Washington, Beijing, and the Great Game of Automation

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1Q 2021 | IN-6080


A Great Game


On January 5, 2021, former U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning transactions with eight Chinese app development companies, including Alipay, QQ Wallet, WeChat Pay, Tencent QQ, CamScanner, SHAREit, VMate, and WPS Office. As one of the last executive actions of the previous administration, it signaled a continuation of an increasingly combative relationship between American authorities and the Chinese commercial technology space, all justified under the auspices of national security. While this executive order focused on general purpose transaction applications, the United States has also placed further scrutiny on Chinese robotics vendors operating within the United States. A clear example of this is the restrictions placed on the Chinese company DJI regarding government procurement of civil drones.

There might be a new administration in the beltway, but if anything, the U.S-China relationship is becoming cooler still. Much of the angst policy makers had about Trump’s China policy were based on criticisms of tact as opposed to a fundamental disagreement about a terser U.S.…

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