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Some of the world’s largest chipmakers have agreed to invest billions of dollars in Japan as developed economies seek to reduce their dependency on Taiwan’s semiconductor industry amid rising tension between the west and China.
Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida met the heads of leading western chipmakers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and Intel and Micron of the US, in Tokyo ahead of the G7 summit that begins tomorrow in Hiroshima.
Semiconductors, which are integral to modern technology, have emerged as an area of intense focus for the US and its allies since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Taiwan is at the centre of the global chipmaking industry but is at risk of a possible invasion by China, which sees it as part of its territory.
According to experts, Taiwan makes 65 per cent of the world’s semiconductors and almost 90 per cent of the most advanced chips.
Here’s what else I’m watching in the days ahead:
G7 summit: The gathering of world leaders will open in Hiroshima today.
Japan inflation: April consumer price index inflation rate figures are due today.
FT US Weekend Festival: It’s not too late to register to join Saturday’s US FT Weekend Festival online or in person. Register to hear from leading FT journalists in conversation with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jamie Lee Curtis, Salman Rushdie and more.
Who will win the US-China tech war? Join leading FT journalists and a Nikkei Asia colleague for a subscriber-exclusive webinar on May 25 at 12:30pm BST and put your questions to the panel: James Kynge, Eleanor Olcott, Ed Luce, Cheng Ting-Fang, moderated by Geoff Dyer.
Five more top stories
1. Carl Icahn admitted he was wrong to bet that the market would crash after the ill-fated trade cost his firm nearly $9bn over roughly six years. The activist investor lost about $1.8bn in 2017 on hedging positions that would have paid out if asset prices had tumbled before losing a further $7bn between 2018 and the first quarter of this year, according to a Financial Times analysis. Read the full story here.
2. G7 countries are preparing new sanctions against Russia, covering ships, aircraft, individuals and diamonds, officials say, as they seek to increase economic pressure on the Kremlin. The plan to curtail imports of diamonds from Russia targets one of Moscow’s few remaining export industries still relatively unscathed by western sanctions.
3. TikTok is facing its first ban by a US state over national security concerns after Montana’s governor signed a bill prohibiting downloads of the Chinese-owned social media app. The bill, signed by state governor Greg Gianforte yesterday, takes effect in January.
Artificial intelligence: Turing Award winner Yoshua Bengio warns of a “danger to political systems, to democracy, to the very nature of truth” from advanced artificial intelligence systems such as OpenAI’s GPT. Read more from his interview with the FT.
4. Alibaba is planning a massive shake-up of its tech empire as it prepares to list its logistics and grocery businesses within the next 18 months and spin off its cloud division. Read more from Alibaba’s first financial results since the tech giant announced plans to split into six businesses.
5. Indian tycoon Gautam Adani has invited bankers on a three-day trip next month to tour his conglomerate’s prized assets and restore confidence after a short seller accused his group of accounting fraud and stock price manipulation. Here’s what’s on the agenda.
How well did you keep up with the news this week? Take our quiz.
By his own estimate, Trevin Brownie has seen more than 1,000 people being beheaded. Brownie is a Facebook contractor in Kenya who reviews harmful and graphic online content so users don’t have to. Now, they are suing Meta for a fairer deal.
We’re also reading . . .
Populist vs general: Imran Khan’s challenge to Asim Munir, a man few Pakistanis have dared openly criticise, risks sparking the most serious confrontation between civilian politicians and the military since 2008.
Gaga for gold: A couple of decades ago, investing in gold seemed bizarrely retro. But this month the gold price has been trading close to an all-time high.
‘Doom loop’: Amid San Francisco’s crisis of homelessness, drug abuse and sensationalised crime, there is a growing sense that the city’s progressive political class has failed its citizens.
Chart of the day
The FT’s Chris Giles looks at why economists at central banks around the world have underestimated the scale and persistence of inflation.
Take a break from the news
FT writers nominate their favourite home-from-home hotels, from a former lakeside camp for the Rockefellers to a 19th century ryokan in Japan.
Additional contributions by Gordon Smith and Gary Jones
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