The newspaper Asia Times quoted David Arase, professor of international politics at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, as saying: “Even an unsuccessful invasion of Taiwan would cause a supply chain disruption.”
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world's biggest and most advanced foundry, processes devices designed by AMD, Apple, Broadcom, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Xilinx, Texas Instruments and other American companies, by Japanese semiconductor makers Renesas and Sony and also by European companies NXP and ARM (owned by Japan’s Softbank).
Thus there was plenty of scope for disruption should China decide to embark on an adventure, Asia Times said. The seven American companies alone provided nearly 55% of TSMC's revenue. And only Texas Instruments had a fabrication unit.
The newspaper pointed out that there were not that many backup options. Samsung's foundry business was less than 40% the size of TSMC, while third-ranked Global Foundries was less than 20%. And the fourth and fifth ranked options, UMC and SMIC, were Taiwanese and Chinese respectively.
While the Americans could expand semiconductor production capacity, that was a long and expensive process, the newspaper said. The US only had about 13% of global capacity and less than 10% investment in new capacity, but American companies accounted for 47% of semiconductor sales in 2019.