There's an argument to be made about some of the ways that Chinese tech innovators are gaining. But it's hard to dispute that the U.S. has a formidable competitor that is catching up in key technology sectors. Yes, China's tech titans have been acquiring high-tech companies in America's innovation hubs, subsidizing next-generation breakthroughs, favoring home-grown Chinese companies, recruiting highly skilled, western-educated engineers, and blocking American internet leaders from access.
A lack of innovation is China’s “Achilles heel”, President Xi Jinping warned in an article given high prominence by state media on Thursday, where he also bemoaned the economy for being big yet without being strong. Xi’s comments, carried in the latest issue of the ruling Communist Party’s influential bimonthly theoretical journal Qiu Shi, were made in a speech in January 2016, and originally published a year later in a collection of Xi’s speeches.
President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order declaring a "national emergency" that would empower his administration to block foreign tech companies from doing business in the U.S. if they are deemed a national security threat. The order does not name any countries or companies, but the administration has launched a global campaign to keep the Chinese telecom Huawei from helping U.S. allies develop next-generation wireless infrastructures.
China’s venture investments rose to $105 billion in 2018, nearly matching the U.S. at $111 billion, according to Preqin data. Several factors have contributed to the trend. The Chinese government has grand ambitions to make China a tech superpower, such as its Made in China 2025 policy initiative for building national companies into high-tech champions, and its Internet Plus plan to power up the mobile Internet and the Internet of Things.
Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley pushed legislation Tuesday that would make it more difficult for American tech companies to export their technology to China. Hawley’s bill, which has few details. would require President Donald Trump to restrict any technology to China that would contribute to the communist country’s military. The Republican’s legislature would also place heavy restrictions on technology that influences artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and robots. It also would restrict any kind of tech that China might use to violate human rights.
The U.S. is losing its advantage to China and other countries when it comes to innovations related to artificial intelligence, blockchain and other key technology, according to an analysis of patent filings over the past decade. While American inventors still command the largest portion of the nation’s patents, the percentage is dropping in the high-tech fields, according to a yearlong study conducted by the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP and researchers at GreyB Services Pte.
Companies were bracing Monday for how Beijing might retaliate against President Trump's escalation of a fight over technology and trade that threatens to disrupt a Chinese economic recovery. China has threatened "necessary countermeasures" for Mr. Trump's tariff hikes Friday on $200 billion of Chinese imports. But three days later, in a break with previous tit-for-tat penalties that were imposed immediately, Beijing had yet to announce what it might do.
As a tool of national policy, tariffs had long been fading into history, a relic of the 19th and early 20th centuries that most experts came to see as harmful to all nations involved. Yet more than any other modern president, Trump has embraced tariffs as a punitive tool -- against Europe, Canada and other key trading partners but especially against China, the second-largest economy after the U.S.
U.S. authorities were sitting on a sensitive secret last fall when Canada detained a top Huawei Technologies Co. executive on alleged U.S. sanctions violations. Two months earlier, the U.S. had arrested another Chinese national on similar suspicions and was holding her at a grim jail in Washington, D.C. An employee of an unidentified Chinese technology company, she had been nabbed on vacation in California.
President Donald Trump boosted tariffs Friday on $200 billion in goods from China and was preparing more in his most dramatic steps yet to extract trade concessions, further roiling financial markets and casting a shadow over the global economy. China immediately said in a statement it is forced to retaliate, though hadn’t specified how as of 3:55 p.m. in Beijing.