South-east Asia’s rising semiconductor fortunes

JAKARTA – The shift to remote working, the introduction of electric vehicles and a life increasingly lived online are driving the global economy’s insatiable appetite for tiny computer chips upon which modern life rests.

As chip suppliers scramble to meet demand for ever smaller and ever more powerful transistors – a market expected to almost double to US$1 trillion (S$1.4 trillion) by the end of the decade – the future-facing industry must contend with a post-pandemic world of labour shortages, great-power rivalries and customers who want to produce the gadgets for themselves.