Global Geopolitics: US-China Technology War; India's Regional Isolation; Pakistan's Ties With China, US

Is US-China technology war heating with Huawei ban? Is it part of the larger geopolitical landscape pitting the US as the established superpower against China as the new rising power? Is the fight over Huawei 5G merely a symptom of it? How will it affect global peace and the economy of the world?

Why has Intel fallen behind TSMC in semiconductor technology which is fundamental to computers, communications and other related technologies?  Is it just the fault of recently fired Indian-American technology executive at Intel? Why is US forcing TSMC to not manufacture chips for Huawei? Is this just an attempt to China's rise in technology?

Are India's regional ties with Bangladesh and Iran fraying? Will Iran-Pakistan ties improve?Why is China building a regional quad with Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan? Is it aimed at India and its quad with Australia, Japan and US? Will Pakistan be forced to choose sides between US and China?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Davesh discusses these questions with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com).

https://youtu.be/DLMloNMVwCs

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Views: 40

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 6, 2020 at 10:53am

#Pakistan among top 5 markets for #China's ByteDance owned #TikTok video sharing app. #India leads with 190 million users, followed by #US 41 million, #Turkey 23.2 million, #Russia 19.9 million and #Pakistan 19.5 million. https://www.businessofapps.com/data/tik-tok-statistics/#:~:text=Ind....

A total of 44 countries are covered by these stats. It is unclear whether these include China.

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1291431262129774592?s=20

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 7, 2020 at 12:28pm

Mark Zuckerberg tells #Facebook employees he's 'really worried' about possible #tiktokban. "It's a really bad long-term precedent..I am really worried…it could very well have long-term consequences in other countries around the world. https://www.businessinsider.com/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-tiktok-ban... via @businessinsider

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 9, 2020 at 7:19am

#US squeeze on #China’s apps, #digital infrastructure could upend global internet. Over 20 of 100 top-grossing apps on #Google Play are #Chinese, while 10 of the 100 highest grossing apps on #Apple’s App Store are from China. #CleanNetwork https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3096323/us-squeeze-china... via @scmpnews

“Many of the Chinese companies currently under unilateral US sanctions are innocent, and their technology and products are safe,” said Wang Wenbin, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, in a statement on Thursday. “It is absurd for the US to talk of a ‘Clean Network’ when it is covered in its own filth”, referencing the Edward Snowden incident and Prism surveillance.

--------
The Trump administration’s “Clean Network” programme threatens to further disrupt China’s technology industry, as the campaign seeks to restrict the international expansion of Chinese apps, cloud services and undersea cable networks.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday made sweeping remarks that – “to keep Americans’ data safe from untrusted vendors” – he will aim to remove Chinese-owned apps in the market as well as cut off links with China’s digital infrastructure.
The initiative, which the State Department said includes the commitment of more than 30 countries and territories, is likely to escalate the complex tech war between the world’s two largest economies, according to analysts.
“The negative effect of this programme is that it’s becoming harder to see a truly global vision of the internet and access without borders surviving this tech war,” said Paul Haswell, a partner who advises technology companies at international law firm Pinsent Masons. “It would seem that the object of the campaign is to remove Chinese technology from all aspects of US data transmission and processes. We’ll have to see if that is even possible in practice.”

-----------

“This latest ramp-up in US-China tensions poses a potential barrier for the Chinese cloud companies to expand globally,” said Mathew Ball, Canalys’ chief analyst for global infrastructure, cloud and cybersecurity. He added, however, that this campaign “will be challenging to enforce outside the US”.
Pompeo said the US campaign is also focused on keeping the undersea cables that links the country to the global internet safe from intelligence-gathering by China.
In June, the US government blocked a major undersea cable network from linking Hong Kong to the US West Coast because it “would expose US communications traffic to collection” by China.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 9, 2020 at 7:32am

#US #CleanNetwork aims to restrict #international growth of #Chinese apps, cloud services and undersea cable networks. 20+ of 100 top-grossing apps on #Google Play are #Chinese, while 10 of the 100 highest grossing apps on #Apple’s App Store are from China https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3096323/us-squeeze-china...

The Clean Network campaign also aims to prevent sensitive personal information of US citizens and businesses’ most valuable intellectual property – including Covid-19 vaccine research – from being stored and processed on cloud computing platforms run by the likes of 

Alibaba Group Holding

, telecommunications network operators 

China Mobile

 and 

China Telecom

Baidu

 and Tencent.

Tencent and Alibaba, the parent company of the South China Morning Post, declined to comment on the US programme on Thursday. Baidu did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Alibaba Cloud
 was the world’s fourth-largest cloud services provider in the second quarter, behind Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, according to research firm Canalys.

“This latest ramp-up in US-China tensions poses a potential barrier for the Chinese cloud companies to expand globally,” said Mathew Ball, Canalys’ chief analyst for global infrastructure, cloud and cybersecurity. He added, however, that this campaign “will be challenging to enforce outside the US”.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 9, 2020 at 11:54am

Alibaba vs. Amazon

https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/better-buy%3A-alibaba-vs.-amazon-20...


With just about everyone who is still working doing so from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a huge increase in the use of cloud services and online grocery orders. Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) are two of the top e-commerce and cloud service providers in the world.

Alibaba dominates China's e-commerce market, with 824 million users on mobile. The Chinese tech giant is also the leading cloud service provider in China with Alibaba Cloud.

Amazon is increasing its share of e-commerce in the U.S., as it becomes the go-to online store for people relatively new to buying things online. The company has over 150 million Amazon Prime members who enjoy free shipping and other services as part of a yearly subscription. Most of the company's profit, however, is generated from Amazon Web Services, which is helping organizations migrate their data systems from on-premise servers to the cloud.

Both companies were growing fast going into the coronavirus crisis, but the practice of social distancing will only make these companies stronger as more people adopt online shopping. We'll compare Alibaba and Amazon on financial fortitude, growth, and valuation to determine which stock is the better buy.

In hard times, companies that have plenty of cash can weather the storm, while companies that are swamped with debt add an additional element of risk that you can avoid by investing in cash-rich companies like Alibaba and Amazon.

The main difference between the two is that Alibaba generates more free cash flow relative to revenue than Amazon. Free cash flow is an important profitability metric to watch, as it shows the actual cash that is left over for value-creating moves like dividends, share repurchases, and acquisitions after paying all expenses and reinvesting in the business for growth.

Overall, Alibaba has the advantage here.

Which company is growing faster?
While Alibaba and Amazon have both been around for more than 20 years, both companies are still growing very fast, especially for companies of their size.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 24, 2020 at 1:18pm

Has China Won by Kishore Mahbubani

Financial Times Book Review by John Thornhill

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8278279504304651957&po...


In Mahbubani’s telling, written before coronavirus struck, the US ruling classes think their rivalry with China is a rerun of the cold war with the Soviet Union — and they know how that movie ended. It is surely only a matter of time and political gravity before the liberty-loving, free-market superpower sees off the latest uppity communist dictatorship.

Mahbubani picks up on that cold war analogy. But this time, he argues, the roles are reversed: the US is the inflexible, ideological, systemically challenged superpower, while China is the adaptable, pragmatic and strategically smart rival. “America is behaving like the Soviet Union, and China is behaving like America,” he writes.

Like an overzealous proctologist, Mahbubani probes America’s most sensitive parts. In spite of the increasingly bellicose noises coming out of Washington, the US has failed to develop any coherent strategy to deal with a resurgent China, he argues. That is in glaring contrast with the patient strategy of containment articulated by the US diplomat George Kennan in 1946 at the start of the cold war. Mahbubani gives short shrift to America’s marginalised modern-day diplomats: there are, as the former defence secretary Robert Gates observed, more members of military marching bands than US foreign service personnel.


The former Singaporean diplomat adds that US politics has been captured by a short-sighted plutocracy that would not survive long if the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, criminalising bribery of officials abroad, applied at home.


Lacking any strategic brain, the US has become over-reliant on military muscle and entangled in perpetual wars in the Middle East. The US may account for half of global defence spending, but how much use is its military hardware in a software age? US aircraft carriers, which can cost up to $13bn to build, can be easily sunk by one of China’s DF-26 missiles, costing a few hundred thousand dollars.

Most tellingly, the US’s social and economic model has stopped delivering for most of its people. “America is the only developed society where the average income of the bottom 50 per cent of the population has gone down over the past 30 years. In the same period, the Chinese people have experienced the greatest improvement in their standard of living ever seen in Chinese history,” he writes.




It is in the nature of a polemic to maximise all evidence supporting an argument and minimise everything that contradicts it. So it is with Mahbubani: unsparing on the US’s failings, he glosses over China’s manifest flaws. The Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, in which tens of millions died, merit one sentence. The current unrest in Hong Kong is dismissed as a struggle between the homeless and real estate tycoons.

Mahbubani is as effusive in his praise of China’s leaders as he is damning of their US counterparts. President Xi Jinping’s removal of term limits was necessary to counter factionalism and corruption. His rule delivers three public goods to the world: restraining Chinese nationalism; responding to climate change; and ensuring that China is a status quo power, not a revolutionary one. “There is a very strong potential that Xi Jinping could provide to China the beneficent kind of rule provided by a philosopher king,” he gushes.

In the end, Mahbubani ducks the question his book’s title poses. Despite his criticisms of the US, he recognises its many strengths: an individualistic culture; the best universities in the world; a magnetic attraction for the world’s best and brightest (including 351,000 Chinese students); and its strong institutions — although Donald Trump is working on that.

He concludes that a “geopolitical contest between America and China is both inevitable and avoidable”. Read this book to be provoked, if not convinced.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 30, 2020 at 10:50pm

#India and #US , the 2 largest democracies in the world, are the sickest now. One major difference is that political opposition to the government’s mishandling of the #COVID19 crisis is much more energised and organised in the US than in India.

https://scroll.in/article/971086/the-two-largest-democracies-in-the...

The two largest democracies in the world, India and the United States, are now struggling and flailing in the fight against the coronavirus. India has the world’s largest number of new cases, followed closely by the US. The number of reported cases are almost surely undercounts, as in both countries testing has been delayed and highly inadequate, if not downright chaotic. Death rates per million people are much lower in India, possibly because the Indian population is much younger. As the number of cases mounted, the government in both countries discontinued giving daily briefings on the virus impact.

As is well known, in the US, President Donald Trump and his party had been in denial or claiming imminent victories too often (consistent with their anti-science and anti-expert attitude), fatally wasting several weeks of potential preparation. Simple hygienic precautionary measures have been politicised, with not wearing masks becoming a sign of partisan or libertarian defiance.

The US also lacks a unified public health agency to authoritatively handle and coordinate in a major pandemic. Even in the best of times, the US private medical insurance system is messy, uncoordinated, mired in a bureaucratic system oriented to exclude people, and largely unaffordable for all those, particularly the poor, who do not have a stable job. Among rich countries the system is among the least prepared to face a pandemic of the current proportions.

The current regime in India in its health plans has been trying by and large to copy the American system of subsidised private insurance. Health spending by the Indian government as percentage of GDP has long been one of the lowest for any major country, and the public health system is chronically dismal. This has been a matter of national shame, but this kind of shame does not get the attention of our current crop of ultra-nationalists.

A poorly handled pandemic
Faced with the virus, India, like the US, has been woefully unprepared. India also wasted crucial weeks in February and March, even as the virus was raging in a neighboring country. This was not so much because of anti-science attitudes (though they are not absent in the ruling party and its affiliates – remember the cow urine drinking parties organised by some of them to forestall the virus), but more because of another virus that has been afflicting India’s body politic: the virus of hate and intolerance.

Much of February, particularly around the time of the Delhi state elections, went in majoritarian hate-mongering against the minority Muslim community and all dissenters against a highly discriminatory Citizenship Act. The protesting women of Shaheen Bagh were the enemy, more than the pandemic. On February 24, the regime felicitated Trump in an Ahmedabad cricket stadium packed with 110,000 people, at a time when restrictions were already in place in some countries. After the Delhi elections, some ruling party politicians were busy fomenting riots. The first half of March the central leadership was preoccupied with toppling an Opposition state government.

--------------------

There is a danger that by the time the coronavirus crisis is finally over in India, there may be only a largely hollowed-out shell of democracy left. India will then be known as the world’s largest pseudo-democracy. This will give China a much larger ideological victory than their minor military one at India’s borders that the Indian government is currently busy covering up to prop its faltering image of muscular nationalism.

Comment by Riaz Haq on September 9, 2020 at 8:39pm
A Tale of Two Dictatorships
by Kishore Mahbubani


http://www.mahbubani.net/articles%20by%20dean/a%20tale%20of%20two%2...

Myanmar and Pakistan are both Asian countries whose military rulers are in trouble. But they are
heading in opposite directions, because, whereas Pakistan understands why Asia is rising, Myanmar
does not.
Asia is rising because Asian countries are increasingly opening their doors to modernity. Starting with
Japan, this modernizing wave has swept through the four “Asian Tigers” (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong
Kong, and Singapore), some ASEAN countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam), and then
to China and India. Now, it is moving into Pakistan and West Asia.
I was in Pakistan during one of its more exciting weeks. Exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
sought to return, but was promptly sent back into exile. The world expected a political eruption. Instead,
the country carried on calmly.
Pakistan did not erupt because Pakistan’s elite is focused on modernization. Led by Prime Minister
Shaukat Aziz, who was formerly with Citibank, the country has carried out dramatic structural reforms,
matching best practices in leading emerging-market economies. This explains high economic growth
rates.
Pakistan has welcomed foreign trade and investment. And, just as the success of overseas Indians in
America inspired Indians in India, Pakistan stands to similarly benefit from its own successful diaspora.
But this opening to modernity extends beyond economics and finance. Yes, thousands of madrasas
remain open and Islamic fundamentalism is strong. But this has not completely changed the fundamental
texture of Pakistan’s society.
One sight at LUMS, a leading private university in Lahore, heartened me: how women were dressed.
When I visited Malaysian campuses as a young man in the 1960’s, few Malay Muslim women wore the
hijab . Today, on the same campuses, almost all do. By contrast, at LUMS (which has the look and feel
of Harvard Business School), only about 5% of female students wore the hijab , a remarkable
expression of social freedom.
There has also been an explosion of free media in Pakistan. An astonishing number of Pakistani TV
stations openly discuss the activities of Sharif and the other exiled former prime minister, Benazir
Bhutto. Indeed, many elements of an open society are in place, including – as the world learned in
March – an independent judiciary
-------

I was in Pakistan as a state guest. But my real mission was to reconnect with my ethnic Sindhi roots, as
I had never visited the country where my parents were born. Only those who understand the pain of the
partition of British India in 1947 will appreciate the powerful symbolism of a child of Hindu parents
being welcomed back warmly to Muslim Pakistan. Those cultural ties helped me understand the Urdu
and Sindhi being spoken, and also to feel the deep urge to modernize in the Pakistani soul – an urge that
exists alongside the urge to reconnect with Pakistan’s rich cultural past.
I left Pakistan feeling hopeful, because I saw the strong desire to join today’s rising Asia. If a similar
impulse could be implanted into Myanmar, both its people and the world would benefit.

--------

America’s decision to engage, rather than isolate, Pakistan has also helped. I have no doubt that closer
American re-engagement helped to nudge Pakistan in the right direction. Many members of Pakistan’s
elite have been educated in American universities – another leading indicator of a country’s orientation.
Just imagine how different international relations would be if American leaders could visit Myanmar (or
even Iran) with equal ease and have friendly discussions about agreements and disagreements.

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