The Chinese Administration is not at all complacent with its internet giants. From the outside it seems reasonable to intuit that it must be pampering Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance or Baidu, among other companies whose business is sustained precisely on the Internet, but nothing is further from the truth. The pressure exerted on them is so great that on several occasions it has caused their listing on the Stock Market drop abruptly.
The reasons why the Xi Jinping government subjects these companies to permanent auditing are not entirely clear, although there are all kinds of theories. There are those who defend that their measures are expressly favoring some companies to the detriment of those that are acquiring a markedly capitalist character, but for the moment it is only a conjecture that we will talk about in more depth in this article.
The Chinese government agency in charge of regulating competition, preventing monopoly and protecting intellectual property, among other tasks, is the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). On several occasions, it has taken measures that, according to this organization, seek to put an end to unfair competition and limit the use given by companies to user data. In addition, China is taking internet censorship to its ultimate consequences. However, it does not treat all of its technology companies as harshly.
The Chinese government is coddling its chipmakers
The latest episode reflecting the palpable tension that exists between the Administration and Chinese internet companies has just taken place. And it is that the Chinese Government, in an unprecedented maneuver, has not invited the senior officials of any of its internet giants to the meeting that will be held by the National People’s Congress of China next Sunday. In fact, Reuters assures that these executives will not participate in parliamentary sessions this year, which leaves out Jack Ma, the executive president of Alibaba, or Ma Huateng, the general director of Tencent, among other businessmen.
Senior officials from SMIC and Hua Hong Semiconductor are invited to the meeting to be held this Sunday
The funny thing is that some mid-range executives from Alibaba or JD Group, among other Chinese internet companies, are also part of the CPPCC, which is the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, so it is not clear what will happen to them. What is surprising, and here comes a relatively unexpected turn of events, is that not all Chinese technology companies have suffered the same fate. Senior officials from SMIC and Hua Hong Semiconductor are invited to the meeting to be held this Sunday and to parliamentary sessions.
These two companies are precisely the largest Chinese manufacturers of semiconductors, which reflects without leaving the slightest room for hesitation that the Chinese government’s priorities have changed. It currently cares far more about its chip makers than its internet companies. And it makes sense if we keep in mind that this strategic industry is critical to the country’s economy and technological development.
China needs to make its chip manufacturing independent from foreign powers. And it will not be easy
In addition, it is under pressure that has triggered the tension that exists between the Western alliance led by the United States and the Chinese government. There is no doubt about one thing: China needs make its chip manufacturing independent of foreign powers. And it will not be easy.
Top Image: Karolina Grabowska
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