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China Businesses Government United States Politics Technology

Alibaba Co-founder Says Many Americans 'Want To Stop China' From Upgrading Its Tech (cnbc.com) 213

With the threat of Trump's ever-looming trade war with China and his administration's sanctions on Chinese companies like ZTE, it's hard to remember a more contentious period between the two countries in recent times. Adding fuel to the conversation, an Alibaba co-founder alleged that many Americans want to stop China from upgrading its technology and from becoming more innovative. From a report: Chinese media outlets have repeatedly asserted that American complaints about the tech sector are really just efforts to slow the country's rise as a global power. "There's nothing wrong with a country wanting to upgrade its own manufacturing sector, go higher tech, be more innovative," Tsai said. "But then, from the Chinese perspective, what we're seeing is there are a lot of people in America that want to stop China from doing that." After three decades of producing low-end manufacturing goods, Tsai said, China recognizes the need to develop better technology, upgrade its manufacturing sector and focus more on value-added areas like robotics, aeronautics and high-tech medical equipment.
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Alibaba Co-founder Says Many Americans 'Want To Stop China' From Upgrading Its Tech

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  • or... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GoTeam ( 5042081 ) on Thursday May 31, 2018 @11:28AM (#56705608)
    American companies prefer to not have their IP stolen by foreign companies. Also, don't start with something as silly and foolish as: "it's hard to remember a more contentious period between the two countries in recent times". Really? Is it that hard to remember more contentious countries? Let me get you started: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Thursday May 31, 2018 @11:39AM (#56705686) Journal

      Basically he's denying China cheats like the wind. To be fair, when USA industry was young, we played intellectual property games with Europe also.

      But when you become a trading super-power, your scrappy "street-smarts" 3rd-world tendencies need to be corrected or you will face retaliation. You can no longer fly under the radar. China has yet to kick its bad habits.

      • by llamalad ( 12917 )

        How does the wind cheat?

      • by ranton ( 36917 )

        But when you become a trading super-power, your scrappy "street-smarts" 3rd-world tendencies need to be corrected or you will face retaliation. You can no longer fly under the radar. China has yet to kick its bad habits.

        In fairness, China may be a trading super-power but it is still a developing nation. Its GDP (PPP) per capita needs to double if not triple until it can really be considered a developed power house like the top European nations or the US. China's shear size allows it to compete with more developed economies in the industries it chooses, but it likely has at least a decade or two until it would be considered a truly developed nation on the same level playing field as countries such as the UK, Germany, or US.

      • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday May 31, 2018 @12:01PM (#56705856) Journal
        THere was a difference. Europe was forcing all other nations/colonies to cater to them with resources.
        America does not do that. In fact, up until now, we have allowed/encouraged manufacturing to go offshore. The idea was to help other nation's get rich to have better 2 way trade. Problem is, when the other nation puts up massive barriers even once they are equals in many aspects.
        That has been insane.

        Of course, Trump's approach with the rest of our western allies is just as insane.
        • You give your politicians too much credit. The idea was for businesses to offshore to make more money, fuck everything and everyone else as long as we make more money.
      • by bigpat ( 158134 )

        Basically he's denying China cheats like the wind. To be fair, when USA industry was young, we played intellectual property games with Europe also.

        Yup. If the Chinese economy gains advantage and then comes to rely on intellectual property and trade secrets and the US tries to catch up by stealing trade secrets and not enforcing intellectual property laws of just Chinese companies I expect they would feel the same way as US companies do now.

        And the hypocrisy and lack of empathy on both sides is palpable. China is in many ways following a US model of development... including the theft of intellectual property from competitors.

        Also, fundamentally our t

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@wo[ ]3.net ['rld' in gap]> on Thursday May 31, 2018 @12:13PM (#56705942) Homepage Journal

        Every country steals tech. The French were notorious for bugging Air France flights and doing state level industrial espionage. A lot of early nuclear tech was stolen by the US from Britain. European and US car-makers "adopted" a lot of Japanese tech to make their vehicles more reliable, after accusing the Japanese of copying them.

        Now China is filing a lot of patents. They are really leading with electric vehicle tech, for example. A lot of European and Japanese manufacturers that missed the boat are turning to them now while their own domestic suppliers try to catch up.

        This is just the way of the world. Everyone steals from everyone else, countries that were developing eventually start leading in some areas. Korea used to be a source of cheap labour, now they are leading manufacturers of memory, displays, batteries, phones, some kinds of software...

        If anything, I much prefer the Chinese attitude towards patents and IP to the American one. They get on and innovate without worrying too much about rounded corners and vague, obscure and never-used patents. And actually the west isn't that different - we just waste more time and money looking for trivial variations to get around patents and IP.

        I worked on a sensor product that three short sampling periods. I asked why not just use one longer sampling period and it turned out it was to get around a patent that covered the complex detection algorithm, and was of no benefit.

        • That's mostly military tech. Everyone expects and does military espionage.

          But China plays games on the commercial side. It would be like the US Federal Gov't breaking into Chinese OS companies and giving the trade secrets to Microsoft, or creating red-tape for foreign competitors to MS that MS itself doesn't have.

          • Horseshit.

            Stealing is one of the 'commercial side''s favorite game.

            Its just a matter of being big enough to kill your the competition you steal from.

            Funniest part of your analogy is the Corporation you named.
        • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Thursday May 31, 2018 @12:57PM (#56706230) Journal

          There is stealing tech like you described, and stealing tech like China is doing it.

          Industrial espionage is basically the acceptable form of doing it. If you can slip someone into the company, sneak up to the golden goose, and get out, that's a corporate success story. Alternatively if you can hire away their workers, or if you can reverse engineer technology, those are also generally acceptable. The goods are still protected by assorted laws, but if you can sneak some information out that's generally accepted.

          China's form is a mandate that every company doing business turns over the golden goose outright. If you want to do business in China you must turn over the technology, and you must pass along ownership to a mandatory Chinese business partner. Many times the mandated business partner takes the IP and makes their own products from it. They aren't adapting it, nor growing from it, nor trying to integrate it into their own. The law requires corporations give up their secrets, then those secrets are directly used against the corporation.

          • If you can slip someone into the company, sneak up to the golden goose, and get out, that's a corporate success story.

            In the US, any company you try to sell that info to turns you in to the police and you go to prison. If you used it at a company you worked for, you got fired and if anybody found out and the company got sued, they turned the evidence over to the police too.

            You don't even read the business section of the newspaper, do you?

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Except that's not the full story. Companies that went to China and gave up IP did so because what they were giving up wasn't 1st tier IP, but 2nd or 3rd tier tech. What this meant is that companies were essentially giving up old tech IP. China learned from that and is not trying to create their own 1st tier IP.

            Companies thought they could give up the 2nd or 3rd tier older tech because they thought they could continue to rely on innovation and their 1st tier IP. The issue is that these companies didn't r

        • This is just the way of the world.

          That's a pretty useless statement. It's the way of the world until we change things.

          I worked on a sensor product that three short sampling periods. I asked why not just use one longer sampling period and it turned out it was to get around a patent that covered the complex detection algorithm, and was of no benefit.

          That's an explicit benefit. You said, "why don't we do X, it's better" and the answer was "X is patented."

        • by voss ( 52565 )

          Chinese viewpoint...easier and cheaper to ask forgiveness for ip violations than permission.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          US based multi-national corporations run by psychopaths only accept egoistic win at all costs management. They are actively using their control over the US government to cripple other countries economically so that they can continue to exploit them. The US has fucked up the EU economy on purpose and they know and they are pissed. The US is attacking China to remain dominant over it. The more South America unites, the more the US government attacks individual countries in South America to destabilise it. The

      • Kind of, but not the same. Many Europeans immigrated to the US bringing their knowledge over and staying here, building companies to service the US.

        China on the other hand, you have Americans stealing designs and going to China, copying everything and abusing the cheap labor there, coming back to America to reap the rewards of crushing the business you stole from. Notice I said American and not Chinese, because it's our own citizens enabling China, not the Chinese themselves. The Chinese cloning the clones

        • It sounds good, except that it makes clear you have no idea what the physical mechanisms of the "stealing" are.

          They're not as you describe. At all. Get some internet and look it up, Cluestick.

    • And American employees want to stop seeing their jobs shipped overseas. I know and have actively resisted the Chinese invasion in several "American" companies who realized that engineers are cheaper in China just like everything else. That said, in three past employers I have seen technology blatantly stolen by a certain Chinese company, and those statements are backed by arrests and convictions.

      So yes, absolutely they're correct. So what? Want it to stop? Simple, throw out your government, replace it with

      • yup. I have dealt with 2 Chinese spies as well. We actually arrest and deport a lot more spies than ppl realize. And the amount of chinese spying that goes on is amazing.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        You know China has the biggest parliamentary body in the world? People tell me we can't have 1,000 Representatives in Congress because it would be a mad house; China has 2,980.

        Those 2,980 are elected. Their elections are ridiculous: people elect local officials, who then elect officials in broader assemblies, and so forth, equivalent to how the US used to elect the Senate (and US elections today are largely controlled by Central Committee, notably in the Democratic Party, by way of influencing voters).

        • notably in the Democratic Party, by way of influencing voters

          LOL, I know, I know, in your Party they prefer to elect politicians without having had to influence any voters!

          z0mg the stupidity of your propaganda is truly astounding, Comrade.

          • You're thinking of getting the Democratic Nominee elected.

            A handful of oligarchical elites in the Democratic Party select the nominee they want. Then the Party stages a campaign to get that person nominated in the Primary. The Democratic voters are told they're voting for who they want to represent them in Congress or as President; meanwhile the Democratic Party is working to ensure that anyone except who a few hundred elites want to nominate is thoroughly-crushed.

            They even go to candidates who are gai

      • Yeah, it's closer to this. Americans generally don't care if Chinese or Saudis or Turks or Venezuelans have enough wealth to buy all the kind of luxury goods we buy.

        What people care about is being made unemployed or being employed at a lower standard of living than they currently enjoy.

      • And American employees want to stop seeing their jobs shipped overseas.

        They can do this any time they want. They just have to accept the same wages as their overseas competitors. It's a hard reality but US wages are among the highest in the world. If you want to compete on price you have to have lower costs than the other guy.

        • A valid point, but the resulting real estate crash would probably be the end of us.

        • by voss ( 52565 )

          If we get the manufacturing back, the job wont come with it. More jobs will be lost to automation than to china in the next 20-30 years.

    • by Muros ( 1167213 )

      Also, don't start with something as silly and foolish as: "it's hard to remember a more contentious period between the two countries in recent times". Really? Is it that hard to remember more contentious countries? Let me get you started: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      That made no sense.

  • China will develope something new; but until then its business as usual.
  • Contentiousness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Thursday May 31, 2018 @11:37AM (#56705674)

    it's hard to remember a more contentious period between the two countries in recent times.

    Well, Saudi Arabia is bombing the crap out of Yemen. Russia has been covertly sending troops into Ukraine. Israel and Iran are almost at war.

    So yeah, one country increasing tariffs on another is probably the most contentious thing going on right now.

    • it's hard to remember a more contentious period between the two countries in recent times.

      Well, Saudi Arabia is bombing the crap out of Yemen. Russia has been covertly sending troops into Ukraine. Israel and Iran are almost at war.

      Yeah, but you can't blame those on the US (not for lack of trying) so they don't count.

      War schmar, Trump tweeted something today! get your priorities straight!!

  • Who doesn't want their greatest rival to be struggling?

    While I want to watch China suffer another two centuries of "shame" (which most working poor Chinese don't even care about), America needs a worthy rival.

    Otherwise, this country stagnates which is what has happened since the Soviet Union went belly up in 1991. Another cold war won't hurt anyone and would probably start another space race. All good things in my eyes.

    Innovate away ON YOUR OWN China, just don't expect to get the free USA ride you've been g

    • America needs a worthy rival.

      Otherwise, this country stagnates which is what has happened since the Soviet Union went belly up in 1991. Another cold war won't hurt anyone and would probably start another space race. All good things in my eyes.

      I agree to an extent, HOWEVER, things are a lot different from the 80's and before....

      Back then, we had MUCH more manufacturing here in the US, we could not only come up with the ideas, we could BUILD it then.

      We don't have that now, and with debt...and our depende

      • You'd be surprised how quickly retooling and training can occur when there's a need.

        And the debt is meaningless. Remember the old adage: when you owe the bank 100 million dollars, that's there problem.

        The US has renigged on their debt obligations before (hid it with a devaluation and gold confiscation in the 30s) but got away with it. It would be easy to make most of it disappear again. Whether the credit agencies care will be up for debate.

      • by jbengt ( 874751 )

        Back then, we had MUCH more manufacturing here in the US, we could not only come up with the ideas, we could BUILD it then.

        We had more manufacturing jobs, and probably more manufacturing, but we're still the world's no. 1 manufacturer (maybe no.2 by now). It's just that we've given up on manufacturing the cheap crap that can be made cheaper in cheap-labor countries, and we've automated away many of the rest of the jobs. (Automation, by the way, has given us very high labor productivity, which is one of t

      • Look at WWII to see how fast manufacturing can be ramped up when there are local buyers.

        It wouldn't be that fast in every industry, but certainly some industries could ramp up that fast! Anything important.

        "Oh no, we don't have enough time to save ourselves," that's a very European attitude, Americans don't even consider it.

        Faster or slower, it doesn't matter if the giant was awake or napping, he's not so easy to kill. ;) Americans know this.

  • by Dr_b_ ( 112464 ) on Thursday May 31, 2018 @11:39AM (#56705692) Homepage
    Maybe they just want to stop having tech stolen and show up in Chinese products that largely look like clones of the stolen products that are in turn then sold back to the foreign markets at much lower cost. There is no way any american laws or tariffs would prevent or even could prevent China from having its own ideas, creating new product categories, and then selling them to other countries that would feel safe using them
  • I fail to see the connection between the Americans deciding they don't want to import some stuff, or import less of it, and the Chinese upgrading or not upgrading their own country's stuff. What prevents them from doing so?
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday May 31, 2018 @11:52AM (#56705778) Journal
    China continues to require that nearly all companies that operate in CHina to have 51% chinese ownership (though cars are now exempted, though they will still pay high tariffs). Likewise, the companies will be required to turn over IP to Chinese owners.
    And yet, this is America's fault for a western company wanting to keep their IP, while Chinese companies will sue for theft of their IP.
    Yeah, totally makes sense.

    Now, if Trump would just do his GD job or at least keep a few of his promises esp for dealing with CHina.
    • China continues to require that nearly all companies that operate in CHina to have 51% chinese ownership
      And why is that so? Hm? Any idea? Most (all?) asian countries have laws like that. And: why is tat wo? Hm? Any idea?
      A country that got fucked over by outside forces over a course of 300 - 400 years makes a law that all companies inside needs to be minimum 51% owned by its citizens. Wow, and you somehow think that makes no sense? Because after the tea party your country never got fucked over? Perhaps you

      • Yeah, disregarding trump, how exactly has America harmed Europe? Even now, Europe owns a number of American based companies, and vs. versa.
      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        So the USA has to keep offering China its tech for free in 2018 for some "300 - 400 years" reading of history?
        When does this constant need for reparations from the USA to Communist China stop?
        When is the USA finally able trade with China as an equal?
        The USA is not the UK when "reading some history books... about China.
        The US can set any trade policy it wants in 2018 with its tech.
        China can invite in experts and try and extract tech from the advanced West.
        Start making tech in China with its own dom
        • So the USA has to keep offering China its tech for free in 2018 for some "300 - 400 years" reading of history?
          No it has not ... why do you think that? Who implied that?

          When is the USA finally able trade with China as an equal? What stupid meme is that? You buy stuff from China you sell stuff to them. Thats all.

          • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
            Re "by outside forces over a course of 300 - 400 years makes a law that all companies inside needs to be minimum 51% owned by its citizens."
            Why is USA tech in 2018 and US trade policy in 2018 in some way connected to what happened to China 300 years ago?
            The USA does not have to give its advanced tech to China due to "reading some history books".

            Why should a US company have to enter into an unfair trade agreement with a company in China and transfer its tech to China in 2018?
            • Why should a US company have to enter into an unfair trade agreement with a company in China and transfer its tech to China in 2018?

              If you would find the trade agreement unfair, you would not sign the contract, or would you?
              No idea what point you want to make.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      With the amount of flip-flopping Trump does, I am sure he keeps 50% of his promisses.

    • Unless one is under threats, each party involved in any deal can make any demand and the other parties can walk away if he doesn't like it. If these American companies don't like transferring IPs, then they can walk away. Just like a Chinese company should not deal with the US if it doesn't want to obey the (questionably erected) Iran sanction. (In practice, most companies may transfer some assembling IP over to the Chinese entities while retaining the most valuable components/tech; which is why much of the

      • typo in the last sentence: Why *do* people in tech complain about the US patent system in other context but never when it involves China?

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The USA let China do that as part of the cold war.
      China opened up to the USA and then China moved away from the Soviet Union.
      For that deal a lot of US tech had given to Communist China.
      The US could enjoy low cost production lines in China bu the tech had to be given to China.
      Generations of advanced US innovation was lost to China for some 1970's politics.
      • But they generally didn't give their best tech. And if they did, they did it with the full knowledge of what would happen with it. They simply saw all those potential consumers, and those low wages and wanted a shot at the money.
  • by Dorianny ( 1847922 ) on Thursday May 31, 2018 @12:07PM (#56705900) Journal
    ZTE broke an International embargo and then blatantly lied about implementing the remedies it had agreed to. There is a general unease with China's grown economic and military power but ZTE's case had absolutely nothing to do with any of that. Chinese companies need to learn that being cozy with the Chinese Communist party can't protect them in the world stage
  • Actually American's are too self absorbed to give a shit except when China literally steals American developed technology or cheats in the market with the help of their government. Not to say the US is pure in that regard either but if China could be bothered to just reasonably fair it would be fine for everyone but the most xenophobic among us.

    Many Americans whine about jobs moving to China but they moved there because they pay their workers a lot less on average. If we were willing to work for Chinese w

  • It's the blatant stealing you've done to me four times now with successive LED designs I've asked various companies to manufacture for me, only for them to turn around and sell my fucking units to a competitor.

    And this is why all my primary manufacturing gets done here in the USA, by my own hand. Fuck you assholes, you just supply raw components to me. No more asking you to build advanced things for me when you steal it.

    • by DMJC ( 682799 )
      This has been going on for years. Slashdot has covered it many times. Anyone involved in engineering should be trying to avoid China as a place to manufacture product.

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