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Taiwan and Vietnam race to shield tech industry from COVID

Early success little comfort as vaccine drives lag behind West

A TSMC plant: Taiwan and Vietnam, hailed as early victors in the battle against COVID-19, are now witnessing new outbreaks. (Photo courtesy of TSMC)

HO CHI MINH CITY/TAIPEI -- Two of Asia's most important tech manufacturing hubs are grappling with sudden spikes in COVID-19 infections, casting a shadow over a global supply chain already struggling with an unprecedented chip and component shortage.

Taiwan is home to the world's most important source of advanced chips that power everything from cars and smartphones to servers and game consoles. Vietnam, meanwhile, has become an electronics manufacturing powerhouse, churning out half of Samsung's smartphones as well as AirPods and other Apple products.

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