German chipmaker Infineon is planning to hire more skilled workers in Asia as tensions between the US and China continue to rise, increasingly putting a strain on the supply chain.
In an interview with Nikkei Asia, Infineon’s Asia-Pacific president and managing director Chua Chee Seong said the company is looking to hire more staff in India and will significantly expand its workforce in Vietnam, planning to add “multiple hundreds of engineers.”
“I think Southeast Asia and South Asia’s importance in terms of chip talent and the chip supply chain will only increase in the coming years,” Seong told Nikkei Asia.
In August last year, the company announced plans to invest $5.5bn to expand its facility in Malaysia’s Kulim Hi-Tech Park. The planned expansion will include manufacturing chips used to produce electric vehicles (EVs).
“The market for silicon carbide shows accelerating growth, not only in automotive but also in a broad range of industrial applications such as solar, energy storage and high-power EV charging,” said Jochen Hanebeck, CEO of Infineon at the time. “With the Kulim expansion, we will secure our leadership position in the market.”
India, as well as Southeast Asian countries, have become an increasingly attractive FDI destination for many Western companies looking for stable markets to grow their supply chains. Taiwan – which remains the main chip supplier of the world, with clients including Apple and NVIDIA – is currently facing military threats from China, as Beijing has ramped up unification talks.
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For Infineon, however, the impact of rising tension in geopolitics is yet to be felt. In a report published in November 2023, the German chipmaker reported higher-than-expected earnings for fiscal year 2023, with company revenues hitting €16.31bn ($17.74bn) as opposed to €15.5bn initially forecast a year before.
This year, the company expects its revenues to hit €17bn (plus or minus €500m) in value, marking a 4.2% increase from 2023.