Taiwan's Foxconn, the world's largest contract electronics maker, would need Taiwanese government permission if its unit were to invest in embattled Chinese chip conglomerate Tsinghua Unigroup, a government official said on Thursday.
Taiwan media has reported that Foxconn's China-listed unit Foxconn Industrial Internet Co Ltd plans to spend 9.8 billion yuan ($1.46 billion) for a stake in Unigroup, as part of Foxconn's plans to get more into chip-making.
The island's government has become increasingly cautious about China's ambition to boost its semiconductor industry and has proposed new laws to prevent what it says is China stealing its chip technology, amid rising concern in Taipei that Beijing is stepping up its economic espionage.
Taipei prohibits companies from building their most advanced foundries in China to ensure they do not offshore their best technology.
Rio Lu, deputy executive secretary of Taiwan's Economy Ministry's Investment Commission, told Reuters that on Wednesday they had been in contact with Foxconn and "reminded them that the case needs to be reviewed before doing anything".