The Trump government announced in 2019 that Chinese tech products threaten American civilians’ national security and privacy. They reported that anything related to the Chinese tech industry should be immediately removed from every corner of the US because the Chinese government is using tech to “snoop around” American privacy.
Apparently, America was planning to create industries to manufacture computer chips as all of the computer chips used in America were Chinese. Furthermore, the Chinese tech manufacturing giants Huawei and ZTE were also supposed to be banned from supplying their phones in America. And last and most sorrowful for the American masses, TikTok was supposed to be prohibited from being operational in America. But was America able to execute its colossal plans?
It is evident that even more than three years later, the American government is not even close to removing the Chinese from the US. The government prohibited many extensive internet and smartphone companies from supplying Huawei and ZTE products and promised to accommodate the taxpayer supplier to get the supply from US and European countries.
The big suppliers like AT&T or Verizon didn’t hesitate to let go of the products immediately, but it didn’t affect the situation in any way. Majorly because most of the users of Huawei and ZTE were in rural areas of the US, and rural suppliers didn’t care what the government had to say.
American government claimed that it was a massive risk in terms of its “national security,” and we should do something about it. But many critics who were silenced by now spoke up against this sociopathic government behavior and claimed that the threat was negligible and not worth the government’s effort. The Chinese government and the owners of Chinese tech companies also broke their silence vow. They said that the American government has not provided the public with any proof of the allegations and that the accusations were a mere defamatory tactic.
The government was still firm on its decision to replace the Chinese tech products. The Federal Communications Commission estimated that the cost of replacing all the Chinese phones would be $2 billion (an updated estimate suggested that it is now $5 billion).
Just as the American government was knitting plans to eliminate China from the country, Corona Virus struck, and their progression started to roll back. More suppliers started to take Huawei and ZTE phones and brought them to even urban areas of America.
Up till this day, none of the suppliers of Chinese phones are not planning to stop supplying the phones any time soon. Nor do America was able to ban TikTok outright; over 6 million American videos were deleted during the first-ever TikTok ban ( during the start of 2021), but still, ByteDance was able to lift the ban from TikTok within a few months Tiktok was up, and running in April 2021.
According to Pual Triolo(vice president for China at Albright Stonebridge Group), all this madness could have been avoided if the American government could have followed the British lead and phased out the Chinese products over the course of many years, and the immediate threats could have been avoided by banning the products near the military bases.
As far as the computer chips companies are concerned, America doesn’t have the hands or brains just to overcome the Chinese supply. America must import labor and engineers, spend a lot of money and create rock-solid policies if the chips they made themselves are secure enough for them. Or they can just work out their doubts with China and take steps to develop a foreign policy to avoid the threats that come along with the Chinese computer chips.
All in all, America can do significantly less about China even if the Chinese tech is jeopardizing the privacy and security of America. Consequently, America should come to terms with China and make the tech secure enough, and as long as it doesn’t cause any significant threats, America should just go with the flow.