The Taiwanese government is creating a new "national champion" in the microchip industry, the "Taiwan Memory Company". The government will take "less than a 50 % equity stake".
Apparently, the idea is to bring together the various ailing Taiwanese chipmakers under this new umbrella, under government leadership.
In addition, the company (read: the Taiwanese government) wants to acquire Japanese and American competitors, because as of now, Taiwanese chipmakers have no proprietary technologies, and rely completely on licenced foreign know-how.
(The article quotes the newly appointed chairman of the newly created company as saying that Taiwanese chipmakers so far do not even have their own research departments. But they will make sure to develop their own innovative technologies from now on.)
I don't blame them for trying: According to the latest projections (as published in The Economist's statistical section), Taiwan's GDP will contract 6.5 % in 2009 (some analysts have even suggested 10%). Politicians have to be seen to be doing something.
(On a side note: Qimonda is not among the acquisition targets named. The Taiwanese don't seem to think it has anything worthwile to offer.)