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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.
On GeopoliticsNov 1, 2019 | 09:30 GMT
The national flags of China and the United States.
By Mixing Tech and Human Rights Sanctions on China, the White House Crosses the Rubicon
Conspicuously absent from an emerging China-U.S. trade truce is the outstanding issue of U.S. export restrictions against Huawei. The omission reveals an uncomfortable and growing reality for U.S. tech firms: Politically convenient trade truces will come and go, but the strategic competition between the United States and China is deepening. Technology is a fundamental component of this broader rivalry, which also makes it a radioactive element in the trade talks and a prime target for China hawks advocating a decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economies. At this stage of the competition, national security, human rights and sovereignty are getting mashed together along with American public attitudes on how to contend with China when it comes to shaping U.S. policy. As a result, the political room to negotiate on an issue like Huawei is narrowing by the day, driving a more hard-line U.S. policy toward China overall.
SnapshotsApr 17, 2018 | 19:33 GMT
U.S., China: A New Tech Export Ban Targets Chinese Innovation
In the ever-evolving spat between the world's two largest economies, the United States is reaching for yet another tool to pressure China. On April 16, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that it is reinstating an order barring U.S. companies -- including tech giants such as Google, Qualcomm and Intel -- from selling parts, software and equipment to the Shenzhen-based telecommunications giant ZTE Corp. The move will undeniably be felt in ZTE's operations throughout the world.
AssessmentsMar 20, 2018 | 15:16 GMT
China's tech giants see Southeast Asia as a market ready for development.
China's Tech Giants Are Racing the West Into Southeast Asia
China's tech giants are drawing a line in the sand in Southeast Asia. From internet heavyweight Alibaba to smartphone maker Xiaomi, Chinese companies have singled out the region as a critical market to push back against their Japanese, South Korean and U.S. rivals. The 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have a population of more than 620 million. And whoever can cultivate the region through smartphone adoption, internet commerce and other spreading technologies will have prime access to one of the world's most important generators of growth over the next two decades.
On GeopoliticsOct 24, 2017 | 07:59 GMT
Jack Ma, chairman of China's Alibaba Group, speaks at the 2015 CeBIT expo in Hannover, Germany.
In China, Innovation Cuts Both Ways
China is in a bind. The heavy industry that propelled the country's economy through three decades of dizzying growth has reached its limits. To escape the dreaded middle-income trap, China will need to shift its focus from low-end manufacturing to other economic industries, namely the technology sector. Beijing has put tech at the center of its long-term economic strategy through campaigns such as Made in China 2025 and Internet Plus. But these initiatives alone won't push the Chinese economy past its current plateau. The tech sector is notorious for relentless innovation. And innovation requires flexibility. For the Chinese government, flexibility is an unsettling prospect. Giving tech companies the leeway they need to keep up with -- and, ideally, get ahead of -- their competition is the only way Beijing can achieve its goals for economic growth and development. However, granting tech firms and their influential leaders the autonomy required to compete
ReflectionsJul 7, 2016 | 02:07 GMT
The Taming of the Two Chinas
The Taming of the Two Chinas
The government of Hebei province, long China's largest steel producer and one of northern China's major sources of pollution, published a statement Tuesday vowing to better enforce environmental regulations and improve air, water and soil quality. On the same day, the United Front Work Department, whose goal is to mobilize support for the central government across all segments of society, announced the formation of the 8th Bureau to solidify support from a "new social class," a key component of which is Chinese staff at private sector and foreign-owned firms. Though on the surface unrelated, both developments shed light on the evolving relationship between the wishes and interests of China's central state and the messy realities of local political and economic life across the country. They also paint a portrait of two Chinas, separated not only by geography but also by radically different socio-economic circumstances, and, in turn, of the different approaches
ReflectionsJun 29, 2016 | 01:55 GMT
How Asia Is Dealing With Brexit
How Asia Is Dealing With Brexit
The Brexit vote is having a worldwide economic effect, and Asian countries, though detached from the political negotiations in Europe, are bracing themselves against the uncertainty. The South Korean finance ministry announced Tuesday a 20 trillion-won ($17.1 billion) stimulus package and a cut to its internal growth forecast. In Japan, the government has already held one emergency meeting this week with the Bank of Japan to discuss market conditions and will hold another the morning of June 29. China, for now, seems more worried about the long-term implications of Brexit and particularly about the impact it might have on global trade.
ReflectionsJun 2, 2016 | 02:40 GMT
Germany's Kuka AG is the world’s largest manufacturer of robotics for the automobile industry.
China Looks to Europe to Feed Its Appetite for Technology
China's Midea Group offered a $5.1 billion bid to take over German industrial robot maker Kuka AG on May 18, but now German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and his ministry are trying to put together a European consortium to block and counter the bid. As the world’s largest manufacturer of robotics for automobile manufacturing and as one of the world’s top five manufacturers for general industry, Kuka is a strategic asset for China and Germany.
On GeopoliticsMar 29, 2016 | 10:58 GMT
Thirty years into the information technology revolution, new developments continue to change the world. As tech conglomerates such as Google continue to advance and expand into new industries, they could become supranational powers beyond state control -- and yet integral to it and new global powers.
The Tech Revolution Comes of Age
Technological revolutions frame historical eras. Each cycle thrusts new sectors into prominence, turning companies into strategic assets for their respective governments to exploit. The information technology revolution is no different. The companies that operate in this space -- such as Samsung, Apple, Google, Facebook and Baidu -- are among the most powerful in the world today. At the same time, they often find themselves at the center of geopolitical disputes.
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.
AssessmentsJan 3, 2016 | 14:01 GMT
Attendees look at 65-inch Skyworth 4K curved OLED televisions on display at the 2015 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The Geopolitical Impact of Consumer Electronics
Although new consumer electronics products could eventually change the world, the research involved in developing consumer electronics is as important as the devices themselves. Moreover, we cannot rule out the possibility that consumer electronics -- and electronics in general -- will gain greater influence and import in the global economic system, meaning that companies such as Google, Facebook or possibly Chinese companies such as Baidu could replace energy firms as arguably the most geopolitically important companies.
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