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Taiwan’s TSMC founder Morris Chang receives medal of honour

Tycoon Morris Chang received one of Taiwan's highest medals of honour to recognise his achievements as the founder of semiconductor giant TSMC
Tycoon Morris Chang received one of Taiwan's highest medals of honour to recognise his achievements as the founder of semiconductor giant TSMC - Copyright JIJI PRESS/AFP/File STR
Tycoon Morris Chang received one of Taiwan's highest medals of honour to recognise his achievements as the founder of semiconductor giant TSMC - Copyright JIJI PRESS/AFP/File STR

Taiwanese tycoon Morris Chang received one of the island’s highest medals of honour on Friday, in recognition of his achievements as the founder of semiconductor giant TSMC.

Known as the “godfather” of the island’s chip industry, Chang founded Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company three decades ago, building it into a multi-billion-dollar company that today is a leader in making the microchips that power everything from smartphones to AI technology.

President Tsai Ing-wen called “The Order of Dr. Sun Yat-sen” the highest honour the government can confer on a person who is not a head of state, when she presented the medal to Chang on Friday.

Describing the 92-year-old as a “great entrepreneur” and a “good friend”, Tsai thanked Chang for “letting the world see Taiwan with technology, innovation and enthusiasm”. 

“Because of (TSMC) founder Chang, Taiwan’s semiconductor industry has become world-class,” Tsai said.

Chang had also represented Taiwan six times at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summits, most recently in San Francisco last year.

“As a leader’s envoy at the APEC, he let the world know Taiwan is a capable partner worthy of trust and cooperation, and let the world know the Republic of China (Taiwan) is a presence that cannot be ignored.”

Chang thanked Tsai for the recognition, adding that his creation of TSMC “established a model of a world-class technology company in Taiwan, and made some contributions to Taiwan’s economic growth”.

“I want to share the honour with everyone at TSMC,” he said.

Besides Chang, two of Taiwan’s former vice presidents Chen Chien-jen and Annette Lu have received the order, which the presidential office described as “a token of thanks to those who make very outstanding contributions to this country”.

In 2018 — the year Chang stepped down as the firm’s CEO — he was bestowed by the government “The Order of Propitious Clouds” for his part in developing Taiwan’s high-tech sector. 

AFP
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