JSR buyout follows plans to launch a government-supported chip company

Ben Wodecki, Junior Editor - AI Business

July 11, 2023

1 Min Read
RICHARD A. BROOKS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

The Japanese government is privatizing JSR Corp, which manufactures compounds used in the creation of semiconductors.

The $6.3 billion buyout would see the government take direct control to secure access to light-sensitive chemicals vital to the chipmaking process.

JSR is one of three companies that control the world’s supply of fluorinated polyimide, used in smartphone displays, and hydrogen fluoride, used for glass etching when making chips. The other companies are also Japanese - Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co. and Shin-Etsu Chemical Co.

The chemicals JSR supplies are used for the semiconductors that power supercomputers and AI hardware used in data centers, as well as handsets like Apple’s iPhone.

Following reports of the deal, JSR’s shares shot up by 22%, the most since the turn of the century. Mizuho Bank and the Development Bank of Japan are funding the bid, with the offer to be launched in late December.

Nations Move to Shore Up Supply Chains

Taking control of a compound producer vital in chipmaking would prove a boon for Japan, which joins a list of nations vying for a slice of the post-pandemic chip market pie.

Last November, the Japanese government announced it would launch its own semiconductor manufacturing company. With help from the likes of Sony, SoftBank and Toyota, the company, dubbed Rapidus, would begin manufacturing chips by the second half of the decade.

Japan’s move to sure up its supply chain comes as China imposed harsh restrictions on metals used in chipmaking. New Beijing rules would require permits for exports of germanium and gallium.

This article first appeared on IoT World Today's sister site, AI Business.



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About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Junior Editor - AI Business

Ben Wodecki is the junior editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to junior editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others.

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