ast week, the US Senate passed the USICA (The United States Innovation and Competition Act) which includes the CHIPS for America Act. Despite what the title of the USICA and its sub articles might suggest, the policy is largely a manifesto for dealing with a rising and highly competitive China with particular concern for the Western rival’s ambition to achieve semiconductor self-sufficiency and Huawei’s ascension as the leading 5G technology vendor. The Act presents several concrete policy measures to diminish China’s access to US semiconductor technologies and 52 billion USD in federal funding to build a more resilient semiconductor supply chain. But will these policies help the US achieve what the title of the USICA suggest; improve US semiconductor supply chain resiliency and competitiveness in 5G? Will it stop the technological advancement of China and its digital economy long enough for the West to tame it?
neXt Curve was in Nice, France attending the premier global event for digital transformation in the telecommunications industry held from May 14th through May 16th and hosted by TM Forum. Leading vendors and operators converged to discuss what it will take help the telecom industry reinvent itself and aid telecom service providers in becoming digital service providers. Now that 5G has arrived in select markets around the globe, the pressure is on for telecom operators to transform their operating models to capture the value promised by the next generation network.
An unexpected but pleasant surprise was announced at Qualcomm’s recent earnings call. Huawei had settled its $1.8 billion dispute with Qualcomm regarding the licensing of essential technologies. It represents another important win for Qualcomm in its long and hard fought battle with OEMs including Apple to preserve the integrity and vitality of its technology business. It can be considered a win for innovation. But what does the settlement mean in the grand scheme of things and the rising tensions between the US government and Huawei?
The US Department of Commerce recently amended its foreign-produced direct product rule (FPDP) and Entity List to include HiSilicon, Huawei’s semiconductor design subsidiary. This action has been widely deemed an escalation of the US government’s “war on Huawei. In the broader context of the US sanction on Chinese tech firms, the addendum applies a consistency of “national security and foreign policy purpose” to HiSilicon.
While the White House has touted a major victory in the trade war with China with the signing of a so-called “Phase One” deal, it was difficult not to notice the very visible absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping himself. Instead, the Trump Administration received a congratulatory letter from President Trump’s Chinese counterpart read by Vice Premier Liu He, a level-three member of the Chinese Politburo.