20-F 1 d204786d20f.htm FORM 20-F Form 20-F
Manufacturing, sales, testing and computer-aided design of integrated circuits and other semiconductor devicesManufacturing, sales, testing and computer-aided design of integrated circuits and other semiconductor devices2019-06-052019-08-132019-11-122020-02-112020-05-122020-08-112020-11-102021-02-092021-06-092021-08-102021-11-092022-02-15Cayman IslandsCayman IslandsHsin-Chu, Taiwan2021-022022-06Bullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annually2021-012021-032022-012022-032022-012022-032021-012021-03Bullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annually (interest for the six months prior to maturity will accrue on the basis of actual days and be repayable at maturity)Bullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment (callable on the 5th anniversary of the issue date and every anniversary thereafter); interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo 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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, 2021
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, 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, 2021, 25,930,380,458 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.  
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
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited
 
     Page  
     1  
     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      12  
ITEM 5.
   OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEWS AND PROSPECTS      22  
ITEM 6.
   DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES      33  
ITEM 7.
   MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS      45  
ITEM 8.
   FINANCIAL INFORMATION      46  
ITEM 9.
   THE OFFER AND LISTING      47  
ITEM 10.
   ADDITIONAL INFORMATION      47  
ITEM 11.
   QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISKS      60  
ITEM 12D.
   DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES      61  
     62  
ITEM 13.
   DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES      62  
ITEM 14.
   MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS      62  
ITEM 15.
   CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES      62  
ITEM 16A.
   AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT      63  
ITEM 16B.
   CODE OF ETHICS      63  
ITEM 16C.
   PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES      64  
ITEM 16D.
   EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES      64  
ITEM 16E.
   PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS      64  
ITEM 16F.
   CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT      65  
ITEM 16G.
   CORPORATE GOVERNANCE      65  
ITEM 16H.
   MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE      68  
ITEM 16I.
   DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS      68  
     69  
ITEM 17.
   FINANCIAL STATEMENTS      69  
ITEM 18.
   FINANCIAL STATEMENTS      69  
ITEM 19.
   EXHIBITS      69  
 
EX-2a.1
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE EXCHANGE ACT
EX-4.47
LAND LEASE WITH SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO FAB14 & FAB18 LOCATED IN SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022 TO DECEMBER 31, 2041) (ENGLISH SUMMARY)
EX-4.48
LAND LEASE WITH CENTRAL SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO TCZWM LOCATED IN TAICHUNG SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JUNE 21, 2021 TO JUNE 20, 2041) (ENGLISH SUMMARY)
 
i

EX-4.49
LAND LEASE WITH SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO THE FABS (F18 BRIDGE) LOCATED IN SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022 TO DECEMBER 31, 2041) (ENGLISH SUMMARY)
EX-4.50
TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LTD. EMPLOYEE RESTRICTED STOCK AWARDS RULES FOR YEAR 2021
EX-4.51
TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LTD. EMPLOYEE RESTRICTED STOCK AWARDS RULES FOR YEAR 2022 (AS APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON APRIL 12, 2022, AND SUBJECT TO SHAREHOLDER APPROVAL AND APPROVAL BY THE R.O.C. FINANCIAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION)
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-17
ISSUERS OF GUARANTEED SECURITIES
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”, “Open Innovation Platform”, “CyberShuttle”, “CoWoS”, “TSMC-SoIC
, “3DFabric”, “TSMC 3DFabric”, 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.
 
ii

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;
 
   
outlook of the major and emerging end markets for our products, such as smartphones, high performance computing, 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 and our ability to retain and increase our market share;
 
   
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 rights and third-party licenses;
 
   
disruptive events, such as earthquakes or droughts;
 
   
the
COVID-19
pandemic;
 
   
power and other utility shortages;
 
   
construction issues as we expand our capacity; 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.
 
1

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 3-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$27.74 to US$1.00, the exchange rate set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board on December 30, 2021.
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.
 
2

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 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 and sanctions, including the use of export control restrictions and sanctions against certain countries and individual companies. These trade barriers and other measures have been particularly impactful to the semiconductor industry and related markets. Prolonged or increased use of trade barriers and such measures may result in a decrease in the growth of the global economy and the semiconductor industry, and could cause turmoil in global markets that often result 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 export control laws, 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, in May 2020 and again in August 2020, the U.S. tightened its export control measures against Huawei Technology Co. Ltd. and its affiliates (collectively, “Huawei”), including an expanded license requirement for providing Huawei with items subject to the U.S. export control jurisdiction. To comply with relevant laws and regulations, we have discontinued shipment of products to Huawei since September 15, 2020. 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. In February 2022, several countries and regions began to impose various measures, including sanctions and export controls, against Russia, including certain individuals and entities, as a result of the military conflict in Ukraine. 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.
 
3

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 and 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, and 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. Further, in times of market instability, 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 future global systemic crisis, including 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 in 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. and Japan 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.
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 smartphones, high performance computing, 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 (or “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.
 
4

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, earnings and margins 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 order levels from our customers 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 requirements 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 cannot take appropriate actions, such as reducing our costs to sufficiently offset declines in demand, our revenue, margin 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 on 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. 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 also 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. For example, in January 2019, we discovered yield problems in
12-nanometer
and
16-nanometer
wafers caused by a batch of photoresist, which resulted in delayed delivery of products and had a negative effect on our gross margin and operating margin in the first quarter of 2019. To reduce future risks of such incidences, we have since strengthened inline wafer inspection and tightened control of incoming material to deal with the increasing complexity of leading-edge technologies. If we are unable to innovate new technologies that meet the demand of our customers or 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 markets for our foundry services are highly competitive. 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 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. For example, Chinese companies are expected to be key players for new semiconductor fab development and fab equipment spending in part due to various incentives provided by the Chinese government. The governments of Europe, the United States, South Korea, and Japan also have incentive programs to incentivize developments of their domestic semiconductor industries. 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 apply for or receive such financial incentives at the levels we expect or at all. Additionally, any financial incentives we receive may be subject to strict conditions, or the grantors could seek to recover any funds provided to us, or cancel, reduce or deny our requests subsidies or grants in the future. This could materially increase our operating costs and adversely affect our results of operations.
Furthermore, our competitors may, from time to time, also decide to undertake aggressive pricing initiatives in one or several technology nodes. These competitive activities may decrease our customer base or our ASP, or both. If we are unable to compete effectively with such new and aggressive competitors on technology, manufacturing capacity, product quality and customer satisfaction, we risk losing customers to such new contenders.
 
5

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 Nanjing, China, in Arizona, U.S., and in Kumamoto, Japan.
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 2019, 2020 and 2021 accounted for approximately, 71%, 74% and 71% of our net revenue in the respective year. Our largest customer in 2019, 2020 and 2021 accounted for 23%, 25% and 26% of our net revenue in the respective year. Our second largest customer in 2019, 2020 and 2021 accounted for 14%, 12% and 10% 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 of our business. This customer concentration results in part from the changing dynamics of the electronics industry with the structural shift to mobile 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 the changes of nature in our customers’ business models in response to this new business model paradigm. For example, there is a growing trend toward the system companies developing their own designed semiconductors and working directly with semiconductor foundries which makes their products and services more marketable in a changing consumer market. Also, since the global semiconductor industry is becoming 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, reduce those customers’ demand for our products and services and 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, heightened regulatory scrutiny, industry consolidation, changes in applicable regulatory restrictions, product designs, manufacturing sourcing or outsourcing policies or practices of these customers, or the timing of customer or distributor 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.
 
6

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.
In the past, we experienced and may in the future be subject to attack by malicious software contained in the equipment we purchase and install. We have implemented and continually update rigorous cybersecurity measures to prevent and minimize harm caused by such attacks. Such measures include advanced virus scanning tools to prevent a fab from installing virus-infected software, strengthening firewall and network controls to prevent computer viruses from spreading among tools and fabs, the installation of anti-virus and advanced malware detection solutions across our computer devices, and enhancement of data center security through faster patch cycle times. In addition, we have deployed secure PCs and laptops, developed a public cloud security policy with monitoring, defined and regularly reviewed the security key performance indicators (“KPI”), introduced new technology for data protection, and improved email phishing detection and regularly performed employee awareness testing. We also established an integrated and automatic security operation platform, enhanced the automation of cybersecurity event detection and response, enhanced internal assessment automation, practiced the response to ransomware attacks and conducted external security risk assessments. In addition, to reduce supply chain risks, through collaboration, we helped major suppliers improve their security maturity with KPI monitoring and share with them industry security events and best practices on demand and by schedule. Moreover, we led the SEMI standard taskforce to formulate and release information security standards for semiconductor equipment (SEMI E187) to help improve the resilience of semiconductor supply chain. 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, 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, 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 an appropriate amount of equipment and related services from a limited number of suppliers in a market that is characterized from time to time by limited supply and long delivery cycles. During such times, supplier-specific or industry-wide lead times for delivery can be longer than previously expected and the cost of ownership may intrinsically increase. To better manage our supply chain, we have implemented various collaborative business models and risk management contingencies with suppliers to ensure supply and shorten the procurement lead time. However, if we are unable to timely acquire the equipment and parts we need, we may fail to successfully implement our 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, including as a result of necessary export licenses being delayed or denied, additional export control measures, and other tariff or
 
non-tariff
 
barriers. If we are unable to obtain equipment in a timely manner to fulfill our customers’ demand on technology and production capacity, or at a reasonable cost, our financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted.
 
 
7

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 vendors 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.
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, such as earthquakes and droughts, in the locations in which we, our customers or our suppliers operate or by industrial accidents, fires or explosions.
The frequency and severity of disruptive events, including damaging earthquakes, other natural disasters and extreme weather, has been increasing in part due to climate change or systemic regional geological changes. We have manufacturing and other operations, and are expanding our production capacity, in locations that may experience natural disasters, such as flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, and droughts that may cause interruptions or shortages in the supply of utilities, such as water and electricity, which in turn could disrupt operations. In addition, our suppliers and customers also have operations in such locations. For example, most of our production facilities, as well as those of many of our suppliers and customers and upstream providers of complementary semiconductor manufacturing services, are located in Taiwan and Japan, areas susceptible to earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, typhoons, and droughts from time to time that may cause shortages of electricity or water, or interruptions to our operations.
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 explosion or fire, 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.
 
8

The
COVID-19
pandemic could materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.
The ongoing
COVID-19
pandemic may materially adversely affect our business and results of operations in several ways, including but not limited to: (i) interruption of the operations of our supply chains for equipment, parts and materials in terms of manufacturing, logistics, and manpower arrangements for tool installation; (ii) significant fluctuation in our customers’ demands for certain products, leading to uncertainties for our capacity planning and also for meeting customer demand, which may harm our business with our customers and subject us to the risk of legal disputes; and (iii) strict border control measures which may delay or restrict our employees or vendors from completing necessary training programs or providing services; and (iv) potential production delays for our products due to forced factory or office closures or partial operation.
We have formed an “Epidemic Prevention Committee” to identify, implement and monitor actions stemming from the dynamic exigencies of the pandemic, including but not limited to, health management of our employees, splitting operation and work from home arrangements, identification and control of high risk individuals, rapid investigation of confirmed cases, management of production inventory, supply chain management, and capacity management for demand changes. As of the date of this annual report, our current business and results of operations have not been materially affected by the pandemic. However, there is no certainty that the measures we have taken will be sufficient to mitigate further risks posed by the
COVID-19
pandemic, and our ability to perform critical functions and to meet customers’ needs could be materially adversely affected as a result. In addition, there is also a risk that any post-pandemic downward changes in consumers’ demand for electronic products may, in turn, lead to reduced demand for and place downward pressure on the price of our products and services.
Our operation may be interrupted, and our expansion may be limited, by power or other utility shortages.
We have occasionally suffered power outages or surges in Taiwan caused by difficulties encountered by our electricity supplier, the Taiwan Power Company, or other power consumers on the same power grid. Some of these have resulted in interruptions to our operations. Such shortages or interruptions in electricity supply could further be exacerbated by changes in the energy policy of the government, which intends to make Taiwan a nuclear-free country by 2025. If we are unable to secure reliable and uninterrupted supply of electricity to power our manufacturing fabs within Taiwan, our ability to fill customers’ orders would be severely jeopardized.
In addition, severe weather events, such as droughts, and any measures taken by governments in response to such severe weather events, may materially affect our operations. For further information, see “— Our operational results could also be materially and adversely affected by disruptive events, such as earthquakes and droughts, in the locations in which we, our customers or our suppliers operate or by industrial accidents, fires or explosions.”
If such events were to occur over prolonged periods of time, our operations and financial performance may be materially adversely affected.
Our future capacity expansions in the R.O.C. and elsewhere could be curtailed by shortages in water and electricity.
As we are expanding our capacity, construction and land acquisition issues could delay the progress of our expansion.
We have multiple expansion projects that are currently underway, including the design and construction of new fabs worldwide. Labor shortages, interruptions in the supply chains for various building materials, and construction issues could substantially delay the completion of our expansion projects. Any prolongation of such delays could result in substantial additional costs or failure to meet our capacity expansion plans. In addition, future expansions of our operations in the R.O.C. or elsewhere could be impacted by the limited availability of
commercial-use
land.
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 2021 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.
 
9

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 metals, chemicals, and materials that are subject to environmental, climate-related, health and safety, and humanitarian 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; (c) modify our product designs and manufacturing processes, or incur other significant expenses such as 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 responding to public concern and social environmental pressures even if we comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
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.
 
10

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.