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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSM) SEC Filing 20-F Annual Report for the fiscal year ending Friday, December 31, 2021

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Lt

CIK: 1046179 Ticker: TSM
Manufacturing, sales, testing and computer-aided design of integrated circuits and other semiconductor devicesManufacturing, sales, testing and computer-aided design of integrated circuits and other semiconductor devices2019-06-052019-08-132019-11-122020-02-112020-05-122020-08-112020-11-102021-02-092021-06-092021-08-102021-11-092022-02-15Cayman IslandsCayman IslandsHsin-Chu, Taiwan2021-022022-06Bullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annuallyBullet repayment (callable at any time, in whole or in part, at the relevant redemption price according to relevant agreements); interest payable semi-annually2021-012021-032022-012022-032022-012022-032021-012021-03Bullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annually (interest for the six months prior to maturity will accrue on the basis of actual days and be repayable at maturity)Bullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment (callable on the 5th anniversary of the issue date and every anniversary thereafter); interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyBullet repayment; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo equal installments in last two years; interest payable annuallyTwo 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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
 
 
FORM
20-F
 
 
 
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR 12(g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
OR
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Date of event requiring this shell company report
                    
For the transition period from
                    
to
                    
Commission file number
1-14700
 
 
台灣積體電路製造股份有限公司
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
 
 
 
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited
 
Republic of China
(Translation of Registrant’s Name Into English)
 
(Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)
 
 
No. 8,
Li-Hsin
Road 6
Hsinchu Science Park
Hsinchu
 
300-096,
 Taiwan
Republic of China
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Wendell Huang, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer & Spokesperson
Telephone:
886-3-
5055901
/ Email: invest@tsmc.com
No. 8,
Li-Hsin
Road 6
,
Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu
 
300-096,
 Taiwan, Republic of China
(Name, Telephone,
E-mail
and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of Each Class
 
Trading Symbol(s)
 
Name of Each Exchange
on Which Registered
Common Shares, par value NT$10.00 each*
 
TSM
 
The New York Stock Exchange, Inc.
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:
None
(Title of Class)
 
 
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
As of December 31, 2021, 25,930,380,458 Common Shares, par value NT$10 each were outstanding.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☑    No  ☐
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or (15)(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.    Yes  ☐    No  ☑
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90
days.    
Yes  ☑    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation
S-T
(§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such
files).    
Yes
  ☑    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act.
 
Large Accelerated Filer  ☑
  
Accelerated Filer  ☐
  
Non-Accelerated Filer  ☐
  
Emerging Growth Company  ☐
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐
†The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.  
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 
U.S. GAAP  ☐
    
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued
by the International Accounting Standards Board  ☑
   Other  ☐
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
Item 17    ☐  Item 18    ☐
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ☐    No  
 
*
Not for trading, but only in connection with the listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. of American Depositary Shares (“ADS”) representing such Common Shares
 
 
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited
 
     Page  
     1  
     3  
ITEM 1.
   IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISORS      3  
ITEM 2.
   OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE      3  
ITEM 3.
   KEY INFORMATION      3  
ITEM 4.
   INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY      12  
ITEM 5.
   OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEWS AND PROSPECTS      22  
ITEM 6.
   DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES      33  
ITEM 7.
   MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS      45  
ITEM 8.
   FINANCIAL INFORMATION      46  
ITEM 9.
   THE OFFER AND LISTING      47  
ITEM 10.
   ADDITIONAL INFORMATION      47  
ITEM 11.
   QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISKS      60  
ITEM 12D.
   DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES      61  
     62  
ITEM 13.
   DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES      62  
ITEM 14.
   MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS      62  
ITEM 15.
   CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES      62  
ITEM 16A.
   AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT      63  
ITEM 16B.
   CODE OF ETHICS      63  
ITEM 16C.
   PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES      64  
ITEM 16D.
   EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES      64  
ITEM 16E.
   PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS      64  
ITEM 16F.
   CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT      65  
ITEM 16G.
   CORPORATE GOVERNANCE      65  
ITEM 16H.
   MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE      68  
ITEM 16I.
   DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS      68  
     69  
ITEM 17.
   FINANCIAL STATEMENTS      69  
ITEM 18.
   FINANCIAL STATEMENTS      69  
ITEM 19.
   EXHIBITS      69  
 
EX-2a.1
DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 12 OF THE EXCHANGE ACT
EX-4.47
LAND LEASE WITH SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO FAB14 & FAB18 LOCATED IN SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022 TO DECEMBER 31, 2041) (ENGLISH SUMMARY)
EX-4.48
LAND LEASE WITH CENTRAL SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO TCZWM LOCATED IN TAICHUNG SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JUNE 21, 2021 TO JUNE 20, 2041) (ENGLISH SUMMARY)
 
i

EX-4.49
LAND LEASE WITH SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK ADMINISTRATION RELATING TO THE FABS (F18 BRIDGE) LOCATED IN SOUTHERN TAIWAN SCIENCE PARK (EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022 TO DECEMBER 31, 2041) (ENGLISH SUMMARY)
EX-4.50
TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LTD. EMPLOYEE RESTRICTED STOCK AWARDS RULES FOR YEAR 2021
EX-4.51
TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LTD. EMPLOYEE RESTRICTED STOCK AWARDS RULES FOR YEAR 2022 (AS APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON APRIL 12, 2022, AND SUBJECT TO SHAREHOLDER APPROVAL AND APPROVAL BY THE R.O.C. FINANCIAL SUPERVISORY COMMISSION)
EX-8.1
SUBSIDIARIES OF TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LTD.
EX-12.1
CERTIFICATION OF CEO - RULE
13A-14(A)
EX-12.2
CERTIFICATION OF CFO - RULE
13A-14(A)
EX-13.1
CERTIFICATION OF CEO - RULE
13A-14(B)
EX-13.2
CERTIFICATION OF CFO - RULE
13A-14(B)
EX-17
ISSUERS OF GUARANTEED SECURITIES
EX-101.INS
iXBRL INSTANCE DOCUMENT (EMBEDDED WITHIN THE INLINE XBRL DOCUMENT)
EX-101.SCH
iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION SCHEMA DOCUMENT
EX-101.CAL
iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION CALCULATION LINKBASE DOCUMENT
EX-101.DEF
iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION DEFINITION LINKBASE DOCUMENT
EX-101.LAB
iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION LABEL LINKBASE DOCUMENT
EX-101.PRE
iXBRL TAXONOMY EXTENSION PRESENTATION LINKBASE DOCUMENT
EX-104 COVER PAGE INTERACTIVE DATA FILE (EMBEDDED WITHIN THE INLINE XBRL DOCUMENT)
“TSMC”, “tsmc”, “Open Innovation Platform”, “CyberShuttle”, “CoWoS”, “TSMC-SoIC
, “3DFabric”, “TSMC 3DFabric”, and “N12e” are some of our registered and/or pending trademarks used by us in various jurisdictions, including the United States of America. All rights reserved.
 
ii

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
This annual report includes statements that are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of U.S. securities laws. Such statements are made under the “safe harbor” provision under Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The terms “anticipates,” “expects,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “should” and other similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These statements appear in a number of places throughout this annual report and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the industries in which we operate.
By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industries in which we operate may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this annual report. Important factors that could cause those differences include, but are not limited to:
 
   
general local and global economic conditions;
 
   
the political stability of our local region;
 
   
outlook of the major and emerging end markets for our products, such as smartphones, high performance computing, internet of things (“IoT”), automotive and digital consumer electronics;
 
   
the volatility of the semiconductor and electronics industry;
 
   
our ability to develop new technologies successfully and remain a technological leader;
 
   
the increased competition from other companies and our ability to retain and increase our market share;
 
   
overcapacity in the semiconductor industry;
 
   
our reliance on certain major customers;
 
   
the reliability of our information technology systems and resilience to any cyberattacks;
 
   
our ability to maintain control over expansion and facility modifications;
 
   
our ability to generate growth and profitability;
 
   
our ability to hire and retain qualified personnel;
 
   
our ability to acquire required equipment and supplies necessary to meet business needs;
 
   
our ability to protect our technologies, intellectual property rights and third-party licenses;
 
   
disruptive events, such as earthquakes or droughts;
 
   
the
COVID-19
pandemic;
 
   
power and other utility shortages;
 
   
construction issues as we expand our capacity; and
 
   
fluctuations in foreign currency rates, in particular, any material appreciation of the NT dollar against the U.S. dollar, and our ability to manage such risks.
 
1

Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our strategy and future plans, future business condition and financial results, our capital expenditure plans, our capacity management plans, expectations as to the commercial production using 3-nanometer and more advanced technologies, technological upgrades, investment in research and development, future market demand, future regulatory or other developments in our industry, business expansion plans or new investments as well as business acquisitions and financing plans. If any one or more of the assumptions underlying the industry or market data turns out to be incorrect, actual results may differ from the projections based on these assumptions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Please see “Item 3. Key Information – Risk Factors” for a further discussion of certain factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by our forward-looking statements.
As used in this annual report, all references to “we,” “us,” the “Company” and “TSMC” are to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited and its consolidated subsidiaries.
EXCHANGE RATES
We publish our financial statements in New Taiwan dollars, the lawful currency of the R.O.C. In this annual report, “$,” “US$” and “U.S. dollars” mean United States dollars, the lawful currency of the United States, and “NT$” and “NT dollars” mean New Taiwan dollars. This annual report contains translations of certain NT dollar amounts into U.S. dollars at specified rates solely for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from NT dollars to U.S. dollars in this annual report were made at NT$27.74 to US$1.00, the exchange rate set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board on December 30, 2021.
No representation is made that the NT dollar or U.S. dollar amounts referred to herein could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars or NT dollars, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all.
 
2

PART I
 
ITEM 1.
IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISORS
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 2.
OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 3.
KEY INFORMATION
Capitalization and Indebtedness
Not applicable.
Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
Not applicable.
Risk Factors
We wish to caution readers that the following important factors, and those important factors described in other reports submitted to, or filed with, the SEC, among other factors, could affect our actual results and could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf, and that such factors may adversely affect our business and financial status and therefore the value of your investment:
Risks Relating to Our Business
Any global systemic political, economic and financial crisis (as well as the indirect effects flowing therefrom) could negatively affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In recent times, several major systemic political, economic and financial crises negatively affected global business, banking and financial sectors, including the semiconductor industry and markets.
Since 2018, there have been political, and trade tensions among a number of the world’s major economies. These tensions have resulted or may result in the implementation of tariff,
non-tariff
trade barriers and sanctions, including the use of export control restrictions and sanctions against certain countries and individual companies. These trade barriers and other measures have been particularly impactful to the semiconductor industry and related markets. Prolonged or increased use of trade barriers and such measures may result in a decrease in the growth of the global economy and the semiconductor industry, and could cause turmoil in global markets that often result in declines in electronic products sales from which we generate our income through our products and services. Also, any increase in the use of export control restrictions and sanctions to target certain countries and entities, any expansion of the extraterritorial jurisdiction of export control laws, or complete or partial ban on semiconductor products sales to certain entities could impact not only our ability to continue supplying products to those customers, but also our customers’ demand for our products, and could even lead to changes in semiconductor supply chains. For example, in May 2020 and again in August 2020, the U.S. tightened its export control measures against Huawei Technology Co. Ltd. and its affiliates (collectively, “Huawei”), including an expanded license requirement for providing Huawei with items subject to the U.S. export control jurisdiction. To comply with relevant laws and regulations, we have discontinued shipment of products to Huawei since September 15, 2020. On the other hand, measures adopted by an affected country to counteract the impact of another country’s actions or regulations could lead to significant legal liability to multinational corporations including our own. For example, in January 2021, China adopted a blocking statute that, among other matters, entitles Chinese entities incurring damages from a multinational’s compliance with foreign laws to seek civil remedies. In February 2022, several countries and regions began to impose various measures, including sanctions and export controls, against Russia, including certain individuals and entities, as a result of the military conflict in Ukraine. As of the date of this annual report, our current results of operations have not been materially affected by the expanded export control regulations or the novel rules or measures adopted to counteract them. Nevertheless, depending on future developments in global trade tensions and military conflicts, such regulations, rules, or measures may have an adverse impact on our business and operations, and we may incur significant legal liability and financial losses as a result.
 
3

Any future systemic political, economic or financial crisis or market volatility, including but not limited to interest rate and foreign exchange rate fluctuations, inflation or deflation and changes in economic, fiscal and monetary policies in major economies, could cause revenue or profits for the semiconductor industry as a whole to decline dramatically, and if the economic conditions or financial conditions of our customers were to deteriorate, the demand for our products and services may decrease and additional accounting related allowances may be required, which could reduce our operating income and net income. Further, in times of market instability, sufficient external financing may not be available to us on a timely basis, on commercially reasonable terms to us, or at all. If sufficient external financing is not available when we need such financing to meet our capital requirements, we may be forced to curtail our expansion, modify plans or delay the deployment of new or expanded services until we obtain such financing. In conclusion, any future global systemic crisis, including further escalation of trade tensions as described above, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
Our global manufacturing, design and sales activities subject us to risks associated with political, economic, financial, military or other conditions or developments in various jurisdictions, including in particular the R.O.C., as well as in international trade, which could negatively affect our business and financial status and therefore the market value of your investment.
The majority of our principal executive officers and our principal production facilities are located in the R.O.C., and the majority of our net revenue is derived from our operations in the R.O.C. In addition, we have operations worldwide and a significant percentage of our revenue comes from sales to locations outside the R.O.C. Operating in the R.O.C. and overseas exposes us to changes in laws, rules, regulations and the enforcements of such laws, rules and regulations in certain key areas that could have a material impact on our operations, such as intellectual property, labor, antitrust, export control, import restrictions, and trade barriers or disputes. In addition, deterioration in general political, economic, financial or social conditions, military conflicts, the risk of outbreak of war or hostilities, terrorism events, security risks, social unrest, health conditions and possible disruptions in transportation networks in the various jurisdictions in which we operate or elsewhere, could have an adverse impact on our business and results of operations as well as the market price and the liquidity of our ADSs and common shares. Furthermore, any major change in economic, fiscal and/or trade policies in the U.S. from which we derive a substantial portion of our revenue or in another major jurisdiction could severely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, recent political and trade tensions among major economies as well as military conflicts (such as the conflict in Ukraine in early 2022) have resulted in the imposition of trade barriers, such as sanctions and import and export controls, which could increase our manufacturing costs, limit our access to certain supplies, make our pricing less competitive, and limit our ability to offer our products and services in some markets or source key materials and key production equipment, which may have adverse direct or indirect effects on our sales.
Any law or government policy that encourages our customers to relocate their manufacturing capacity or supply chain to their own countries or require their respective contractors, subcontractors and relevant agents to do so could also impair our ability to sustain our current level of productivity and manufacturing efficiency. An important aspect of our business operation is an ecosystem of interconnected semiconductor fabs, employees and suppliers in the R.O.C. that provides us with significant operational synergies, flexibility and efficiencies. For example, we are able to temporarily reassign thousands of our engineers and other relevant personnel from one manufacturing site to another to refine specific designs and adapt manufacturing processes in a timely manner. These advantages permit us to operate our manufacturing fabs efficiently and resolve any technical or commercial difficulties quickly to maintain our competitive edge. Restrictions on our ability to transfer people among our operations in the R.O.C., the United States, the P.R.C. and Japan efficiently due to, for example, immigration or travel restrictions may impair or reduce these advantages, and we may not be able to sustain our current ability to supply our customers with goods and services at the current level of cost, quality, quantity and delivery schedule to which our customers have been accustomed.
In addition, the financial markets have viewed certain past developments in relations between the R.O.C. and the P.R.C. as occasions to depress general market prices of the securities of R.O.C. companies, including our own. Also, the R.O.C. government has not lifted some trade and investment restrictions imposed on R.O.C. companies on the amount and types of certain investments that can be made in the P.R.C. Our plans, investment applications and/or any relevant regulatory approvals to establish or possibly expand operations in the P.R.C. may be delayed, interrupted, suspended or cancelled due to unforeseeable social and political factors in the R.O.C. or the P.R.C.
Decreases in demand and average selling prices for products that contain semiconductors may adversely affect demand for our products and may result in a decrease in our revenue and earnings.
A vast majority of our revenue is derived from customers who use our products in smartphones, high performance computing, IoT, automotive, and digital consumer electronics. Any deterioration in or a slowdown in the growth of such end markets resulting in a substantial decrease in the demand for overall global semiconductor foundry services, including our products and services, could adversely affect our revenue. Further, semiconductor manufacturing facilities require substantial investment to construct and are largely fixed cost assets once they are in operation. Because we own most of our manufacturing capacities, a significant portion of our operating costs is fixed. In general, these costs do not decline when customer demand or our capacity utilization rates drop, and thus declines in customer demand, among other factors, may significantly decrease our margins. Conversely, as product demand rises and factory utilization increases, the fixed costs are spread over increased output, which can improve our margins. In addition, the historical trend of declining average selling prices (or “ASP”) of end use applications places downward pressure on the prices of the components that go into such applications. Decreases in the ASP of end use applications may increase pricing pressure on components produced by us, which, in turn, may negatively impact our revenue, margin and earnings.
 
4

Since we are dependent on the highly cyclical semiconductor and electronics industries, which have experienced significant and sometimes prolonged periods of downturns and overcapacity, our revenue, earnings and margins may fluctuate significantly.
The electronics industries and semiconductor market are cyclical and subject to significant and often rapid fluctuations in product demand, which could impact our semiconductor foundry business. Variations in order levels from our customers may result in volatility in our revenue and earnings. From time to time, the electronics and semiconductor industries have experienced significant and occasionally prolonged periods of downturns and overcapacity. Because we are, and will continue to be, dependent on the requirements of electronics and semiconductor companies for our services, periods of downturns and overcapacity in the general electronics and semiconductor industries could lead to reduced demand for overall semiconductor foundry services, including our services. If we cannot take appropriate actions, such as reducing our costs to sufficiently offset declines in demand, our revenue, margin and earnings will likely suffer during periods of downturns and overcapacity.
If we are unable to remain a technological leader in the semiconductor industry, unable to timely respond to fast-changing semiconductor market dynamics, or unable to maintain our edge in product quality, we may become less competitive.
The semiconductor industry and its technologies are constantly changing. We compete by developing process technologies using increasingly advanced nodes and on manufacturing products with more functions. We also compete by developing new derivative technologies. If we do not anticipate these changes in technologies and rapidly develop new and innovative technologies, or our competitors unforeseeably gain sudden access to additional technologies, we may not be able to provide foundry services on competitive terms. In addition, our customers have significantly decreased the time in which their products or services are launched into the market. If we are unable to meet these shorter product
time-to-market,
we risk losing these customers. These factors have also been intensified by the shift of the global technology market to consumer driven products, such as smartphones, and increasing competition and concentration of customers (all further discussed among these risk factors). Also, the uncertainty and instability inherent in advanced technologies also impose challenges for achieving expected product quality and product yield. If we fail to maintain quality, it may result in loss of revenue and additional cost, as well as loss of business or customer trust. For example, in January 2019, we discovered yield problems in
12-nanometer
and
16-nanometer
wafers caused by a batch of photoresist, which resulted in delayed delivery of products and had a negative effect on our gross margin and operating margin in the first quarter of 2019. To reduce future risks of such incidences, we have since strengthened inline wafer inspection and tightened control of incoming material to deal with the increasing complexity of leading-edge technologies. If we are unable to innovate new technologies that meet the demand of our customers or overcome the above factors, we may become less competitive and our revenue may decline significantly.
In light of the rise of new foundry service providers worldwide, if we are unable to compete effectively in the highly competitive foundry segment of the semiconductor industry, we may lose customers and/or our profit margin and earnings may decrease.
The markets for our foundry services are highly competitive. We compete with other foundry service providers, as well as a number of integrated device manufacturers. Some of these companies may have access to more advanced technologies than us. Other companies may have greater financial and other resources than us, such as the possibility of receiving direct or indirect government subsidies, economic stimulus funds, or other incentives that may be unavailable to us. For example, Chinese companies are expected to be key players for new semiconductor fab development and fab equipment spending in part due to various incentives provided by the Chinese government. The governments of Europe, the United States, South Korea, and Japan also have incentive programs to incentivize developments of their domestic semiconductor industries. Although governments in certain of the countries or regions where we are currently expanding or planning to expand our production capacity have extended or may in the future extend certain financial incentives to us, there is no assurance that we will be able to apply for or receive such financial incentives at the levels we expect or at all. Additionally, any financial incentives we receive may be subject to strict conditions, or the grantors could seek to recover any funds provided to us, or cancel, reduce or deny our requests subsidies or grants in the future. This could materially increase our operating costs and adversely affect our results of operations.
Furthermore, our competitors may, from time to time, also decide to undertake aggressive pricing initiatives in one or several technology nodes. These competitive activities may decrease our customer base or our ASP, or both. If we are unable to compete effectively with such new and aggressive competitors on technology, manufacturing capacity, product quality and customer satisfaction, we risk losing customers to such new contenders.
 
5

If we are unable to manage our capacity and production facilities effectively, our competitiveness may be weakened.
We perform long-term market demand forecasts for our products and services to manage our overall capacity. Based on our market demand forecasts, we have continued to add capacity to meet market needs for our products and services, including in Taiwan, in Nanjing, China, in Arizona, U.S., and in Kumamoto, Japan.
Implementing these capacity expansion plans will increase our costs, and the increases may be substantial. For example, we would need to build new facilities, purchase additional equipment and hire and train personnel to operate the new equipment. If we do not increase our net revenue accordingly, our financial performance may be adversely affected by these increased costs. See “Item 4. Information on The Company – Capacity Management and Technology Upgrade Plans” for a further discussion
In addition, market conditions are dynamic and our market demand forecasts may change significantly at any time. During periods of decreased demand, certain manufacturing lines or tools in some of our manufacturing facilities may be suspended or shut down temporarily. However, if demand subsequently increases rapidly over a short period of time, we may not be able to restore the capacity in a timely manner to take advantage of the upturn. In such circumstances, our financial performance and competitiveness may be adversely affected.
Having one or more large customers that account for a significant percentage of our revenue may render us vulnerable to the loss of or significant curtailment of purchases by such customers that could in turn adversely affect our results of operations. Similarly, the increasing consolidation of our customers may further increase our revenue concentration.
Over the years, our customer profile and the nature of our customers’ business have changed dramatically. While we generate revenue from hundreds of customers worldwide, our ten largest customers in 2019, 2020 and 2021 accounted for approximately, 71%, 74% and 71% of our net revenue in the respective year. Our largest customer in 2019, 2020 and 2021 accounted for 23%, 25% and 26% of our net revenue in the respective year. Our second largest customer in 2019, 2020 and 2021 accounted for 14%, 12% and 10% of our net revenue in the respective year. A more concentrated customer base will subject our revenue to seasonal demand fluctuations from our large customers, and cause different seasonal patterns of our business. This customer concentration results in part from the changing dynamics of the electronics industry with the structural shift to mobile devices and applications and software that provide the content for such devices.
There are only a limited number of customers who are successfully exploiting this new business model paradigm. Also, we have seen the changes of nature in our customers’ business models in response to this new business model paradigm. For example, there is a growing trend toward the system companies developing their own designed semiconductors and working directly with semiconductor foundries which makes their products and services more marketable in a changing consumer market. Also, since the global semiconductor industry is becoming increasingly competitive, some of our customers have engaged in industry consolidations in order to remain competitive. Such consolidations have taken the form of mergers and acquisitions. If more of our major customers consolidate, this will further decrease the overall number of our customer pool. In addition, regulatory restrictions, such as export controls directed at our major customers, could impact our ability to supply products to those customers, reduce those customers’ demand for our products a