Eleanor Olcott has gone into the fine detail of Chinese and US protectionist legislation.
She concludes that the US campaign against Huawei, which has become the focus of concerns about a rising and challenging China, will not cease. The US Export Control regime is set to get much tougher. This will create uncertainty, hit asset prices, and ultimately undermine US competitiveness in the technologies they wish to dominate.
The struggle for technological supremacy lies at the heart of the Sino-US trade war. Huawei’s astronomic rise as both a mobile phone producer and provider of the next generation of 5G connectivity has meant the company is the focus of US ire in this broader technological conflict. Donald Trump’s double blow to Huawei this month – which officially denied the firm any role in the rollout of the US 5G network but, more importantly, blocked all exports to the company and its associated subsidiaries – did not come as a surprise, not least to the Dongguan-based firm, which had been stockpiling US components in preparation. But this latest tech war salvo from the White House will likely achieve its intended goal of causing huge damage – though at a large cost to US technological competitiveness – to a company that has encapsulated the ambitions of a rising China.
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