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Chinese Academician of Engineering Ni Guangnan Discusses the Lesson China Has Learned from the China-U.S. Trade Dispute

Will the United States launch a cold war of science and technology against China? Recently, in China, due to trade disputes between China and the United States, in many circles, independent innovation in the area of science and technology has become a topic of intense discussion. Why must China have the core technology of the information industry? Where is the road for China’s semiconductor chips? On April 30, a reporter from the Global Times conducted an exclusive interview of Ni Guangnan, an academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Ni stated that China should learn this lesson: Do not expect the U.S. to sell its core technologies. The interview follows:

Global Times: The topic of Chinese chips has sparked an upsurge. The speed of the financing and launching of the project has accelerated significantly. How do you see this phenomenon? Any suggestions?

Ni: This is definitely a very good phenomenon. It shows that, from the government to the enterprises, they have all determined to break through.

In the international chip industry, the monopoly of oligarchs has long been formed and it is very difficult for small businesses to survive. In the end, ones developed chips might become useless. When it is necessary to break the monopoly, China cannot rely entirely on market laws; otherwise we cannot enter. Our country has always had the advantage of concentrating its efforts on doing big things. This advantage should be used well. After all, our investment is still too small compared to the international oligarchs in the chip industry.

Global Times: Why do we have to make our own chips and operating system? Many countries in the world do not have these core technologies.

Ni: It depends on what the goal of our country is. If it feels that it is enough to be a big country on the Internet, then we do not need to pursue any core technology. However, our goal is to become an Internet powerhouse. If we do not develop our own core technology, other countries will not let us catch up.

In short, about some things, if we feel they are inevitable, then early determination is better than late determination. Using the Beidou system as an example, we decided to develop it more than a decade ago. Now the Beidou system is very useful. If we had determined to engage in chip manufacturing more than a decade ago, we might already have our own chips and we wouldn’t be stuck with their sanctions.

Source:, May 2, 2018