Who Owns TSMC: The Largest Shareholders Overview

Article Teaser: Who Owns TSMC: The Largest Shareholders Overview

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSM) is the leader in semiconductor manufacturing. It makes money predominantly by selling chips for high-performance computing and smartphones to its customers, including Apple, AMD, NVIDIA, Sony, and others. Let’s look at who owns TSMC and who controls it.

TSMC’s largest shareholder is the National Development Fund, which owns 6.4% of all shares. No other shareholder owns more than a 5% stake. A sizable stake probably still belongs to a company founder Morris Chang who might own around 0.5% of the company.

 TSMC's Largest Shareholders (Dec 2022)
Shareholder Ownership Voting Power
National Development Fund 6.4% 6.4%
Morris Chang 0.5% 0.5%
Other 93.1% 93.1%
Listed are shareholders holding >5% of any share class or notable in other ways
   Source: Multiple SEC filings

Who ows TSMC vs who controls it chart

In this article, I will dive more into who owns TSMC and who controls it. I will show you who TSMC’s largest shareholders are, how many shares and votes they have, and how much their stake is worth.

If you are interested, you can also explore who owns other companies like Cisco, Apple, IBM, and other articles in my “Who Owns Who” series.

📃 Who Owns TSMC?

Who owns TSMC, largest shareholders donut chart

TSMC is owned by its shareholders. The largest is the National Development Fund, which owns 6.4% of the company. A notable owner is also a company founder Morris Chang. He is not required to disclose his stake anymore, but it is estimated to be around 0.5%.

The largest owner of TSMC is the National Development Fund, which owns 6.4% of the company.

  • National Development Fund was set up by the Taiwanese government to bolster innovation, research, and economic growth within the country.
  • The Fund’s predecessor provided a large portion of initial capital when the company was founded in 1987.

The notable owner is also a company founder Morris Chang, who is estimated to own around 0.5% of the company.

  • Semiconductor industry titan with a remarkable career in Texas Instruments and especially TSMC, where he spent several decades as CEO & Chairman and is TSMC founding father.
  • He is considered the founder of the company but probably did not have any equity stake initially, and his ownership is a result of stock compensations.
  • He is not required to disclose his ownership anymore since he resigned from CEO & chairman position in 2018. Ownership is only estimated, assuming he still holds the same amount of shares as when he left the company.

The original investor in the company and also TSMC’s customer was Philips. However, Philips slowly got rid of its stake and finally sold all the remaining shares in 2009.

Another famous investor not so long ago was Waren Buffett’s, Berkshire Hathaway. It purchased a sizable stake in 2022 but sold off most of the share in the next quarter.

TSMC was founded in 1987 by Morris Chang and has been a publicly listed company since its initial public offering on the Taiwan Stock Exchange in 1994 (Ticker: 2330). Company shares are also traded on NYSE as ADR under ticker TSM.

  • TSMC was founded as a joint venture between the Taiwanese government, Dutch multinational electronics giant Philips, and other private investors.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited is incorporated in Taiwan, and its headquarters are in Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan.

🎮 Who Controls TSMC (TSM)?

Who controls TSMC, largest shareholders donut chart

TSMC’s shareholder with the largest voting power is the National Development Fund, which holds 6.4% of all votes. No other shareholders come close to their stake, and ownership is quite dispersed.

TSMC has only one class of outstanding shares, with one vote per share. Therefore, there is no difference between the shareholder’s ownership and voting power.

TSMC’s shareholder with the largest voting power is the National Development Fund which holds 6.4% of all votes.

  • National Development Fund is an entity set up by the Taiwanese government
  • Its stake is not large, but thanks to otherwise dispersed ownership, it gives government influence in the company.

As you can see, the ownership structure is quite dispersed, except for the stake of the National Development Fund. This means the control is mainly in the hands of company insiders and the Taiwanese government.

TSMC’s insiders that have influence over the company are CEO C.C. Wei, chairman of the board Mark Liu, and other board members and executives.

  • TSMC currently has a 10-member board of directors, and their term is three years.
  • Most of the directors are independent, except the chairman, CEO, and one representative of the National Development Fund
  • The current CEO and Chairman assumed their roles in 2018 after founder Morris Chang retired from the company.

🗳️ Breakdown of TSMC’s Outstanding Shares and Votes by Top Shareholders

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited had a total of 25,930 million outstanding shares as of December 2022. The following table shows how many shares each TSMC’s large shareholder holds.

 TSMC's Outstanding Shares by Shareholder
In millions of shares as of December 2022
Shareholder Class A Total % Share
National Development Fund 1,654 1,654 6.4%
Morris Chang 125 125 0.5%
Other 24,152 24,152 93.1%
Total (# millions) 25,930 25,930 100.0%
Listed are shareholders holding >5% of any share class or notable in other ways
   Source: Multiple SEC filings

There were 25,930 million votes distributed among shareholders of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited. The table below shows the total number of votes for each large shareholder.

 TSMC's Vote Control by Shareholder
In millions of votes as of December 2022
Shareholder Class A Total % Share
National Development Fund 1,654 1,654 6.4%
Morris Chang 125 125 0.5%
Other 24,152 24,152 93.1%
Total (# millions) 25,930 25,930 100.0%
Listed are shareholders holding >5% of any share class or notable in other ways
   Source: Multiple SEC filings

💵 Breakdown of TSMC’s Market Value by Shareholder

The following table summarizes how much is each shareholder’s stake in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited worth.

However, keep in mind that a stake in TSMC could be just one part of their portfolio, and their total worth could be bigger, thanks to other investments. It could also be lower if they have debts.

 TSMC's Market Value by Shareholder
Market value in billions $ as of December 2022
Shareholder Class A Total % Share
National Development Fund $24.6 $24.6 6.4%
Morris Chang $1.9 $1.9 0.5%
Other $359.8 $359.8 93.1%
Total ($ billions) $386.3 $386.3 100.0%
Listed are shareholders holding >5% of any share class or notable in other ways
   Source: Multiple SEC filings

Let’s now look at each TSMC shareholder individually.

📒 Who Are TSMC’s Largest Shareholders?

Let’s now go through the list of the largest shareholders of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited one by one and look at who they are, how many shares they own, what is their voting power, and how much is their stake in TSMC worth.

#1 National Development Fund (6.4%)

National Development Fund's share ownership and voting power in TSMC (chart)

National Development Fund is the largest shareholder of TSMC, owning 6.4% of its shares. As of December 2022, the market value of National Development Fund’s stake in TSMC was $24.6 billion.

National Development Fund owned 1,654 million shares in TSMC and controlled 1,654 million shareholder votes as of December 2022.

The Taiwanese government set up the National Development Fund in 1973 to bolster innovation, research, and economic growth within the country. The fund offers firms direct and indirect investment and provides loan financing.

#2 Morris Chang (0.5%)

Morris Chang's share ownership and voting power in TSMC (chart)

Morris Chang owns 0.5% of TSMC’s shares. As of December 2022, the market value of Morris Chang’s stake in TSMC was $1.9 billion.

Morris Chang owned 125 million shares in TSMC and controlled 125 million shareholder votes as of December 2022.

Morris Chang is a semiconductor industry titan with a remarkable career spanning several decades and an impressive background that includes senior roles at Texas Instruments and General Instruments and especially TSMC.

In 1987, he founded the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and served as its CEO and chairman for over three decades. Chang led TSMC through periods of rapid growth, cementing its position as a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing.

He stepped down as chairman and CEO of TSMC in 2018.

🧱 Who and When Founded TSMC?

TSMC was founded in 1987 by Morris Chang, a semiconductor industry veteran who was recruited by the Taiwanese government to lead the country’s efforts in semiconductor manufacturing. TSMC was formed as a joint venture between the Taiwan government, Philips, and other private investors.

In 1985, Morris Chang was recruited by the Taiwanese government as the president of the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan. Chang was a semiconductor industry veteran with decades of experience at Texas Instruments and General Instrument, and his expertise was needed to jumpstart Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.

Two years later, in 1987, Chang spearheaded the formation of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. (TSMC), a joint venture between the Taiwanese government, Dutch multinational electronics giant Philips, and other private investors.

With Chang at the helm, TSMC quickly established itself as a leader in the semiconductor industry. The company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing processes allowed chip designers to create smaller, faster, and more power-efficient chips than ever before.

In 1994, TSMC was listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE:2330). Four years later, in 1997, TSMC made history as the first Taiwanese company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: TSM).

Today, TSMC is a cutting-edge semiconductor business using advanced technology in a wide range of applications, from smartphones to self-driving cars to artificial intelligence systems.

📅 TSMC’s History Timeline

These are selected events from TSMC’s history:

  • 1985: Morris Chang was recruited by the Taiwanese government as president of the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan.
  • 1987: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. has officially formed thanks to Morris Chang as a joint venture between the Taiwan government, Dutch multinational electronics giant Philips, and other private investors.
  • 1994: TSMC was listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE:2330)
  • 1996: WaferTech, a pure-play semiconductor foundry, was established as a joint venture of TSMC, Altera, ADI, and ISSI.
  • 1997: TSMC became the first Taiwanese company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: TSM)
  • 2000: TSMC bought out the joint venture partners and acquired full control over WaferTech, operating it as a fully owned subsidiary.
  • 2005: Chang steps down as CEO of TSMC. Rick Tsai became the new CEO.
  • 2006: The National Development Fund (NDF) was established by merging the Development Fund and the Sino-American Fund for Economic and Social Development (SAF)
  • 2009: After decreasing its ownership shares throughout the years, Philips sells off all remaining shares in TSMC.
  • 2009: Chang is reelected as CEO of TSMC.
  • 2018: Chang retires from CEO and Chairman positions in TSMC, succeeded by C.C. Wei as CEO and Mark Liu as chairman.
  • 2019-08: GlobalFoundries filed several patent infringement lawsuits against TSMC in the US and Germany.
  • 2019-10: TSMC and GlobalFoundries announced cross-license for all of their existing semiconductor patents and new patents.
  • 2020: TSMC expanded its operations outside of Taiwan by opening new fabs in Japan and the United States, with further plans for expansion into Germany
  • 2020: TSMC confirmed it would halt the shipment of silicon wafers to Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei and subsidiary HiSilicon by September
  • 2020: TSMC announced a planned fab in Phoenix, Arizona (US).
  • 2021: TSMC and Sony announced that TSMC would establish a new subsidiary named Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM) in Kumamoto, Japan, with an initial investment of approximately $7 billion
  • 2022: TSMC announced its plans to triple its investment in the Arizona plants in response to the growing tensions between the US and China and the supply chain disruption that has led to chip shortages.

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