Carlyle Group's Taiwan Gambit

Semiconductor acquisition tests island state's China policies

3 min read

Aftershocks are still being felt from the announcement two months ago that Taiwan-based Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Co. (ASE), the world’s largest semiconductor assembly and testing services provider, is an acquisition target of the Carlyle Group. The announcement at the end of November that the U.S. investment group would buy ASE for the equivalent of US $5.5 billion prompted complaints about top Taiwan companies falling into foreign hands. The main concern has been whether rules governing transfer of sensitive technology to mainland China would be circumvented.

Since taking office in May 2000, the scandal-plagued reform government of President Chen Sui-bian has been ­cautiously enunciating a new vision of the future in which Taiwan would remain permanently independent. Ironically, the opposition ”Pan Blue” coalition, which is led by the staunchly anti-Communist Kuomintang party, agrees with the leadership of the mainland People’s Republic in rejecting any moves in the direction of a ”two Chinas” policy. Accordingly, the opposition advocates looser restrictions on Taiwanese investment and tech transfer to the PRC, while the beleaguered government has sought to take a fairly tough line.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

Keep Reading ↓Show less