China's telecoms champion
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The Huawei 5G fight is at the centre of the US-China tech war. The Chinese company is one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment and services providers. A Huawei ban was implemented in the US in May 2019.
Chinese and Australian commerce ministers are set to meet via video ‘in the near future’ in a further sign of easing trade and political tensions, but issues over lithium and tech giant Huawei Technologies Co remain.
China continues to play a long game, whereas the US tactical assault on Chinese technology is all about short-term gains. As long as the US is trapped in a political system that places little value on strategy, there is no guarantee it will prevail in an existential tech conflict.
While the offer is open to other countries, it is most applicable to China, given its dominance in Indian electronics. But it remains to be seen whether such a partnership can bolster Indian electronics manufacturing or give greater security to Chinese companies in India
Ren Zhengfei’s memo to staff painting a gloomy picture of a world heading into recession garnered wide online interest. There is good reason; his call for cautious spending is much-needed in such uncertain times.
However hard the Biden administration tries to counter Chinese chip manufacturing, there is a key factor it fails to take into account: talent flow. The US can ban the sale of technology to China. But it cannot stem the flow of global, including US-trained, tech talent to China.
America pays high price as it tries to shut out Chinese companies, deny them access to advanced technologies and erode their supply-chain advantages.
With China’s rise as a geopolitical rival to the US, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, strategic competition has reasserted itself over economics. However, a scenario is possible with a better balance between the prerogatives of the nation state and the requirements of an open economy.
As many of the country’s tech founders hand over the reins, it’s worth remembering that once start-ups grow to a certain size they need professional managers to take over.
The two sides ironically see eye to eye as a new US Senate bill proposes banning defence contractors from buying Chinese-sourced rare earths. Meantime, Beijing has been mulling putting restrictions on rare earth supplies crucial to those same manufacturers.
The unexpected turn of events involving the Huawei executive and two Canadians calls for greater interaction between Beijing and Washington in the hope of creating a better understanding to resolve disputes.
Meng’s arrival in China has been recast as a moment of great power parity with the US. In the face of military encirclement, it makes sense for Beijing to show its people it has the fortitude to face down Washington in the diplomatic realm.
While there should be no illusions or unrealistic expectations, both sides should aim to address pressing issues of mutual concerns and not let competition veer into open conflict.