Game of chiplomacy

Will China dominate the world of semiconductors?

America and its allies are crafting rules to try to prevent it

Visitors viewing a semiconductor device at Semicon China, a trade fair for semiconductor technology, in Shanghai in March 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
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During Mr Donald Trump's presidency, many people looked afresh at China's technological prowess. Some concluded that it posed a threat to Western economies, and perhaps even to global security. In news headlines Huawei, a brilliantly successful manufacturer of telecoms equipment, became the face of that threat.

America accused the firm of acting as a conduit for Chinese government surveillance and control. In 2018 America clobbered Huawei. It banned the export to the Chinese firm of American microchips essential for its products. This seems to have had the desired effect. Last year Huawei's revenues shrank for the first time in a decade, by almost a third.

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