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Wafer cells stored between processes at the Newport Wafer Fab plant in Newport, Wales.

Wafer cells stored between processes at the Newport Wafer Fab plant in Newport, Wales.

Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg
Business
Future of British Business

A Chinese Microchip Deal Shows the UK’s Muddled Industrial Plan

Britain’s biggest semiconductor plant faces an uncertain future.

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The Newport Wafer Fab near Cardiff in Wales has long churned out wafers for microchips used in cars or kettles. Now the UK government is deliberating whether to block a Chinese company from remaining the new owner, exposing the political dilemma between supporting a key industry and keeping Beijing’s influence in check.