The semiconductor industry sits at the centre of the modern world and this is key to appreciating what’s going on in the US government’s battle with Chinese technology giant Huawei
The US actions do more than just keep Chinese technology away from critical telecommunications infrastructure – something it has lobbied US allies to emulate. They also choke off the global supply of semiconductors, and technology to make semiconductors, to Huawei, thereby limiting China’s rate of technological progress, economic development and ability to compete with the US.
In May US president Donald Trump signed an executive order blocking US technology companies dealing with Huawei. The order bans “any acquisition, importation, transfer, installation, dealing in, or use of any information and communications technology or service” without special approval.
Among the effects is that Google has stopped licensing its Android mobile operating system to Huawei, limiting the Chinese company’s ambitions in the global phone market.
But arguably the biggest consequence is blocking the sale of US semiconductors, and semiconductor-making equipment and services.
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