5 big questions from regulation and electric cars to semiconductors

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A technologist inspects a computer chip.

Sefa Ozel | E + | Getty pictures

GUANGZHOU, China – China’s technology sector has taken a wild turn in the past year, with stricter rules, billions of dollars wiping out the market value of companies and a continued push from Beijing for technical self-sufficiency.

It is among the important themes that will be addressed CNBC’s annual East Tech West event in the Nansha district of Guangzhou in southern China.

Here’s a look at the biggest problems and focuses for China’s technology sector right now.

China’s technical crackdown

It has weighed heavily on China’s internet name. For example, Alibaba’s shares have fallen by 41% so far.

Several questions are spinning:

  • Will China introduce more new legislation and in what areas?
  • Which companies can be targeted next?
  • What does this mean for the growth of the technology sector in China?

CNBC addressed some of this in a recent episode of the podcast “Beyond the Valley” below. These talks will continue at East Tech West.


The continued technological rivalry between the United States and China has made Beijing’s pursuit of increased self-sufficiency more urgent in a variety of sectors. One of these is semiconductor, which is essential for everything from cars to cell phones.

But China is struggling to catch up with the United States and other countries, and that is due to the complexity of the semiconductor supply chain, which is dominated by foreign companies.

A good example is chip production. SMIC, which is China’s largest contract ship manufacturer, is several years after Taiwan’s TSMC and South Korea’s Samsung. In fact, SMIC cannot manufacture the latest groundbreaking chips required for leading smartphones.

Foreign companies dominates the most advanced tools and equipment required for the manufacture of high-end chips. US sanctions has denied China access to some of these tools. Chinese companies can not compete.

How China will strengthen its domestic chip industry in the face of these obstacles is a major, ongoing debate.

“Frontier” technique

The semiconductor industry is just one of many industries in which China is trying to increase its credentials.

I dess five-year development plan, the 14th of its kind, released earlier this year, Beijing said it would make “science and technology self-confidence and self-improvement a strategic pillar of national development.”

The plan identifies areas that Beijing sees as “frontier technology” – artificial intelligence (AI) and space travel.

China has done remarkable progress in space, including launching its own space station. It has ambitions to send its first crew mission to March 2033.

When it comes to artificial intelligence, Chinese technology giants from Baidu to Tencent are investing heavily.

Electric vehicles

China’s economic downturn


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