In the news
See Hinrich Foundation research and researchers featured in the press.
China has given new US Senate legislation designed to contain its tech rise a relatively muted response, despite a warning from some analysts that the move represents a paradigm shift in relation. "Beijing's response has been measured," said Research Fellow Alex Capri. There seems to be a realization in some quarters that strident responses to US and European policy announcements have produced even more of an anti-China backlash."
Alibaba's record fine from the Chinese authorities does not signal the end to the Communist Party's crackdown on local tech giants. The Alibaba fine is a "warning shot across the bow for the entire big tech sector in China," said Alex Capri, Hinrich Foundation Research Fellow. "The CCP will continue to ensure that Big Tech serves the government as a capacity builder, while preventing companies from straying out too far on their own."
Besides Chinese laws, a blurred line between the private and public sectors in China contributes to the perception that Chinese tech companies are intrinsically tied to the Chinese government. "I would argue that in working in assisting the Chinese government with building its cloud and its digital currency, et cetera, that it is going to backfire on Chinese companies outside of China, because they’re going to be seen as proxies of the state", said Research Fellow Alex Capri. “I think it’s a pretty bleak time right now for Chinese tech companies, even at home."
Hinrich Foundation's Sustainable Trade Index 2020 has been visualized in this infographic by the Visual Capitalist, featured in Markets Insider. The Sustainable Trade Index (STI) 2020 measures the capacity of 20 economies – 19 in Asia, plus the United States – to participate in global trade in a manner that supports the long-term domestic and global goals of economic growth, environmental protection, and better social equity. Understand the importance of sustainable trade in a glimpse.
Our report "India: A 21st century technology hub?" published on March 30, authored by Research Fellow Alex Capri, was featured exclusively in this Bloomberg article. “Washington’s technology cold war with Beijing has resulted in strategic decoupling, prompting manufacturing supply chains to shift to new locations. India finds itself well positioned to absorb these supply chains.” Download our paper on the Hinrich Foundation website.
The Chinese government added to the backlash against foreign brands boycotting Xinjiang cotton, pressing the companies to “correct their mistakes” and respect the views of Chinese customers. Hinrich Foundation Stephen Olson said the incident showed trade was becoming increasingly intertwined with human rights issues and companies were trying to strike a delicate balance between the values their customers expected them to uphold and commercially attractive arrangements contrary to those values. The situation was even more complex with China, he said.
A contentious spat over human rights could doom the recently signed EU-China investment deal. "The deal has always been a long-shot," said Alex Capri, Research Fellow of the Hinrich Foundation. While Brussels wants to keep up a "robust" trading relationship with Beijing, Capri said, the bloc will "continue to pivot" to the United States on many issues, including alignment on AI and strategic supply chains.
Research Fellow Stephen Olson was interviewed by The Straits Times as China and the US went head to head in their meeting in Alaska. "This is not typical of how discussion were handled in the past, but as points of friction increase between the US and China, it might become the 'new normal'." "The challenge is in managing divergent views on issues, while staying open to cooperation."
The explosion of computing power, combined with connectivity that has led to unprecedented technological change in China, is taking place amid the unfolding competition with the United States. Our article by Research Fellow Stephen Olson on Biden's 100-day supply chain review was quoted in this South China Morning Post article as America ramp up its innovation game and ring-fence its strategic operations in the face of China's rapid technological advance.
The US-China meeting in Alaska would not contribute to any progress towards solving major economic sources of strain, particularly when human rights issues are included in the equation. "The Biden administration will link human rights issues to exports [and] sales of technology," said Research Fellow Alex Capri to CNN. "Expect to see more export controls and sanctions against Chinese interests."
A Hinrich Foundation supported National Press Foundation briefing for journalists covering international trade on the topic of "Fixing broken medical supply chains" was summarized and quoted extensively by MedPage Today. Experts on the panel covered a wide range of issues from the plausibility of supply chain diversification to the environmental and labor impact of medical supply production.
Alibaba was one of the hundreds of companies being praised by the Chinese state for their contribution towards "national poverty alleviation". This came amidst a recent intensifying crackdown by Beijing on the country's Big Tech companies. Tech firms contributing to Xi's anti-poverty campaign are fulfilling their obligation of "serving the state," and this "reflects well upon the party and wins support," says Research Fellow Alex Capri. But this does not mean the CCP is taking a softer line towards its tech sector.