Chinese suppliers Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo account for over a third of global smartphone sales. These manufacturers are successful not only because they offer good value for money thanks to China's supply chains, but also a relatively open mobile ecosystem where consumers in most countries can freely access Google, Instagram and WhatsApp.
This openness is under attack as the large technology gap between the United States and China is only a few centimeters closer to reality, which can damage both sides.
The Trump administration's five-member Clean Network initiative aims to deprive Chinese phone manufacturers of the ability to pre-install and download US apps. Under U.S. sanctions, Huawei has already lost access to key Google services, which has hit overseas phone sales. Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and other Chinese phone manufacturers could suffer the same setback as Huawei if the Clean Network applies to them.
China has had a closed internet with the Great Firewall for years Limitation of a large number of Western services, often without explicitly explaining the reasons for the censorship. Now the US has a plan that could potentially keep Chinese apps off the American Internet.
The Clean Network program was first announced in April as part of the Trump administration's efforts "Protecting our citizens' privacy and our company's most sensitive information from aggressive interference by malicious actors such as the Chinese Communist Party."
Beijing said Thursday that it was decidedly against US restrictions on Chinese technology companies and criticized the US for taking such measures to preserve its technology hegemony.
Many on Chinese social media compare Trump's proposal for a clean network with routine cyberspace raids in China that regulators say are supposed to eradicate pornography, violence, gambling, and other “illegal” activities. Others who advocate a free Internet complain of the impending decline.
(1/2) A long, long time ago
I can still remember how the internet made me smile
But August makes me tremble
With every app that I would have delivered
Bad news about the state government
I couldn't get Pompeo's statement
– 一天 世界 (@yitianshijieipn) August 6, 2020
It is unclear when the rules will be implemented and how they will be enforced. The program also aims to remove "untrustworthy" Chinese apps from US app stores. A TikTok A ban is less likely as Microsoft is nearing a buyout, but other Chinese apps are also well represented in the United States. Many like WeChat and Weibo target the diaspora community, while players like Likee and Zynn, which are owned by Chinese companies, make waves among local users.
Chinese companies are already protecting. Some like TikTok have set up data centers overseas. Others register their companies abroad and maintain US offices while they are still resorting to China to find cheaper engineering talent. It is simply impractical to examine the Chinese origin of each app – and difficult to determine.
As part of the program like carriers like China Mobile may not connect to U.S. telecommunications networks, which could prevent these services from offering roaming to Chinese travelers in the U.S.
The initiative also urges U.S. companies not to store information about Chinese cloud services such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. Chinese cloud providers do not find many customers in the United States unless they host data for their own services, e.g. B. Tencent games for American users.
Finally, the framework wants to ensure that US submarine cables that are connected to the world "are not undermined for the PRC's hyper-scale information gathering".
Such extensive restrictions, if implemented, will almost certainly trigger retaliation against China. But what negotiating chips are left for Beijing? Apple and Tesla are the few American tech giants with great business interest in China.