LONDON — The U.K. will invest £1 billion over the next decade to secure semiconductor supplies and boost its chip design sector, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced in the early hours of Friday morning.

As POLITICO reported last month, the strategy will focus on the U.K.’s strengths in design and compound semiconductors, where it already has clusters in Cambridgeshire and South Wales — rather than competing with U.S. and EU manufacturing subsidies worth nearly $100 billion.

Semiconductors are needed in everything from iPhones to missiles, but the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the global economy’s reliance on Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers. The threat of war in Taiwan, home to TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor company, has triggered a race among the largest economies to shore up their chip supplies.

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