A couple of days ago, President Trump signaled, his desire to ban TikTok in the USA. Then, encouraged a US-based company to buy the US operation of the tech firm while giving the Chinese firm 45 days to figure things out. The move is in line with a slew of strong actions against Chinese tech firms. Indeed, on the basis of national security and human rights abuses, many Chinese firms are ban from the US and from doing business with US firms. Certainly, the concerns are extremely serious and should be taken with all gravity. In addition, there is a widely popular and bi-partisan consensus among US citizens and lawmakers about Chinese threats. Specially, in the light of COVI-19 consequent. Yet, there is a need for a carefully balanced policy. That is because it could mean trouble ahead.
An objective outlook reveals terrific innovative and world-leading firms that are taking over the world. In fact from Huawei to TikTok, we are seeing a pattern of world-class, top-notch firms that are leaders in their respective markets. Thus, exposing the limitations of US tech firms and the industry at large. But, what is so impressive is the speed and the rapid growth of these Asian giants. Yes, we can certainly find excuses and reasons why they were able to grow so fast including but restricted to unfair business practices. But, the fact is they are highlighting our gaps. Perhaps it is hard to hear but probably also the loss of America’s competitiveness.
Nevertheless, the actions taken against those Chinese tech giants are increasingly putting tech leaders under pressure. Publicly they are silent but privately they are overloaded with so many interrogations. These actions have created a sense of insecurity. Simply put, from now on any company can be subject to the same treatment whether it is a foreign company operating in the US or an American company operating in a foreign country. That is because all tech firms at their core operate the same. But, it might go far beyond tech firms. Sadly, we won’t have any say.
If Microsoft successfully reaches a deal with TikTok, it would be one of the biggest privanationalization in the world. Furthermore, it would taint Microsoft’s image as the company that benefited from direct Government intervention who pushed a legit company to break up. Even though Microsoft has been involved in the Chinese tech far longer than any rivals. Indeed, Microsoft Research Lad in China is one of the most prestigious lad in Asia. Notably, that gives the Seatle based tech firm, a huge dose of goodwill in China. Still, the acquisition method is questionable.
The American Administration’s goal is to stop Chinese tech firms from emerging as global superpowers at all costs. Signaling one simple reality, Americans are scared of the competition. The most powerful nation on earth is waking up to face a new reality. There is something happening in our backyard. We can’t beat. So we ask our government intervention to beat the competition. That new reality is turning heads in many capitals around the world. The fear is the action could spark in the future intense scrutiny of American tech firms. Question America’s ability to commit to fair trade. After all, we are essentially starting to practice what Beijing has been doing for years. Thus indirectly validating their approach to trade and free market.
The loss of America’s competitiveness
Over the past few years, the actions of the administration have been heroic and fierce in protecting the American way of life, our economy, and our security. But the American private sector cannot continue to count on the government to save them. What the hell are they doing? American companies are losing ground at the front of innovation. Even Apple was sued for Intellectual property infringement by a Chinese company.
In line with this trend, this April 2020 in an astounding piece of news, that mostly when unnoticed China surpass the USA. According to the U.N. patent agency, China was the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world in 2019. Thus, pushing the United States out of the top spot it has held since the global system was set up more than 40 years ago. Far more interesting was the progress made by the countries behind The United States of America.
Even Elon Musk has acknowledged the enthusiasm around innovation, entrepreneurship in China in the first installment of a three-part interview with Automotive News’ “Daily Drive” podcast. Our tech scene has become complacent and entitled.
A need for urgent action
The country needs to take action before it is too late. We are spending countless time applying bandages. While the reality is the loss of America’s competitiveness, is creating a ripple effect across the entire country, across industries and sectors.
What actions can we implement to emulate and simulate innovation even further?