A 12-inch semiconductor wafer.

A 12-inch semiconductor wafer.

Source: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

The World Is Dangerously Dependent on Taiwan for Semiconductors

A shortage of auto chips has exposed TSMC’s key role in the supply chain

As China pushes the world to avoid official dealings with Taiwan, leaders across the globe are realizing just how dependent they’ve become on the island democracy.

Taiwan, which China regards as a province, is being courted for its capacity to make leading-edge computer chips. That’s mostly down to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest foundry and go-to producer of chips for Apple Inc. smartphones, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing.