, we have encountered and may continue to encounter increases in the prices of utilities. For example, effective from April 1, 2024, we are subject to a higher electricity tariff rate in Taiwan, which is estimated to increase by 25%, as compared to the tariff rate applicable to us in 2023. The increased prices for electricity could increase our manufacturing costs and therefore adversely impact our financial results.

In addition, due to climate change, severe weather events, such as droughts, and any measures taken by governments in response to such severe weather events may materially affect our operations and our suppliers’ production. For example, the measures taken by governments in response to droughts, including water rationing and conservation, may cause interruption to our operations or our expansion plans.

 

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If such events were to occur over prolonged periods of time, our operations and financial performance may be materially adversely affected. Moreover, our future capacity expansions in Taiwan and elsewhere could be curtailed by utility shortages.

Adverse fluctuations in exchange rates could decrease our operating margin and/or revenue.

Substantially all of our sales are denominated in U.S. dollars and over half of our capital expenditures are denominated in currencies other than the NT dollar, primarily in U.S. dollars, Euros and Japanese yen. As a result, any significant fluctuations to our disadvantage in the exchange rate of the NT dollar against such currencies, in particular a weakening of the U.S. dollar against the NT dollar, would have an adverse impact on our revenue and operating profit as expressed in NT dollars. For example, every 1% depreciation of the U.S. dollar against the NT dollar would result in an approximately 0.4 percentage point decrease in our operating margin based on our 2023 results.

Conversely, if the U.S. dollar appreciates significantly versus other major currencies, the demand for the products and services of our customers and for our goods and services will likely decrease, which will negatively affect our revenue. Please see “Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” for a further discussion.

Our failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations material to our operations, such as export control, environmental and climate related laws and regulations, or the inability to timely obtain requisite approvals necessary for the conduct of our business, such as fab land and construction approvals, could harm our business and operational results or subject us to potential significant legal liability.

Because we engage in manufacturing activities in multiple jurisdictions and conduct business with our customers located worldwide, such activities are subject to a myriad of governmental regulations. For example, the manufacturing, assembling and testing of our products require the use of equipment that is subject to export control laws and regulations, as well as metals, chemicals, and materials that are subject to environmental, climate-related, health and safety, and humanitarian forced labor prohibition and conflict-free sourcing laws, regulations and guidelines issued worldwide. Our failure to comply with any such laws or regulations, as amended from time to time, and our failure to comply with any information and document sharing requests from the relevant authorities in a timely manner could result in:

 

   

significant penalties and legal liabilities, such as the denial of import or export permits or third party private lawsuits, criminal or administrative proceedings;

 

   

the temporary or permanent suspension of production of the affected products;

 

   

the temporary or permanent inability to procure or use certain production critical chemicals or materials;

 

   

unfavorable alterations in our manufacturing, fabrication and assembly and test processes;

 

   

challenges from our customers that place us at a significant competitive disadvantage, such as loss of actual or potential sales contracts in case we are unable to satisfy the applicable legal standard or customer requirement;

 

   

restrictions on our operations or sales;

 

   

loss of tax benefits, including termination of current tax incentives, disqualification of tax credit application and repayment of the tax benefits that we are not entitled to; and

 

   

damages to our goodwill and reputation.

Complying with applicable laws and regulations, such as environmental and climate related laws and regulations, could also require us, among other things, to do the following: (a) purchase, use or install remedial equipment; (b) implement remedial programs such as climate change mitigation programs and air pollution reduction plans; (c) modify our product designs and manufacturing processes, or incur other significant expenses such as paying any incurred carbon fees if our emission levels exceed applicable thresholds, and obtaining renewable energy sources, renewable energy certificates or carbon credits, substitute raw materials or chemicals that may cost more or be less available for our operations.

Our inability to timely obtain approvals necessary for the conduct of our business could impair our operational and financial results. For example, if we are unable to timely obtain environmental related approvals needed to undertake the development and construction of a new fab or expansion project, then such inability may delay, limit, or increase the cost of our expansion plans that could also in turn adversely affect our business and operational results. In light of increased public interest in environmental issues, our operations and expansion plans may be adversely affected or delayed in response to public concern and social environmental pressures even if we comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

 

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For further details, please see our compliance record with Taiwan and international environmental and climate related laws and regulations as well as our business continuity management of climate change policy in “Item 4. Information on The Company – Environmental and Climate Related Laws and Regulations”.

Any adverse results of potential antitrust proceedings that we may be subject to could harm our business and operational results or subject us to potential significant legal liability.

We are subject to antitrust laws and regulations in multiple jurisdictions, and from time to time receive related inquiries from enforcement agencies. For example, on September 28, 2017, we were contacted by the European Commission, which asked us for information and documents concerning alleged anti-competitive practices in relation to semiconductor sales. We cooperated with the European Commission to provide the requested information and documents. The European Commission subsequently decided to close the investigation in May 2020. Any adverse results of potential antitrust proceedings could harm our business and distract our management, and thereby have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or prospects, and subject us to potential significant legal liability.

Any impairment charges may have a material adverse effect on our net income.

Under IFRSs, we are required to evaluate our tangible assets, right-of-use assets and intangible assets for impairment whenever triggering events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset may be impaired. If certain criteria are met, we are required to record an impairment charge. We are not able to estimate the extent or timing of any impairment charge for future years. Any impairment charge required may have a material adverse effect on our net income.

The determination of an impairment charge at any given time is mainly based on the projected results of operations over several years subsequent to that time. Consequently, an impairment charge is more likely to occur during a period when our operating results are otherwise already depressed. See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Reviews and Prospects – Critical Accounting Policies, Judgments and Key Sources of Estimation and Uncertainty” for a discussion of how we assess if an impairment charge is required and, if so, how the amount is determined.

Any failure to achieve and maintain effective internal controls could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Effective internal controls are necessary for us to provide reasonable assurance with respect to our financial reports and to effectively prevent fraud. If we cannot provide reasonable assurance with respect to our financial reports and effectively prevent fraud and corruption, our reputation and results of operations could be harmed.

We are required to comply with various R.O.C. and U.S. laws and regulations on internal controls, but internal controls may not prevent or detect misstatements because of their inherent limitations, including the possibility of human error, the circumvention or overriding of controls, fraud or corruption.

Therefore, even effective internal controls can provide only reasonable assurance with respect to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements. If we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal controls, our business and operating results could be harmed, we could fail to meet our reporting obligations, and there could be a material adverse effect on the market price of our common shares and ADSs.

Any amendments to existing tax regulations or the implementation of any new tax laws in the R.O.C., the United States or other jurisdictions in which we operate our business may have an adverse effect on our net income.

While we are subject to tax laws and regulations in various jurisdictions in which we operate or conduct business, our principal operations are in the R.O.C. and we are exposed primarily to taxes levied by the R.O.C. government. The R.O.C. Controlled Foreign Company (“CFC”) rules enacted in 2016 have been implemented since January 1, 2023, pursuant to which, certain profits retained at a CFC located in a low-tax jurisdiction would be taxable at its parent company in Taiwan. Further, changes in the tax laws of foreign jurisdictions could arise as a result of the base erosion and profit shifting (“BEPS”) project that was undertaken by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”). These changes may increase tax uncertainty and have an adverse effect on our operating results. See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Reviews and Prospects – Taxation” for further discussion of significant tax regulation changes.

 

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Risks Relating to Ownership of ADSs

Your voting rights as a holder of ADSs will be limited.

Holders of American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”) evidencing ADSs may exercise voting rights with respect to the common shares represented by these ADSs only in accordance with the provisions of our ADS deposit agreement. The deposit agreement provides that, upon receipt of notice of any meeting of holders of our common shares, the depositary bank will, as soon as practicable thereafter, mail to the holders (i) the notice of the meeting sent by us, (ii) voting instruction forms and (iii) a statement as to the manner in which instructions may be given by the holders.

ADS holders will not generally be able to exercise the voting rights attaching to the deposited securities on an individual basis. According to the provisions of our ADS deposit agreement, the voting rights attaching to the deposited securities must be exercised as to all matters subject to a vote of shareholders collectively in the same manner, except in the case of an election of directors. Election of directors is by means of cumulative voting. See “Item 10. Additional Information – Voting of Deposited Securities” for a more detailed discussion of the manner in which a holder of ADSs can exercise its voting rights.

You may not be able to participate in rights offerings and may experience dilution of your holdings.

We may, from time to time, distribute rights to our shareholders, including rights to acquire securities. Under our ADS deposit agreement, the depositary bank will not distribute rights to holders of ADSs unless the distribution and sale of rights and the securities to which these rights relate are either exempt from registration under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (the “Securities Act”), with respect to all holders of ADSs, or are registered under the provisions of the Securities Act. Although we may be eligible to take advantage of certain exemptions for rights offerings by certain foreign companies, we can give no assurance that we can establish an exemption from registration under the Securities Act, and we are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to any such rights or underlying securities or to endeavor to have such a registration statement declared effective. Accordingly, holders of ADSs may be unable to participate in our rights offerings and may experience dilution of their holdings as a result.

If the depositary bank is unable to sell rights that are not exercised or not distributed or if the sale is not lawful or reasonably practicable, it will allow the rights to lapse, in which case you will receive no value for these rights.

The value of your investment may be reduced by possible future sales of common shares or ADSs by us or our shareholders or fluctuations in foreign exchange.

One or more of our existing shareholders may, from time to time, dispose of significant numbers of our common shares or ADSs. For example, the National Development Fund of the R.O.C., which owned 6.38% of TSMC’s outstanding shares as of February 29, 2024, had from time to time in the past sold our shares in the form of ADSs in several transactions.

We cannot predict the effect, if any, that future sales of ADSs or common shares, or the availability of ADSs or common shares for future sales, will have on the market price of ADSs or common shares prevailing from time to time. Sales of substantial amounts of ADSs or common shares in the public market, or the perception that such sales may occur, could depress the prevailing market price of our ADSs or common shares. In addition, fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the NT dollar may affect the U.S. dollar value of our common shares and the market price of the ADSs and the U.S. dollar value of any cash dividends paid in NT dollars on our common shares represented by ADSs.

The market value of our shares may fluctuate due to the volatility of, and government intervention in, the R.O.C. securities market.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange has experienced from time to time substantial fluctuations in the prices and volumes of sales of listed securities. There are currently limits on the range of daily price movements on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. In response to past declines and volatility in the securities markets in Taiwan, and in line with similar activities by other countries in Asia, the government of the R.O.C. formed the Stabilization Fund, which had purchased and may from time to time purchase shares of Taiwan companies to support these markets. In addition, other funds associated with the R.O.C. government had in the past purchased, and may from time to time purchase, shares of Taiwan companies on the Taiwan Stock Exchange or other markets. These funds had disposed and may from time to time dispose shares of Taiwan companies so purchased at a later time. In the future, market activity by government entities, or the perception that such activity is taking place, may take place or cease, may cause fluctuations in the market prices of our ADSs and common shares.

 

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ITEM 4.

INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

Our History and Structure

Our legal and commercial name is 台灣積體電路製造股份有限公司 (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited). We believe we are currently the world’s largest dedicated foundry in the semiconductor industry. We were founded in 1987 as a joint venture among the R.O.C. government and other private investors and were incorporated in the R.O.C. as a company limited by shares on February 21, 1987. Our common shares have been listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange since September 5, 1994, and our ADSs have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) since October 8, 1997.

Our Principal Office

Our principal executive office is located at No. 8, Li-Hsin Road 6, Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of China. Our telephone number at that office is (886-3) 563-6688. Our website is www.tsmc.com. Information contained on our website is not incorporated herein by reference and does not constitute part of this annual report.

Business Overview of the Company

As a foundry, we manufacture semiconductors using our manufacturing processes for our customers based on proprietary integrated circuit designs provided by them. We offer a comprehensive range of wafer fabrication processes, including processes to manufacture complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (“CMOS”) logic, mixed-signal, radio frequency (“RF”), embedded memory, bipolar complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (“BiCMOS”, which uses CMOS transistors in conjunction with bipolar junction transistor) mixed-signal and others. We also offer design, mask making, TSMC 3DFabricTM advanced packaging and silicon stacking technologies and testing services. We produced 28 percent of the world semiconductor excluding memory output value in 2023, as compared to 30 percent in the previous year, mainly due to an inventory correction within the semiconductor industry.

We believe that our scale and capacity, particularly for advanced technologies, is a major competitive advantage. Please see “– Semiconductor Manufacturing Capacity and Technology” and “– Capacity Management and Technology Upgrade Plans” for a further discussion of our capacity.

We count among our customers many of the world’s leading semiconductor companies, ranging from fabless semiconductor companies, system companies to integrated device manufacturers, including, but not limited to, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Amazon Web Services, Inc., Broadcom Limited, Infineon Technologies AG, Intel Corporation, MediaTek Inc., NVIDIA Corporation, NXP Semiconductors N.V., Qualcomm Inc., and Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation.

Our Semiconductor Facilities

We currently operate one 150mm wafer fab, six 200mm wafer fabs, six 300mm wafer fabs, and five advanced backend fabs. Our corporate headquarters and eight of our fabs are located in the Hsinchu Science Park, two fabs are located in the Central Taiwan Science Park, four fabs are located in the Southern Taiwan Science Park, one fab is located in the United States, one fab is located in Shanghai, one fab is located in Nanjing, and one fab is located in Japan. Our corporate headquarters and our eight fabs in Hsinchu Science Park occupy parcels of land of a total of approximately 1,427,155 square meters, of which, approximately 1,283,940 square meters of land is leased by us from the Hsinchu Science Park Administration for our seven fabs in Hsinchu Science Park under agreements that will be up for renewal between December 2026 and December 2042, and approximately 143,215 square meters of land is owned by us, where Advanced Backend Fab 6 and related offices are located. We have leased from the Central Taiwan Science Park Administration a parcel of land of approximately 590,457 square meters for our Taichung fabs under agreements that will be up for renewal between September 2029 and June 2041. We have leased from the Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration approximately 1,962,384 square meters of land for our fabs in the Southern Taiwan Science Park under agreements that will be up for renewal between December 2024 and June 2043. We have leased from the Kaohsiu