Trade War: China Starts 6G R&D Despite US Fear of Recession

18/09/2019

Despite Trump’s new round of tariffs, China takes giant steps into the Made in China 2025 plan. After mastering 5G technology, Huawei is already well into 6G R&D. By contrast, the US is not doing quite as well

 

The United States thought they could put the brakes on China by imposing tariffs. But the People’s Republic not only responded in kind but it also seems more determined than ever to show it will not be the one affected by the tensions.

As the Sino-American trade war keeps going, the US just set a new round of tariffs on imports from China and now, additional US tariffs are due to be imposed in December. But despite these new measures, US factory activity unexpectedly slowed last month for the first time in 3 years.

The Middle Kingdom, on its part, shows no alarm and keeps its goal to become a hi-tech superpower on a priority level. While Western countries are taking sides by choosing whether or not to adopt Huawei 5G technology, the Chinese telecom giant is reported to be already well into researching 6G mobile technology.

 

Trade War - China - 6G R&D - cifnews

© 123rf. 6G could enable download speeds of up to one terabyte per second, other countries are working on it, but China is moving faster.

 

Last August, the Canadian tech website The Logic revealed that Huawei has joined the list of companies and universities beginning 6G’s research and development (R&D). Although an official at the national industry ministry already revealed China was about to initiate research into the concept of sixth-generation technology in late 2018, the Chinese company has now confirmed that it is working on developing 6G at its lab in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

If the 5G’s promise is to connect many objects, which were not thought to be connected until today, making them respond to human actions, the 6G application is still far from what we are able to imagine.

5G is touted to increase the digitization of everyday life, from smart home appliances to self-driving vehicles or even medical hardware. But it is its adoption on smartphones that is where the bulk of the network will be used, speeding up every process at an unprecedented rate. At least until the commercialization of 6G.

 

The globe’s “sixth-generation mobile” wireless internet network is expected to be able to run 8,000 times faster than its predecessor, the world’s still-forthcoming mobile network, 5G.

 

According to Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam, an expert in wireless communications at the University of Sydney, 6G networks has the potential to give users speeds of 1 terabyte per second, i.e. 8,000 gigabits per second.

This data-processing capacity has the potential to completely change the relationship humans have with technology, as the 6G era could allow for devices to be used “through our brains”, according to the expert. However, while 5G has just started to be commercialized, 6G R&D still requires significant improvements in material science, computing architecture, chip design, and energy use before we can even talk about its application.

Su Xin, revealed that the development will officially begin in 2020 with a vision to commercializing the technology in 2030.

 

6G R&D - made in china 2025 - cifnews

© Pixabay. In addition to making mobile communication possible underwater, 6G networks have the potential to fundamentally alter our experience of technology.

 

In parallel with the tensions between Beijing and Washington, last May, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to give the government the power to prevent US companies from buying telecommunications equipment produced by those countries that pose a threat to national security. In particular, this provision is addressed to the Dragon’s enterprises, especially Huawei, which is under Trump’s radar for some time now.

After the ban, Intel, Qualcomm, and other component manufacturers have been forced to end relationships with Huawei and will not be able to continue supplying their microchips, which the Shenzhen company uses to build smartphones, tablets, and computers.

In particular, after having worked together for years, Google had to cut ties with Huawei, which thus lost its license to use the complete Android operating system. But the Shenzhen giant responded quickly and in early August, it unveiled its own mobile operating system, Harmony OS – formerly Hongmeng OS.

In the meantime, despite Trump’s effort to prevent other governments to strengthen ties with the Chinese company, 5G is taking the world by storm, with several Chinese phone makers launching or preparing to launch 5G phones. Last month, Huawei finally made its first 5G smartphone – the Huawei Mate 20X – available to consumers.

According to the Chinese networking giant, Trump’s executive order will leave the US “lagging behind in 5G deployment.” But apparently, this is not the only action that negatively affects the American country.

 

The ongoing trade war between the world’s two superpowers was supposed to save the American industry, but it is actually putting the PRC ahead of its rival.

 

On September 1, President Trump placed a new 15% tariff on a range of consumer goods, including clothing, televisions, food, and jewelry, and Beijing retaliated by increasing tariffs on $75 billion worth of American products. Moreover, additional US tariffs are due to be imposed in December.

Two days after the US and China imposed a new round of tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of products, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released a concerning index of American manufacturing. The closely watched index of American manufacturing activity fell to 49.1 in August from 51.2 in July, signaling a contraction in United States factory activity for the first time since 2016. The companies responding to the ISM survey cited shrinking export orders as a result of the trade dispute, as well as the challenge of moving supply chains out of China to avoid the tariffs.

Simply put, US manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years in August, raising financial market fears of a recession. According to the ISM, August’s reading was also the fifth straight monthly decline in the index. By contrast, activity growth in China has remained fairly robust at around 7%.

Indeed, despite the US-China trade war was supposed to save American industry, bringing back production, it is actually forcing companies to look overseas. The latest tariffs on China are, in fact, causing some American companies to consider moving factories abroad, while others may be forced to make job cuts due to rising costs.

 

trade war - 6G R&D - tariffs - cifnews

© 123rf. Trade war has a “boomerang effect” on US firms as tariffs hurt those enterprises that use Chinese imports to produce goods for sale.

 

The Trump administration has been pressuring China for almost two years to make a trade deal that would strengthen its protections for American intellectual property and result in large purchases of American products. But the two sides continue to have significant disagreements.

But all these commercial tensions are threatening retail jobs in the US so much so that President Trump is now trying to keep its population in a buoyant mood by delaying some of the planned tariffs. With the US economy now slowing more than China, President Trump has a large incentive to reach a truce before the start of his re-election campaign.

 

Later this month, the Chinese delegation is expected in Washington by the American officials. While a deal appears far from certain, the two sides could still prevent the trade war to escalate.

 

Although Donald Trump declares to be more than certain that the trade war will eventually hit Beijing hard, the Dragon makes giant leaps into the full realization of its Made in China 2025 plan. The announcement of China beginning 6G research is another step towards the country’s supremacy on global high-tech manufacturing, but above all, towards its independence from foreign technology.

The White House could prevent every business in the US from having contact with Chinese companies, but it cannot stop China’s inevitable rise in technology and on the global stage.

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