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AssessmentsFeb 7, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
An employee sits in the showroom of an Apple store in Beijing after it closed for the day on Feb. 1, 2020.
The Coronavirus Spreads Fears of a Shutdown in China's Tech Sector
Without question, the new coronavirus has taken a toll on China and many other places in the world, infecting at least 30,600 people and killing 633 as of Feb. 7. But only now, as the Lunar New Year holiday draws to a close, is Beijing preparing to assess just how much economic damage the coronavirus outbreak has wrought, especially as China is central to the global electronics and information technology sector. Ultimately, the breadth of the impact depends on how far the virus spreads beyond its current location. Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan, are not critical nodes for the vast majority of China's electronics sector. But neighboring provinces, including Shaanxi, Henan and Jiangxi, are home to cities that are prominent in the global technology sector, while the provinces with the second and third most confirmed cases so far, Zhejiang and Guangdong, are arguably China's two most critical areas for tech.
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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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AssessmentsMar 29, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
A Samsung silicon wafer is displayed on March 23, 2011, in San Jose, California.
As the U.S.-China Tech War Rages on, the Electronics Industry Braces for Impact
Semiconductor manufacturers create the computer chips that power today's growing multitude of electronic devices -- from coffee makers to self-driving cars, and everything in between. The industry, therefore, plays a crucial and increasingly embedded role in the global economy. But today, manufacturers are facing the highest levels of geopolitical risk and competition they have seen in decades, as they grapple with a seismic shift away from Moore's law and toward more specialized chips. Meanwhile, the ongoing trade war between the United States and China -- the two most important markets for electronics -- is threatening to fragment the entire industry and globalized tech sector it operates within.
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On SecurityNov 20, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
John Demers, U.S. assistant attorney general for national security, speaks in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 1.
China Looks at U.S. Tech-Limiting Measures and Sees Gunboat Diplomacy
The last Opium War ended 176 years ago, but Beijing remembers the battle well -- particularly the West's penchant for gunboat diplomacy. Memories of Western coercion and blockades have already prompted China to bolster the country's navy and take aggressive steps in the South China Sea. Beijing, however, is now preparing to respond to another type of blockade after the U.S. Commerce Department added the Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. to the list of entities facing restrictions, essentially barring the export, re-export or transfer of U.S.-origin technology, commodities or software to Fujian Jinhua without a special export license. The action against Fujian Jinhua is tantamount to a blockade on the company. Because of this, the measures are certain to provoke an emotional response among China's leaders, who will see them as an attack on China's future development – and perhaps more fundamentally – its sovereignty. And far from convincing China to
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AssessmentsMar 4, 2018 | 14:23 GMT
A worker at a copper and cobalt mine near Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, May 23, 2016.
The Congo Is Set to Butt Heads With Mining Firms Over Cobalt
For parents in much of the world, the beginning of December is a harbinger for the scramble to secure the year's hottest game or electronic gadget ahead of the holidays. And as battery technology continues to improve and costs decline, it has touched off another scramble of its own, as the manufacturers of batteries for everything from smartphones to electric vehicles chase after raw materials like cobalt, an invaluable component in such objects. Right at the center of this frenzy is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which holds roughly 50 percent of the world's cobalt reserves. But with President Joseph Kabila and his government looking to grab a greater share of mineral revenue while avoiding any additional international pressure that could threaten Kabila's hold on power, Kinshasa and international mining companies might soon find themselves on a collision course.
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AssessmentsFeb 28, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
The family-run conglomerates that made the country rich are at the center of its current political crisis.
Blood Runs Thicker in the South Korean Economy
For better or worse, the story of post-war South Korea is inseparable from that of the chaebol. Since their emergence under military strongman Park Chung-hee, who took power in 1961, South Korea's enormous, family-controlled conglomerates have formed the backbone of the country's export-dependent economy, driving and sustaining what came to be known as the “Miracle on the Han River." Today, the sales revenue of the five largest chaebols constitutes almost 60 percent of South Korea’s gross domestic product, and their brands – Samsung, Hyundai and LG, for example – are household names. The chaebols that dominate South Korea's political, economic and social life dictate the country's economic trajectory and fortunes. With their overwhelming importance to South Korea, chaebols have long been targets of domestic and foreign criticism, and calls for their reform are nearly as old as the conglomerates themselves. Since South Korea’s transition to democracy in the early 1990s –
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ReflectionsJun 23, 2016 | 02:17 GMT
Russia Sells Its Aeronautical Future
Russia Sells Its Aeronautical Future
The Russian and Chinese aerospace programs may have found a mutual solution to alleviate their respective problems. Russia's aerospace sector, despite its economic woes, is thriving on the wealth of institutional knowledge and expertise amassed during the Soviet era. Meanwhile, China's, though financially stable, still suffers from the technological deficit that has long plagued it. When Russian President Vladimir Putin heads to Beijing on Saturday to meet with his Chinese counterpart, several key figures from Russia's aerospace industry will join him. The two countries seem ideally poised to cooperate: Russia needs cash, and China needs technology. But for Russia, the long-term stakes of such an arrangement are higher.
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ReflectionsMar 9, 2016 | 01:16 GMT
U.S. Tech Restrictions Will Strengthen Beijing's Resolve
The U.S. Commerce Department on March 8 officially put into place export restrictions on the sale of equipment by U.S. companies to Chinese telecom manufacturer ZTE Corp., the world's seventh-largest producer of smartphones. The restrictions will reinforce Beijing's overall strategic drive to move away from foreign reliance on components for its technology manufacturing industry and develop the capability to design and manufacture its own.
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AssessmentsJan 28, 2008 | 22:11 GMT
Iraq: Kurds, Foreigners and Oil
Iraq's government will cut off oil exports to South Korea if Seoul does not exit an oil deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government by Jan. 31.
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AssessmentsNov 26, 2007 | 20:31 GMT
Iraq: The Arbil-Baghdad Divide
Iraq's oil minister has decreed the Iraqi Kurds' oil policies null and void, but the Kurds are unlikely to stop issuing them.
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