China Escalates U.S. Tech War With Micron Ban

In some ways, China is better equipped for that exchange. China’s authoritarian system enables quick action and guarantees that few domestic firms will break with policy.

In the United States, political debate and legal challenges can dull the sharpness of government efforts. Major American companies, for instance, found legal workarounds to Washington’s attempts to cut component sales to companies like the Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei. Some multinationals successfully lobbied for licenses to allow them to keep selling to blacklisted companies.

By targeting Micron specifically, China is hitting at one of the few sectors — memory chips — that it has a toehold in with its chip competition with the United States.

While protecting such success by barring American competitors makes strategic sense, China remains very reliant on the United States for advanced chips, according to Teng Tai, an economist and the director of the Wanbo New Economic Research Institute in Beijing.

“The ultimate goal of retaliating against Micron is to urge certain American companies to restrain themselves, so we could further promote technology and trade cooperation, and avoid pursuing an isolated and self-reliant approach,” he wrote Monday on Weibo, a Chinese social media outlet.

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