Panasonic Leaves Semiconductor Business With Sale to Taiwan’s Nuvoton

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Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic is abandoning the semiconductor business with the sale of its last business in that sector to a Taiwanese company. Panasonic said Thursday it was transferring the semiconductor business operated by Panasonic Semiconductor Solutions to Nuvoton Technology. In recent years, Panasonic has sold its semiconductor plants in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Terms were not disclosed for Thursday’s move, set to be completed next year.

Panasonic’s chipmaking has been struggling in recent years amid competition from cheaper rivals in South Korea and the rest of Asia.

Japanese media reports said the recent US-China trade war, which has slowed sales in China, added to those pressures.

The move highlights Panasonic and other Japanese electronics makers’ efforts to focus on more lucrative businesses.

“The competitive environment surrounding the semiconductor business has become extremely severe due to aggressive expansion of competitors, huge investments in the focused area and industry reorganization,” Panasonic said in a statement.

The company said it believed Nuvoton appreciates the strengths of Panasonic’s technology and will steer the business to stable growth.

Panasonic has also transferred another part of its semiconductor business to Japanese rival Rohm Co., scheduled to be completed this year.

Some Japanese companies remain in the business, including Toshiba, Fujitsu, and Sony.

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