1/ Morris Chang gave a sobering speech at the TSMC Arizona fab opening ceremony

He proclaimed that "globalization is almost dead" and this is just "the end of the beginning"

Sadly no one listened; no covered the speech

Here's my transcript of what he said in a thread🧵👇
2/ "When I started TSMC back in 1987, I had a dream. Probably because of my background, which up to that point, was primarily America. Probably because of my background, my dream was to build fabs in the United States."
3/ "So, eight years from our start up, we started in 1987, and in 1995, we broke ground in a town called Camas, which is in the state of Washington, just on the border of Oregon, In fact, it's very close to Portland, Oregon."
4/ "We called it Wafertech. It was a well-conceived semiconductor factory. Its technology was completely up to date at that time. It was, I thought, a dream fulfilled."
5/ "However, we ran into cost problems. We ran into people problems. We ran into cultural problems. And before long, the dream fulfilled became a nightmare fulfilled." [nervous laughter from the crowd]
6/ "It took up several years to untangle ourselves from the nightmare. And I decided that I needed to postpone the dream, just postpone, just postpone it…"
7/ "25 years passed and we have a new chairman, Mark Liu. And he happens to share my dream! Now you see a partial, not yet fulfilled, but progress of this dream."
8/ "Incidentally, this ceremony was called the first 'tool-in'. Nobody outside Taiwan understood what that meant, so now it’s called 'opening ceremony'."
9/ "It is a Taiwan custom. I did not understand what the name meant at first, but now, I’ve heard it so many times, I’ve been at 'first tool-in' ceremonies so many times, I now understand what it means.

Basically it means, the end of the beginning...for a factory"
10/ "The romance of the beginning is gone! The initial excitement is gone! A lot of hard work remains, a lot of hard work…"
11/ "The twenty-some years in the past have witnessed a big change in the world. A big geopolitical situation.

Globalization is almost dead. Free trade is almost dead. And a lot of people still wish they would come back, but I really don’t think they will be back for a while."
12/ "In the meantime, because of the change in political situation, the new dream, well…it’s the old dream revived, has the help of the US government, the federal government, the state government, the local government."
13/ "Not only that, we did learn from our experience earlier, and we are far more prepared now."
14/ "And we hired almost 600 engineers here a year and a half ago, we sent them to Taiwan, and they were under training in Taiwan for one year to a year and a half.

In the meantime, about the same number of Taiwan engineers underwent training in Taiwan also."
15/ "So before we see a single wafer, we have more than a thousand people being trained. This I think is a very good sign that we are prepared. It’s a very good sign that my dream of 25 years ago will now be fulfilled by Mark."
16/ "Anyway I came here specifically to see the end of the beginning and to wish TSMC the best, in the full expectation that we are going to have success. And it will be a very meaningful success as Mark has just said.

And my dream lives. Thank you very much." /END

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More from @kevinsxu

Dec 9
1/ Lockdown and protests at Foxconn's iPhone City in Zhengzhou appears to be the ultimate trigger for the end of Covid Zero.
2/ iPhone City employs 200k workers who make most of Apple's new iPhones.

Apple's reliance on iPhone City under Covid Zero has led to historically long wait times for the new iPhone Pro models
3/ In 2004, Apple began its foray into China by first building factories to make iPods.

To attract Apple to China, the government removed a *literal* small mountain to build a facility for the company.
Read 6 tweets
Aug 1
1) I spent Saturday reading some fine prints of the CHIPS Act, because...why not? Just being a responsible citizen and taxpayer.

Here's what I learned (with screenshots) 👇🧵
2) The headline number that media often reports is $52B, but money that will *directly* contribute to either building more semiconductor fabs or training more workers to operate those fabs is closer to $39.2B.

$39B in "Manufacturing Incentives" + $200M for workforce education
3) Out of that $39B, it's stipulated that only $19B can be spent this fiscal year. Rest of $20B must be divided up into $5B chunks per year for the following 4 years

So only $19B will make an immediate impact

(Side bar: is this level of micromanagement really necessary?)
Read 5 tweets
Jul 4
1/ New post is my yearly July 4th meditation on America: "What is Exceptional about 'American Exceptionalism'"

Already received many comments since sending out to email subs last night -- a nuanced critique of "exceptionalism" can be quite the trigger!

Main points 🧵👇
2/ Exceptionalism cuts both ways -- a pendulum that can swing to the good or the bad

Some parts of American Exceptionalism is swinging to "the bad"

Printing trillions of USD as the "exceptional" reserve currency is one

SCOTUS being reduced to a political tool is another
3/ As Stan Druckenmiller pointed out at 2022 Sohn Conf:

"There's a story about American Exceptionalism. I'm not sure we are so exceptional anymore, and if we are, I'm not sure I'm excited about what we are exceptional in."

Read 7 tweets
Jun 20
For ByteDance to become a global tech co, TikTok must become “less Chinese”, “more American”.

It is failing, as shown in @ebakerwhite of @BuzzFeed 's reporting and implicitly confirmed by TikTok's own blog post!

I dissect this problem in new post: interconnected.blog/tiktoks-americ…

TikTok has an “American Credibility” problem – four problems to be exact:

- “whistleblower” problem
- “master admin” problem
- “protected data” problem
- “Oracle” problem

Here's a short breakdown of each👇👇 Image
“Whistleblower” Problem:

Recordings of 80+ meetings is no small leak

TikTok's employees have been whistleblowing, leading to @WSJ & @FT stories about toxic work culture, now @BuzzFeed on not securing US user data

Will continue until HQ earns trust or nothing more worth leaking
Read 7 tweets
Jan 18
0/ Distributed work is here to stay, but not in the 100%-remote-Zoom-for-everything way.

People need offices, just not all the time.

What I see will happen is "perpetual hybrid work". Out goes a corporate HQ. In comes many smaller centers of gravity.

$WE stands to benefit
1/ Hiring & recruiting tech + most knowledge workers are clearly more distributed.

We all felt this.

Now validated by data from @patrickc (), @eastdakota (), @brian_armstrong ()
2/ Working & managing a distributed team has challenges & getting worse

Early in career? Hard to
-get good mentorship, build support network

Has young family? Hard to
-balance work & family duties

People manager? Hard to
-Run productive meetings, brainstorming

(Many more)
Read 6 tweets
Jan 11
#ICYMI Charlie Munger's new favorite stock is $BABA, now 3rd largest holding of Daily Journal (after $BAC $WFC). Position doubled in Q4.

What does "Poor Charlie" see in Alibaba and what many deem an "uninvestable" China?

🧵👇 Image
1/ We can deduce from Munger investing heavily in $BABA that China is far from "uninvestable"

I share similar sentiment. 2021 was a painful but necessary year to clean up 40-plus-years of “startup debt” since "opening & reform"(See post: interconnected.blog/removing-china…)
2/ $BABA's long term moat + profitability lies in AliCloud, B2B enterprise biz + more “hardcore” technical innovations.

Turns out, AliCloud has been profitable (adjusted EBITA) for last 4 quarters!

Only other profitable cloud of comparable size is AWS. GCP still bleeding 💰
Read 6 tweets

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