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TSMC stock surge creates second billionaire amid semiconductor boom

Shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) have seen a significant increase of more than 50% this year, leading to the minting of a second billionaire associated with the company. F.C. Tseng, a long-term executive who worked closely with TSMC’s founder Morris Chang, has now joined the billionaires club alongside Chang. Tseng held various high-ranking positions within TSMC, including president, deputy CEO, and vice chairman before stepping down in June 2018. Despite his retirement, Tseng remains active in various related companies and continues to serve on TSMC’s board of directors.

According to Dan Nystedt, Vice President of Taipei-based Tri-Orient Investments, Taiwan is currently in a “sweet spot” of changes driven by advancements in AI technology. The rise in U.S. AI-related shares has also helped boost Taiwan’s benchmark stock index to an all-time high. This surge in technology-related wealth has resulted in the emergence of several new billionaires tied to the AI industry, with more than a dozen newcomers making it to the 2024 Forbes Billionaires List.

TSMC, headquartered in Taiwan’s high-tech hub in Hsinchu, was established in 1987 as a joint venture involving the Taiwan government, Philips, and other private investors. The company was spun off as a commercial business from the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), where Morris Chang, an MIT and Stanford-educated executive, played a crucial role. Chang, who is now worth $3.5 billion, made his debut among Taiwan’s 50 Richest in 2017 and has been recognized as one of the world’s greatest living minds by Forbes.

The initial years at TSMC were challenging as the company had to overcome technological lag and struggles in landing U.S. business opportunities. Tseng, who was previously involved in research at ITRI before joining TSMC, played a key role in consolidating the company internally, while Chang focused on developing the market externally. Together, they made significant decisions that shaped TSMC’s future, such as rejecting technology licensing from IBM in favor of independent development and merging with other chip businesses in Taiwan.

Aside from his leadership roles at TSMC, Tseng is also actively engaged in philanthropic endeavors, serving as chairman of various foundations and organizations promoting education, healthcare, and the arts. With a doctorate in electrical engineering from National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan, Tseng continues to contribute to the growth and success of TSMC and its affiliated companies.

Overall, the success of TSMC and its executives, fueled by advancements in AI technology and global market trends, highlights Taiwan’s position as a key player in the semiconductor industry. The collaboration and strategic decision-making of individuals like F.C. Tseng and Morris Chang have paved the way for TSMC’s growth and prominence in the global technology landscape, setting a strong foundation for future innovations and developments. Globe echo

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