On September 15, two Chinese companies going overseas-Huawei and ByteDance’s TikTok, at the same time Usher in a critical time window.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s August”upgrade” ban, products based on U.S. software and technology cannot be used to manufacture or develop any parts produced, purchased or ordered by any Huawei subsidiary (in the entity list). In parts, components or equipment. This ban came into effect on September 15.
In addition, according to Trump’s executive order, TikTok must also sell its U.S. business to U.S. companies around September 15, or it must close its doors.
According to the latest news, on September 14, local time, after Microsoft confirmed that TikTok rejected its acquisition request, Oracledata-stock-id="nyORCL" class="stock-word"> span> confirmed that it has reached an agreement with the Chinese owner of TikTok, ByteDance, to become its”trusted technology provider”, but the agreement still needs the US government’s approval. In an interview, U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that TikTok’s deadline for trading is September 20, which is equivalent to a delay in the original deadline.
I. The U.S. Trap Reappears
It has been time for the United States to attempt to block Huawei since the US House of Representatives declared that Huawei and ZTE threatened US national security in 2012 8 years.
For such a long time, the United States has exhausted political, judicial, and diplomatic methods to try to block a Chinese company through”long-arm management”.
As for TikTok, the Trump administration simply and rudely adopted the government’s coercive transaction method.
This has to make people doubt the”free market” environment in the United States.
In fact, the United States does not obtain market benefits for American companies or interest groups once or twice through selective enforcement. The book”American Trap” written by Pierucci, a former executive of French energy giant Alstom, based on his own personal experience, described in detail the story of the US Department of Justice helping General Electric to forcibly acquire Alstom through”long-arm management”.
The cover of”American Trap”.
According to Pierucci’s statistics, the United States often uses huge fines to limit the competitiveness of European companies. There are 26 cases where fines of more than 100 million US dollars have been imposed; a more severe tactic is to arrest executives of competing companies. , Pierucci suffered from it. In order to force the opponent to submit, the U.S. prosecutors will also bombard with massive amounts of documents, forcing the indicted to pay high lawyer fees. The indicted is often forced to plead guilty for failing to pay the fees.
In the process of the US banning Huawei, we can see similar operations. The reappearance of the US trap is aimed at protecting some US-related companies, but with greater ambitions – at the same time, it creates a chilling effect for Chinese high-tech companies and international affiliates, and blocks the growth of Chinese technology companies.
Second, an all-loss game adventure
Then, the United States has frantically suppressed Huawei and TikTok. Can the United States really take advantage of it?
Last year, the Acting Director of the White House Administration and Budget, Russ Water, wrote to US Vice President Pence and nine members of Congress, requesting the postponement of the Huawei ban. The reason is that it may affect the operation of the rural communications network in the United States.
For many years, many regional wireless operators, TV stations and Internet service providers in the United States have used Huawei equipment. Huawei equipment is very popular in rural communications networks in the United States. Blocking Huawei is bound to affect the Communications, radio and television operations.
Huawei’s US chip and component suppliers also suffered losses. US chip giant Qualcomm estimates that blocking Huawei will result in Qualcomm loses $8 billion a year in the market, and Intel also has this concern.
It’s not just American companies that suffer. After the”upgrade” ban takes effect, Huawei’s major suppliers such as Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea may also be in trouble.
In fact, due to the previous blockade of Huawei, the global chip market has fallen into a situation of oversupply. The British investigative company Omdia estimates that if the production of Huawei-related products ceases, the trade of related parts and components in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan There will also be a pause.
More importantly, because of the Huawei and TikTok incidents, the United States will let the world see that the US market has high legal and political risks. Incalculable market losses will gradually appear in the future. It can be said that deliberately blocking Huawei and TikTok is an all-loss game adventure.
3.”No one can extinguish the starry sky”
It is foreseeable that the ban in the United States will make Huawei and TikTok have to make major adjustments to their business strategies and pay a lot of transformation cost.
The Kirin 9000 on Huawei’s Mate40/Pro will become a swan song, for example. But since Huawei has been prepared for market changes many years ago, this can also help it out of the predicament caused by the US ban.
Huawei Kirin chip. Figure/Beijing News Network.
Last year, Huawei’s global shipments of mobile phones reached 240 million, ranking second in the world. In the first half of this year, global shipments of mobile phones reached 105 million, and consumer business sales revenue was 255.8 billion yuan. Huawei will also fully support mobile phones with the Hongmeng system developed by itself next year.
Huawei’s breakout war also drove domestic related industries to accelerate domestic substitution. The upgrade of the domestic third-generation semiconductors from equipment, substrate, epitaxy and device industry chain links has begun to take shape. The media reported that the development of third-generation semiconductors is expected to be included in the”14th Five-Year Plan” that is being formulated.
Greatness comes out, and it won’t take long. It can be said with certainty that the US trap cannot hold back the development of Chinese technology companies. Just as Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business, said at the Huawei Developer Conference 2020, “No one can extinguish the stars”.
The latest news says that the deadline set by the United States for TikTok has returned to around September 20th. Oracle also confirmed that it has reached an agreement with TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, to become its”trusted technology provider” , But in the end, we need to wait for the attitude of the Trump administration.
If the transaction can be completed, TikTok can be realized, even if the transaction cannot be completed, it cannot be said to be a complete failure. TikTok filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration last month. Rebelling against unfair market treatment will be a problem facing Chinese companies going overseas for a long time to come. From TikTok’s transaction and prosecution cases, TikTok and other Chinese companies can learn more ways to use rules to protect their interests.
Whether it is Huawei, TikTok, or for Chinese companies going overseas, the Trump administration’s deliberate suppression has brought more uncertainty to Sino-US trade relations. Among them, September 15 is undoubtedly the most iconic day in Sino-US trade relations.
But for Huawei and TikTok, the so-called”maximum” may not be a new beginning.
□Xu Lifan (column author)
Editor Hu Boyang proofread by Chen Diyan