Apple-backed think tank calls for radical changes to Chinese economic policy

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A Washington think tank -- with board members from Apple, Amazon, Google and other tech firms -- on Thursday called for an international coalition to pressure China into changing course on some of its economic policies.




"America cannot respond with either flaccid appeasement or economic nationalism; it must assemble an international coalition that pressures China to stop rigging markets and start competing on fair terms," the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation wrote, according to Reuters. The organization complained that three previous U.S. administrations had "failed" to engage Chinese officials, and that China is more resistant to pressure now since it's less economically dependent on the U.S.

ITIF called for the coalition to include Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the U.K., the U.S., and the European Union. It also suggest that U.S. President Donald Trump should focus on trade issues with China, not Mexico, although it warned that the Chinese government could punish American firms in retaliation.

A focal point of criticism is believed to be the Chinese government's "Made in China 2025" program, which is intended to ramp up the number of domestically-made products across 10 different industries. One target includes growing the number of local parts used in tech to 70 percent, through a combination of measures like subsidies, standards, policies, and government-backed investment funds.

Another issue is control over data, since in June new laws will require "critical information infrastructure operators" to store personal and business data in China, as well as offer "technical support" to security agencies, and submit themselves to national security reviews.

Opposing the data laws is likely of special interest to Apple, since the company has adopted tough privacy stances elsewhere, and might have to build new infrastructure to comply. It has also dealt with online store closures and repeated censorship efforts.

To reach the lucrative Chinese market, though, Apple has appeased the government in some ways, for instance by keeping ads out of critical publications.

Parts may also be a relevant issue since while many of Apple's suppliers are already Chinese, others are based in places like Japan and South Korea -- some of those firms could be pushed out of the supply chain.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    The ChiComs aren't in a strong of a position as many think. They have an aging population, rising wages making them unattractive to foreign companies, widespread government corruption issues, a joke of a military...there should be plenty of pain points to hit them on. 
    SpamSandwichtallest skil
  • Reply 2 of 9
    Yesterday a Chinese official was in the newspaper threatening that the US is more vulnerable to a trade war than China. That's like Trump talking about his big hands and the historic size of the crowd at his inauguration. Reveal your deeper insecurity by insisting on the opposite, loudly and repeatedly.

    When Foxconn-Apple finally has plants outside of China filled with robots and domestic (Indian?) workers, it will have more options for resisting Chinese meddling-sabotage than it does today. It would be terrible if (hypothetically) China banned new iPhone sales in that nation, but even worse if Chinese regulators impeded iPhone manufacturing at Chinese-based plants. That would block iPhone sales everywhere.

    In the long run, a trade war with China may be the only way to get its leaders to moderate their views. No bully will stop bullying until circumstances force him to reconsider the error of his ways.
    edited March 2017 SpamSandwichapple jockeyloquiturjony0
  • Reply 3 of 9
    FatmanFatman Posts: 148member
    China compete on fair terms? LOL. I was in China years ago on business and they were selling 'gray market' Nike sneakers on the street for 10 US dollars. These weren't knockoffs but the real thing - made in the same factories (they run them in stealth mode, often after hours).
    Think what you will about Trump, at least he has an initiative to bring manufacturing & intellectual property back to the US.
    tallest skiljbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 9
    seankillseankill Posts: 417member
    Fatman said:
    China compete on fair terms? LOL. I was in China years ago on business and they were selling 'gray market' Nike sneakers on the street for 10 US dollars. These weren't knockoffs but the real thing - made in the same factories (they run them in stealth mode, often after hours).
    Think what you will about Trump, at least he has an initiative to bring manufacturing & intellectual property back to the US.

    My biggest issue with China is how they steal IP from not only US companies but US government agencies and even the military while we are comfortable just sitting idly by. Furthermore, their market manipulation. Enough is enough.

    The ironic thing about EPA regulation is that it moves manufacturing to another country (along with other factors like labor) with minimal pollution laws because the added cost is too much. In many cases, this helps our local environment but we ultimately just pollute the global environment more (look at Asia). I would argue if our companies at home must meet a certain environmental standard, so should the manufacturer in another country selling that product in the US. Any variation would result in an environmental tax which is a function of the variation of Federal US laws, with the revenues going to environmental clean up programs. Anything less is just to make us feel better about ourselves; just because we manufacture somewhere else doesn't mean we saved the environment.
    edited March 2017 tallest skiljbdragonCurtisHightcornchip
  • Reply 5 of 9
    "Apple-backed" in the headline is misleading. Apple staff and board members serve on lots of boards. That doesn't make them all "Apple-backed." Show me where on the Web site it shows Apple as a member or a sponsor and I'll concede. I looked and didn't see any mention of Apple anywhere.
    brakkencornchip
  • Reply 6 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,753member
    Fatman said:
    China compete on fair terms? LOL. I was in China years ago on business and they were selling 'gray market' Nike sneakers on the street for 10 US dollars. These weren't knockoffs but the real thing - made in the same factories (they run them in stealth mode, often after hours).
    Think what you will about Trump, at least he has an initiative to bring manufacturing & intellectual property back to the US.
    Silk Street in Beijing is a good example of this, but if you want to get a really good idea about how the Chinese government either looks the other way or is actively engaged in facilitating the sales of knockoffs, watch this:



    There are gigantic multistory malls that sells fake products in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and across China in an uncountable number of fake products markets. 
  • Reply 7 of 9
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 674member
    Exploitative and bullying meets unstoppable and opportunistic. This isn't all that interesting.
    cornchip[Deleted User]
  • Reply 8 of 9
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,326member
    The ChiComs aren't in a strong of a position as many think. They have an aging population, rising wages making them unattractive to foreign companies, widespread government corruption issues, a joke of a military...there should be plenty of pain points to hit them on. 
    Trump was right about China being a currency manipulater.   Hopefully he will impose a 35-50% tariff.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    It's too late to deal with China, the west should have reacted 10+ years ago but we depend on them too much. China grew incredibly rich on it's resources, having growth most countries couldn't even dream of. The past decade, China has been investing, lending and buying up contracts around the world since the financial collapse and has an estimated $4 trillion of foreign reserves stashed away. They are smart too; investing in Africa for it's untapped resources to ensure the west continue to rely on China for decades to come.

    You just have to look at football (soccer), China has come from nowhere to being in a position to own or invest in many of Europe's top clubs and have recently started spending obscene amounts to bring the star players to the chinese league; Carlos Tevez (a guy well past his peak) for example gets paid £34.4million ($42.5million) per season to play in china.
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