Samsung chip deal underlines China’s quest for mutual benefits of development

By Xiao Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/6 23:53:39

A cooperation agreement recently reached between China's top economic planner and South Korea-based Samsung Electronics, the world's largest memory chip producer, is proof that China's move toward higher-end manufacturing and the nation's push for greater self-sufficiency, especially in high-technology industries, are not intended to tilt the Chinese market into a zero-sum game.

While competition between Chinese businesses and their foreign counterparts is inevitable, and has intensified dramatically in recent years, it's worth noting that cooperation is also an indispensable part of the business landscape in the world's second-largest economy.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding with Samsung Electronics for further cooperation on chip making, artificial intelligence and semiconductors, according to a China Daily report on Tuesday that cited an unidentified NDRC official. The NDRC reportedly held discussions with Samsung after soaring prices of memory chips used for long-term data storage in smartphones led device manufacturers to file complaints with the commission. Samsung has arguably been the biggest beneficiary of the chip price surge. The NDRC official said, however, that the agreement had no connection with the price rise.

While there remain some doubts over the real meaning of the deal, which came after reports that the NDRC would look into price fixing by chip manufacturers, it's quite obvious China has never sought to develop its technological and manufacturing strength in a way that pits itself against other powers.

China's efforts to move up the value chain and develop indigenous technology products and solutions cannot be achieved overnight. The national strategy of "Made in China 2025" may have focused global attention primarily on the nation's quest for a foothold in the higher end of the manufacturing chain and emerging new technologies.

This may also have left an impression on the outside world that the country has become addicted to competition.

That's certainly not the case. China has actually paid equal, if not more, attention to cooperating with other countries to ensure mutual benefits. Chinese businesses, in the technology sector in particular, have also engaged in wide-ranging cooperation with foreign companies. Rather than preparing for a battle in which only one party is left standing, China has shown itself to favor a cooperative approach to enabling shared growth, which is of critical importance for the country to achieve its technology ambitions.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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