Malaysia trỗi dậy như mắt xích quan trọng trong chuỗi cung ứng chip

công ty Mỹ và châu Âu tìm cách đa dạng hóa từ Trung Quốc mở rộng khắp Đông Nam Á, dấu hiệu cho thấy địa chính trị định hình lại hoạt động sản xuất công nghệ như thế nào

Construction cranes still surround the brand-spanking new plant in Kulim’s industrial park (khu công nghiệp) in Malaysia. But inside, legions of workers hired by the Austrian tech giant AT&S are already gearing up to produce at full capacity (hết công suất) by year’s end.

Outfitted in head-to-toe coveralls, with oversized safety glasses and hard hats, they’re reminiscent of the worker bees in the movie “Minions,” but color coded by function: Blue for maintenance. Green for vendors. Pink for janitors. White for operators.

AT&S is just one of a flood of European and American companies that have recently decided to move to or expand operations in Malaysia’s electrical and electronics manufacturing mecca.

The boom is evidence of how much geopolitical friction (xung đột địa chính trị) and competition are reshaping the globe’s economic landscape (bối cảnh kinh tế) and driving multibillion-dollar investment decisions. As rivalries between the United States and China over cutting-edge technology simmer and trade restrictions pile up, companies — particularly those in crucial sectors like semiconductors and electric vehicles — are looking to strengthen their supply chains (chuỗi cung ứng) and production capabilities (khả năng sản xuất).

The country has been riding the tech wave since the 1970s when it energetically courted some of the world’s electrical and electronic superstars, like Intel and Litronix (now ams Osram, with headquarters in Austria and Germany). It created a free-trade zone on the island of Penang, offered tax holidays, and built industrial parks, warehouses and roads. Cheap labor was an additional draw, as was its large English-speaking population and a government supportive of foreign investment (đầu tư nước ngoài).

Malaysia’s track record has been mostly in the back end of the semiconductor supply chain — which includes packing, assembling and testing components — activities that traditionally have been considered less complex (phức tạp) and of lower value.

That’s a challenge for any country, particularly one whose history has been marred by a multibillion dollar corruption scandal (bê bối tham nhũng) involving its sovereign wealth fund (quỹ đầu tư quốc gia). Even so, several company executives said they were confident in Malaysia’s role in the supply chain.

source: nytimes,

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