In recent years and since the pandemic led to the surge in livestreaming, e-learning and other online activities, the demand for cloud computing and related services has increased significantly. Chinese companies led by frontrunners Huawei, Tencent and Alibaba are launching into all-out competition in the cloud services sector. While Huawei has been fiercely climbing the ranks with the injection of talent and funding, Alibaba and Tencent are not resting on their laurels either. What could be their winning war chests? And are they ready to take on the world? Caixin journalist Zhang Erchi finds out.
China will continue to flex its e-commerce muscles in 2021, predicts Associate Professor Chu Junhong from the NUS Business School. Expect a strong dose of cross-border e-commerce, livestreaming e-commerce, and more eye-catching short videos that promise great returns on “retailtainment”.
Contrary to doomsday predictions, the US-China trade and tech relationship is actually rather sturdy. After all, it was their economic and trade complementarity that brought them finally to agree on a phase one trade deal, and against all odds, US direct investments into China grew by 6% (from a year earlier) in the first half of the year. Geopolitics and volatile brinkmanship in the name of power relations could instead be the greater threat. But between Trump and Biden, which is the lesser evil?
China’s new Unreliable Entity List seems to be an echo of US actions. But while the list looks like a potentially lethal tool, it has to be wielded prudently in order not to hurt China’s economy or cause anxiety. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu examines the factors involved.
Even though the countries are in a state of “non-war”, US-China tensions will not go away, says Chinese scholar Deng Qingbo. The US can only be expected to continue using China as a bogeyman even after the presidential election. While he is confident that China will be able to handle containment measures thrown at it deftly, he warns that it needs to guard against being increasingly withdrawn from the world as it nurses its bruises from its battles with the US. Failing to do so would only mean the US has succeeded in thwarting its goal of greater reform and opening up.
After days of delay, the US and China reviewed their phase one trade agreement in a telephone call on 25 August. Both sides sidestepped the question of recent US actions against Chinese companies, but there is no guarantee that this uneasy truce will hold up as the 2020 US presidential race intensifies.
Following TikTok’s shutting down in the Indian market, and the US’s announcement of its ban, countries such as Japan and New Zealand have also begun to consider imposing sanctions on TikTok. Does the crux of the problem lie in the company’s practices over user privacy and information security, or in the geopolitical struggle among the major powers? In the future, will other Chinese technology companies face the same fate as TikTok when they expand overseas?
With Trump's executive order prohibiting US "transactions" with China apps TikTok and WeChat, it may be harder for the Chinese to use WeChat on iPhones. But when it comes to making a choice between using WeChat for daily life or sticking with iPhones, which would the Chinese choose?
China has limited retaliatory actions against the US, according to Chinese academics. What are China’s options, and will it dance to the US's tune and fall into 'Trump's trap'?