Foreign sanctions against Chinese tech firms won’t inhibit China’s progress: experts

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/9 21:38:39

Foreign obstruction won’t inhibit China’s progress: experts

Visitors look at China Mobile's latest 5G advances at a conference in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province on Friday. Photo: VCG

Sanction measures against China's high-tech firms by some foreign countries won't prevent China from developing its technology sectors, experts said on Sunday.

Several countries have taken action against Chinese tech companies recently, telecommunication equipment makers Huawei and ZTE in particular.

According to a report by the Yomiuri newspaper on Friday, Japan is likely to ban government purchases of telecommunications products from the two Chinese companies due to fears of intelligence leaks and cyber attacks.

Later on Friday, China's embassy in Japan released a statement, urging Japan to view investment from Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE from a positive perspective and to provide a fair business environment.

The statement also said that there's no evidence showing that Huawei and ZTE products present any security risks, and it also noted that the two companies have contributed significantly to the Japanese economy by importing a large number of products from Japan as well as hiring many local employees.

Fu Liang, a Beijing-based telecom industry expert, told the Global Times on Monday that a ban by Japan could be seen as a move to take sides in the standoff between China and the US, as Washington is putting pressure on some of its political allies to hold back the Chinese telecom firms.

"There are voices in the US arguing against the Trump administration's actions against China's high-tech sector, but collusion by countries like Canada and Japan can help the US government withstand such pressure," Fu said.

Recently, Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the US. Australia also banned Huawei from building its 5G telecoms network in Australia earlier this year, according to media reports.

The US and China are currently having a 90-day truce in their trade dispute, with the two countries agreeing to negotiate over a number of issues including forced technology transfer and cyber intrusions, according to a White House statement on December 1.

Sanctions won't work

But experts said that overseas countries' discriminatory sanctions won't stop China from developing its high-tech industries, particularly as China now has the capability to manufacture products with its own technologies.

Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based technology expert, told the Global Times on Sunday that the fact that countries like the US are taking action against Huawei actually shows that China's telecommunications technologies have achieved a breakthrough, and are now considered to be a competitive threat.

"Huawei's Unicorn 980 chip is not worse than the chips made by overseas companies, which shows that China can be completely independent in producing high-standard chips and won't need to rely on overseas chip makers like Qualcomm anymore," Liu said.

Liu said such core technologies can not only fuel the rapid expansion of China's internet and telecommunications sectors, but will also help China supply the parts to overseas customers.

Experts also said that although the sanctions might hurt Chinese companies to a certain extent, the impact will by no means be fatal. For example, Huawei has a diverse and extensive global network.

"Huawei is not penetrating into the US market, but it is more accepted in European markets because of its technological competitiveness," Liu noted.

Newspaper headline: Tech giants under pressure

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