Washington’s continued chip hegemony poses serious threat to global industry



JIN DING / CHINA DAILY

By forcing foreign chipmakers to make their business data crucial, Washington has once again shown the world that the America First doctrine is still at the heart of the country’s decision-making, and that Washington is ready to do anything to rule the supreme world. .

In September, the United States sent a seemingly voluntary request to obtain data from major semiconductor chip makers around the world in the name of improving the transparency of global supply chains and identifying bottlenecks. However, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo also warned that the country would use mandatory measures if the targeted companies did not submit the data within 45 days. Currently, more than 20 of them have complied.

This isn’t the first time Washington has abused its state power to bring a country or business to its knees, and it sure won’t be the last time. Armed with all manner of tools like long-armed jurisdiction, financial sanctions and diplomatic blackmail, the world’s only superpower has grown increasingly arrogant and reckless as it strives to pursue global hegemony.

Washington’s goal in its latest authoritative data entry is clear: to control global semiconductor supply chains and maintain its lead in related industries.

With detailed data on chip inventories, sales, orders as well as customer information from these major chipmakers, the United States can look at the global semiconductor industry from an almost perspective. divine. It can also give US companies leverage over their competitors around the world.

Washington’s acts of banditry have already raised serious concerns around the world, especially among companies in the global semiconductor industry.

Since the US government has yet to reveal how it will use the data, targeted companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), South Korean companies Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have all said they have excluded sensitive information or data. on clients, citing confidential signed agreements. between them and their clients.

“Many chipmakers fear passing on sensitive data which, if disclosed to third parties, could put their business at a disadvantage when negotiating contracts,” Japanese media outlet Nikkei Asia said in an article posted on its website.

Japan has already been the victim of similar American coercion. In the late 1980s, Washington viewed the boom in the Japanese semiconductor industry as a threat to the United States. He used a series of measures, including trade sanctions, to hit Japanese companies. In the end, Japan lost its advantage over semiconductors.

Such American demand also set a bad precedent and cast a shadow over the future of the industry.

The sensitive nature of the demand “sends a worrying signal to stakeholders in the global semiconductor industry, including other governments who may have an interest in forcing companies to share similar data, perhaps for lesser purposes. valid, ”the Washington-based information technology industry said. Council earlier this month, whose members include Apple, Intel, Samsung and TSMC.

Additionally, self-interested demand from the United States will further undermine the already fragile global semiconductor supply chain as Washington acts aggressively to regain its dominance in the industry.

More than three decades ago, the United States’ share of global chip production was 37%. Last year the number fell to just 12 percent. Washington has become very worried about the sharp drop.

The current semiconductor shortage, which has rocked the US auto industry quite hard, has heightened Washington’s urgency to reverse the downward trend. Washington on the one hand pressured or coerced major chipmakers to set up factories on American soil, for example SK Hynix and TSMC, and on the other hand blocked similar projects of these companies in China and blacklisted Chinese high-tech companies.

At a time when the global semiconductor shortage crisis continues to worsen, a still authoritarian United States will only exacerbate the crisis by hampering international cooperation and undermining mutual trust.

In an age of unstoppable economic globalization, cooperation is the only way for all countries to meet the challenges of today. If Washington is serious about tackling industry bottlenecks as it has openly asserted, it should choose cooperation over coercion.


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