THE SINO-AMERICAN SEMICONDUCTOR WAR IS IT GAME OVER?
The article describes one critical ongoing battle in the economic war between the United States and China: the fight for hegemony over the global supply chain and market for semiconductors. The US government, stung by the rising profile of China in the area, is implementing a multipronged strategy of allying with other leading manufacturing countries to deny access to technology and production machinery to the People’s Republic of China (PRC); the latter is fighting back by striving to achieve indigenous autonomy in this area while keeping prices below the competition.
Semiconductors (chipsets) are the oil of the modern era. We find them everywhere, from smartphones and computers to electric vehicles and from washing machines to telecom network equipment. For all the major industrial powers, acquiring a mastery of chip technology is a strategic priority. It is about technological independence, security of supply, industrial resilience and national sovereignty. (A chipset or chipset is a set of electronic components included in a pre-programmed integrated circuit, making it possible to manage digital data flows between the processor(s), memory and peripherals. It is found in electronic devices such as microcomputers, video game consoles, mobile phones, digital cameras, etc. (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipset))
The United States is the undisputed leader for the design and the control of manufacturing tools. On the other hand, the production is concentrated in East Asia, particularly in South Korea, Taiwan and since a few years in China, which has greatly worried the Americans.
It is no exaggeration to say that the competition in this area between the US and China is one of the most important areas of tension between the two states. The Sino-American semiconductor (chipset) war, which started in 2018 with the US targeting Huawei, has now entered a new phase. Both sides have implemented different, strategies; however, it is still too early to tell who will emerge as the winner of this war.
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