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SnapshotsJun 24, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Seeking a Political Win, Trump Takes Aim at Immigration Visas
After weeks of speculation, U.S. President Donald Trump finally issued a presidential proclamation on June 22 outlining visa changes that will significantly impede the ability of U.S. tech companies and universities to attract international talent and investment. Should they become permanent, the changes could place the United States' competitive advantage as a business hub in jeopardy by making U.S. visa programs more difficult for foreigners to access. 
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AssessmentsMay 6, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An image displays rows of silicon wafers.
The U.S. Weaponizes COVID-19 Anger Against China’s Tech Sector
The United States and China have been locked in a technology cold war for several years. The COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, is now pressuring Washington to make even stronger moves against Beijing by fueling anti-China sentiment among U.S. voters and legislators alike. But the White House’s latest attempt to increase export controls on China and limit Beijing's overall access to U.S. technology will come at the cost of further fragmenting the global tech sector’s highly integrated supply chain network. 
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AssessmentsJan 31, 2020 | 18:47 GMT
This photo shows a masked vendor and customers of his wares in an alley in Wuhan, China, on January 31, 2020.
Measuring the Economic Impact of the Coronavirus Outbreak
The coronavirus outbreak that has killed scores and sickened thousands is set to deliver a significant blow to China's already-weakening economy. Quarantines and travel bans put into place to limit the spread of the illness already have disrupted one of the country's busiest travel and spending periods of the year, the Lunar New Year holiday, which began Jan. 25. The lockdowns have created major supply chain disruptions in Hubei province, the key Chinese transit hub and major manufacturing center for automobiles, fiber optic cable and machinery where the outbreak started. Public transportation, including trains, planes and ferries in and out Hubei -- whose provincial capital, Wuhan, was the epicenter of the outbreak -- have been suspended, with the freedom of movement curtailed for some 60 million people. The disruptions are not limited to the province, however, as business and industrial activities across the nation, already substantially slowed or even suspended
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AssessmentsNov 25, 2019 | 09:15 GMT
South Koreans participate in a rally to denounce Japan's new trade restrictions and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Aug. 24, 2019, in Seoul. The bilateral relationship between Japan and South Korea has worsened recently amid escalating trade tensions.
Japan and South Korea Brace for a Prolonged Trade Battle
Between the slings and arrows of China's global trade war with the United States, a separate battle has been brewing between the Asia-Pacific's next two largest economies: Japan and South Korea. But unlike the economic issues underpinning Beijing's fight with Washington, Tokyo and Seoul's dispute is fundamentally rooted in bitter grievances that date back to Japan's occupation of South Korea during World War II. The politically delicate nature of the dispute will continue to complicate both countries' ability -- and desire -- to bring a definitive end to their spat. But between the two, South Korea's more export-reliant economy stands more to lose from souring trade relations with Japan.
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GuidanceSep 21, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump speak during a bilateral meeting in Biarritz, France, on Aug. 26, 2019, on the third day of the annual G-7 summit.
What's Standing in the Way of a U.S.-India Trade Deal
The United States' trade war with China grabs all the headlines, but U.S. President Donald Trump is also bearing down on another major Asian economy: India. In June, Trump accused the Indian government of failing to provide "equitable and reasonable market access" and stripped New Delhi of its benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences, which enables India to export certain goods at a reduced tariff rate. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration retaliated by slapping tariffs on 28 U.S. goods. While the sides could soon clinch a short-term trade deal, the United States and India will have several outstanding issues to address before they finalize a more comprehensive pact. With the United States demanding that India reduce its bilateral trade surplus, open its economy to more U.S. agricultural products and go easier on U.S. technology giants, the countries remain far apart on a longer-term deal.
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AssessmentsJul 10, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
 An Indian visitor walks past a mural of social media logos in Bangalore.
To Stake Their Claim in India's Future, Foreign Tech Firms Will Play by New Delhi's Data Rules
India's booming $200 billion digital economy has recently drawn U.S. tech giants into a heated confrontation with New Delhi over the core commodity of the digital age: data. In June, New Delhi's Ministry of Commerce met with officials from Facebook, Amazon, Google and Microsoft to hear out their concerns over a proposed policy that would require foreign companies operating in India to store data locally. In addition to inflating their costs, these companies worry the law would loosen their grip on the data generated by the billions of Indian clicks, taps and swipes taking place on their platforms. New Delhi knows it can't bring its digital economy up to speed on its own, and will seek to balance avoiding deterring foreign participation against protecting Indian data. Ultimately, however, outside players will be forced to abide by the Indian government's rules. 
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AssessmentsMay 23, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
A smartphone displays Qualcomm's company logo.
What Does the New Qualcomm Ruling Mean for 5G and the U.S.-China Tech War?
In what could become a landmark case, a U.S. district judge on May 21 sided with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against Qualcomm over its licensing prices. Judge Lucy Koh said that the San Diego-based telecommunications innovator broke U.S. antitrust law by "strangling competition" in the semiconductor chip industry and using its position as a key patent holder to demand unreasonably high licensing fees. Qualcomm will almost certainly appeal the ruling to a higher court, but if it stands, Koh's decision will hit at the heart of Qualcomm's business model, weakening the company at a time when it is in a heated competition with Chinese tech developers.
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SnapshotsJan 7, 2019 | 21:05 GMT
China: Huawei Targets the Server Market With Its New Chip
On Jan. 7, Huawei Technologies Ltd. of China unveiled a new central processing unit for servers -- the Kunpeng 920 -- and three new TaiShan server models that use the chip. Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon designed the CPU, which is manufactured using a 7-nanometer processor that Huawei claims makes it faster and more efficient than that of its rivals. Perhaps more importantly for China, the CPU uses the design architecture of ARM Holdings and not that of Intel, which has a long-standing relationship with Huawei. The announcement came ahead of the CES 2019 exhibition in Las Vegas, which will not feature Richard Yu, the head of Huawei's consumer electronics division and the keynote speaker at the past two editions, as well as China’s ZTE Corp., which is skipping the show for the first time. Huawei, nevertheless, will still have an exhibit in Las Vegas.
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AssessmentsOct 22, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
A farmer works in a rice field on the outskirts of the central Vietnamese city of Hue on Jan. 17.
The U.S.-China Battle Complicates Vietnam's Economic Ambitions
Nguyen Phu Trong has emerged as an unlikely strongman. Widely regarded as a compromise figure when he became Vietnam's general secretary in 2011, the 74-year-old ideological hard-liner has quickly reshaped the balance of Vietnam politics since assuming the post of Communist Party chief. On Oct. 22, Vietnam's parliament will formally approve Trong's presidency, effectively breaking his long-espoused model of collective leadership to become the most powerful Vietnamese leader in recent decades. But unlike Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trong is far from a supreme leader; his advanced age almost certainly guarantees his retirement at the next party congress in 2021 -- a factor that also raises questions about his plan for succession and the sustainability of a more individualistic rule in what remains a factional political scene. For the moment, however, maintaining a mere grip on power is only half of Trong's task. Beyond that, Vietnam's leader will strive to mobilize
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Partner PerspectivesOct 19, 2018 | 11:00 GMT
Investors watch stock price movements at a securities company in Beijing on Oct. 12.
The 8 Major Forces Shaping the Future of the Global Economy
The world is changing faster than ever before. With billions of people hyper-connected to each other in an unprecedented global network, it allows for an almost instantaneous and frictionless spread of new ideas and innovations. Combine this connectedness with rapidly changing demographics, shifting values and attitudes, growing political uncertainty, and exponential advances in technology, and it's clear the next decade is setting up to be one of historic transformation. But where do all of these big picture trends intersect, and how can we make sense of a world engulfed in complexity and nuance? Furthermore, how do we set our sails to take advantage of the opportunities presented by this sea of change?
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On GeopoliticsOct 18, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
A U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle returns from a mission to an air base in the Persian Gulf region.
How the U.S.-China Power Competition Is Shaping the Future of AI Ethics
Controversial new technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence are quickly becoming ubiquitous, prompting ethical questions about their uses in both the private and state spheres. A broader shift on the global stage will drive the regulations and societal standards that will, in turn, influence technological adoption. As countries and corporations race to achieve technological dominance, they will engage in a tug of war between different sets of values while striving to establish ethical standards. Western values have long been dominant in setting these standards, as the United States has traditionally been the most influential innovative global force. But China, which has successfully prioritized economic growth and technological development over the past several decades, is likely to play a bigger role in the future when it comes to tech ethics.
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AssessmentsAug 22, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Tencent founder and CEO Huateng "Pony" Ma (left) and Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma have more than just a name in common: The two entrepreneurs are archrivals in China's increasingly competitive tech sector, and both have steadily expanded their companies' products and services to maintain an edge.
Alibaba and Tencent: Disrupting China, Dozens of Industries at a Time
Alibaba and Tencent are archrivals in China's burgeoning tech sector. Having carved up the consumer internet sector -- including social media, e-commerce, streaming media and mobile payments -- the two tech juggernauts are increasingly expanding beyond their core operations. And in every vertical they enter they wind up in fierce competition, creating a dichotomy in the Chinese market that sometimes forces domestic and foreign firms to choose between them when launching a new product or service. The rise of the two companies has been a blessing and a curse for China. While the investment and innovation they offer have helped the economy, the sway Alibaba and Tencent now hold over China's people and economy is putting the government ill at ease. But as much as it can't afford to cede authority to these companies, it can neither afford to rein them in too tightly.
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AssessmentsAug 3, 2018 | 09:30 GMT
An electric substation in Santiago, Chile.
Why Chile Is Chasing Tech Over Copper
Copper is big business in Chile, which exports more of the metal than any other country in the world. The commodity's importance to Chile is unlikely to change anytime soon, but if Santiago has its way, something else will soon help propel the nation forward: technology. Chile's dependence on the mining sector, especially copper, has convinced the government to push forward with plans to transform the country into a tech hub in South America. And although two issues -- education and electricity -- stand in the way of Chile's tech dreams, even they are unlikely to obstruct the country's plans for long.
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On SecurityJul 31, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
As tensions rise with the United States, hackers in Iran are expected to boost their attacks in the coming months.
When It Comes to Cyberattacks, Iran Plays the Odds
The war of words between the United States and Iran appears to be heating up in cyberspace. In recent weeks, the tension has grown palpable as the United States leads the drive to reimpose sanctions on Iran on Aug. 6. U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have traded heated threats with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force. Though both sides are certainly capable of direct physical attacks, conventional warfare is not in their immediate interests. Iran has embraced cyberattacks as part of its asymmetric response to its Middle Eastern rivals and the United States, and this latest round of belligerence will likely be played out through cyber actions. And even though Iran doesn't pose as great a threat as China or Russia, its persistence and reliance on unsophisticated, yet tried-and-true tactics allow it
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On GeopoliticsMar 20, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A picture of U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Dec. 22, 2017, moments before signing tax reform legislation into law.
How Tax Reform Will Net the U.S. Big Returns
In December 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law his country's first major tax reform since the Reagan era. Sometimes new legislation is seismic in its effects, directly altering the playing field on which the citizens of the country operate. At other times, a new law can serve as a useful signpost for greater changes that are already underway. In this case, the tax reform represents a bit of both: It will have important ramifications itself, and it will form part of wider trends that are occurring over decades. From a geopolitical perspective, the move will have three main effects: It will lead to a repatriation of sizable amounts of cash by U.S. corporations, provide a stimulus for the domestic economy and increase the country's debt. The combined dynamics of these effects will play a key role in shaping the outlook for the U.S. economy – and its place
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On SecurityOct 19, 2017 | 21:08 GMT
The more that computer networks have been secured against external technical attacks, the more that people have become the weak link in cybersecurity.
The Weakest Link in the Cybersecurity Chain Is Sitting at the Keyboard
One of the foundational precepts of Stratfor's security analysis is that as security measures become more effective, people increasingly become the weakest link in a security system. For example, when it comes to security along the U.S. border with Mexico and as the walls have lengthened and checks at entry points have grown more sophisticated, smugglers have increasingly resorted to bribery of officials to circumvent the tighter security. This same principle applies to cybersecurity. The more that computer networks have become secured against external technical attacks, the more that people have become the weak link in cybersecurity.
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