China-US tech war

Pedestrians carry shopping bags on Geary street in San Francisco, California, US, on 18 May 2022. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Can high inflation in the US bring an end to the China-US trade war?

With inflation reaching historic highs, the Biden administration is facing a challenging road ahead of the midterm elections in November. The lifting of some tariffs on China could ease inflation in the US and appease voters, bringing an end to the China-US trade war. However, views in the White House are mixed. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong speaks with academics to find out more.
Charles Lieber leaves federal court after he and two Chinese nationals were charged with lying about their alleged links to the Chinese government, in Boston, Massachusetts, US, 30 January 2020. (Katherine Taylor/Reuters)

US must not be naive about intentions of China’s Thousand Talents Plan

The recent conviction of former Harvard department head Charles Lieber has cast the spotlight once again on China’s Thousand Talents Plan to attract global scientific talent to contribute their expertise to China. The American scientific community is pushing back against some of the US government’s harsh reprisals, but Hu Hao says strong action is warranted as the threat of authoritarian regimes seeking to gain technical knowledge to threaten democratic and liberal values is real.
Signage for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) at the company's headquarters in Hsinchu, Taiwan, on 11 January 2022. (I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg)

Why TSMC will stay rooted in Taiwan despite pressure to set up overseas chip factories

While the US and Japan would like TSMC to "spread the risk" of global tech supply chains being hit in the event of cross-strait tensions, TSMC is quite firm on keeping its advanced technologies in Taiwan while going through the motions of setting up some overseas outposts as recommended by its allies. It is well aware of its strategic value and will want to hold on to its upper hand.
This general view shows the headquarters of SenseTime, a Chinese artificial intelligence company based in Hong Kong on 13 December 2021, after the company postponed a planned US$767 million initial public offering after it was blacklisted by the US over human rights concerns in Xinjiang. (Peter Parks/AFP)

China's AI giant SenseTime blacklisted: Is China-US financial decoupling taking place?

The US government has seemingly pulled the rug from under the feet of SenseTime by putting it on a blacklist just a week before its planned IPO, effectively blocking US funding from the AI company. But while the official reason is human rights issues in Xinjiang, perhaps the real reason is the ongoing tech competition between the US and China. If so, it seems that the US has found another lever with which to pressure China — curtailing investment.
A visitor tries mixed reality glasses at the Apsara Conference, a cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) conference, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on 19 October 2021. (STR/AFP)

Who is winning the AI race: US or China?

By certain indices, China seems to have surpassed the US in artificial intelligence development. But a closer look shows that the US is still a leader where it counts, even though China has its strengths and is pouring in significant investments to catch up. James Pang says that China still has to knuckle down and get its fundamentals right, if it is to truly surpass its rival.
In this file photo taken on 23 October 2019, a Facebook employee tries out an Oculus device at the company's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California. (Josh Edelson/AFP)

China-US competition: Who will set the rules in a digital world?

Analyst Zheng Weibin says that while the China-US competition is a tussle for power that some would compare to the Cold War of the 20th century, digital technology is making all the difference in the 21st century. Today's competition is taking place amid changing definitions of national strength and economic power, and China needs to catch up in terms of growing its digital economy and meeting the challenges that come with it.
This file photo taken on 31 May 2021 shows an employee of the semiconductor manufacturer Bosch working in a clean room during the preparations for the series production of semiconductor chips on innovative 300-millimetre wafers in Dresden, Germany. (Jens Schlueter/AFP)

Why no country can win the chip war

Though the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on many industries, annual global semiconductor sales still increased by 10.8% in 2020 to reach US$464 billion. The current global semiconductor supply chain is highly internationalised. While it is dominated by a small number of countries and regions, none of them has full control over every segment in the supply chain and geopolitics can be a risk factor. While the US has imposed sanctions and trade restrictions on China to hinder its development in chip making, academic James Pang says that given the nature of the industry, the current status quo will be maintained for some time.
A Capitol police vehicle parks at the US Capitol in Washington, US, 22 May 2021. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

America’s negative turn against China: Role of the US Congress

In recent years, the US Congress has played a major role in America’s unprecedented turn against China. Will China prove to be the factor to bring both parties together in Congress?
The app of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi is seen on a mobile phone in front of the company logo displayed in this illustration picture taken on 1 July 2021. (Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

Why platform companies seek monopoly and what happens when governments rein them in

Leaked data from one platform company may not pose a major national security threat, but data from multiple platforms combined might, warns technology specialist Yin Ruizhi. As countries become more wary of internet security risks, it will be increasingly difficult for platform companies to get listed overseas. What is the alternative then?