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Global technology: as the United States and China open a new global front
Material posted: Publication date: 30-05-2019
Technological confrontation between developed and developing countries can lead to the fact that a single global project will be replaced by two parallel, as it was during the cold war.

The attention of economists and politicians chained to erupted with new force a trade war in the US and China, which continues to be the main risk for the global economy. However, few people is trying to analyze the long-term consequences of the conflict.

Technological power

Meanwhile, in my opinion, at stake is not the share of Chinese goods in the American market, and global technological hegemony. Huawei, a victim of the conflict, one of the most successful companies in China, its share in the global smartphone market rose from 4.9 to 19% in just five years, and in technological solutions for 5G networks, it has no equal in the world. Impact on it does not look accidental: United States make it clear that in their hands today are focused the three most powerful instrument of global economic power. First, it is the most succinct (although not only) in the world market. Secondly, it is technology hardware — Intel employs 65% of all computers, tablets and smartphones in the world, and 98% of server processors; four of the ten largest alternative manufacturers are also in US. Thirdly, it is operating systems — Android and iOS are installed on a 97,98% used in the world of smartphones, and the proportion of Windows, Android, iOS, and OS X for all computer devices today is 95,93% vs. 0.84% in Linux.

On the other hand, China cannot, despite frequent predictions to punish the US by selling their treasuries. The Chinese investors of these securities to $1.12 trillion — this amount may buy up American banks and refinance them to the fed (in 2008-2011, the fed's balance sheet grew by $2 trillion, and nothing catastrophic happened). Without access to the North American market, China will be in a much deeper crisis than the U.S. without Chinese import.

However, all this applies to here and now. There is no doubt that the Chinese government and corporations will draw conclusions — the main one being that in the XXI century it is impossible to become the first economy in the world, controlling global technological solutions. For them will soon begin a new (or first) world economic war, which will be much more important than the cold war of the twentieth century. Last unfolded between countries and blocs, who had the same type of resources, nuclear weapons, mass armies, universal ideologies and the financial means to buy allies. The new confrontation will be completely different in nature.

The resumption of history

In my opinion, in 1989, ended not only a political cold war. At the same time — with the onset of the economic crisis in Japan is over and the era of rivalry between equal powers, who combines technological and industrial leadership. A new method of catch-up development, maximum use of peripheral States of the benefits of industrial production under the domination of developed Nations in the creation of new technologies and information platforms. In fact, the period 1990-2010 years became a time of conflict between post-industrial and industrial worlds, and the result of this rivalry don seemed a foregone conclusion.

In recent years, launched "the resumption of history": on the one hand, the developed countries due to the renewable sources of energy, increase domestic production of traditional energy sources and, most important, the rapid automation of production in the framework of the fourth industrial revolution get a chance to revive its industrial sector; on the other — strengthening friction with the United States compels the peripheral countries to abandon the copy and look for their technological innovations and, most significantly, its own information platform. It is likely that the seemingly unified globalization in the relatively near future will be replaced by two parallel global projects, as it was during the cold war, but not based on ideological doctrines, but only on ways of using and consuming information and high-tech products.

Therefore I would not began to predict the collapse of Huawei. The Chinese authorities have sufficient funds to support the company, and the opportunity to develop their own hardware and operating system using which it will be able to maintain or win market share. "Project Z" for an alternative operating system launched by Huawei, can bear fruit in 2020. The company will find support and other Chinese corporations interested in building a new global architecture for the promotion and support of its products.

Feature of the new global conflict will be much smaller in comparison with the cold war territorial certainty. In the world approximately equally used by American information platform and Chinese hardware — so, the resistance will be widespread (political alliances are in the background to play a secondary, if not minor role). Each of the participants will be able enough to prosper in those niches that will elect. Therefore, for the United States, and the implications for China to dramatize it should not be.

Consumers at the front

But they should be thinking third countries, including Russia. The Kremlin's reaction to the changes from import substitution to sovereign Runet — points to its purely defensive tactics. In contrast to the United States and China, Russia can not rely neither on the prevalence in the world, their technologies, nor to the presence on world markets with devices that are used by millions of consumers. This does not mean that the country will become a bargaining chip in the new big economic game; it simply will not participate in further attendees on the world economic periphery. But if the confrontation escalates, which is likely, Moscow will have to take a more definite position in relation to the main players, as you may find that you cannot, for example, to buy office equipment HP or Canon Chinese Assembly or use her Chinese consumables. Russia will be in a new technological confrontation, regardless of which side it will eventually perform, highly dependent on big players, because the whole logic of its economic position after 2014 is to sit on two chairs, using cheap technology imports from China, but remaining a major consumer of American information technology. I'm not saying that the "technological world war" will finally dot the "i" in question, whether Russia can create a new "center of power", in addition to created by the United States and China.

The story that Francis Fukuyama and his supporters hastened to bury, of course, returned, but not in the form of a new geopolitical confrontation, which was predicted by Robert Kagan and other neocons. She returns with new players and a completely new rules of the game. The main resource of success is only the openness to the future and mobilization of intellectual capital.

Vladislav Inozemtsev


Tags: USA , China , technology

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