China's technological dominance presents opportunity and risk

China manufactures an estimated 90 per cent of the world's IT hardware, and quantifying the risks involved in this dependency is difficult.

The United Kingdom government's announcement last week that it will take greater powers to scrutinise and block foreign takeovers on national security grounds brings it closer to the approach of the US and other countries, including Germany and Australia.

It follows decades of peculiarly British vagueness about who had the responsibility for worrying about these security implications, still less the power to do anything. It is also part of an international trend, as Western nations wake up to the intellectual property they may be losing, or dependencies they may be inviting. Add to that the realisation in recent years that sophisticated cyber attacks are increasingly being delivered through the supply chain and buried deep within the Internet infrastructure, and Western jitters are understandable.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2018, with the headline 'China's technological dominance presents opportunity and risk'. Print Edition | Subscribe