The trade war between China and the United States, unleashed by the administration of the former US president, has exacerbated the issue of China’s dependence on imported technologies, but Western countries have long kept China at a safe distance due to all sorts of bans. In many industries, the PRC is still 80–90% dependent on imported components.
Attempts to organize its own lithographic production without the use of technological equipment that fall under US sanctions are being made by China, but in this area the country is completely dependent on the United States, Europe and Japan, which are ready to act in the same direction when it comes to export restrictions. As noted by the Nikkei Asian Review, for some positions of lithographic equipment, China is 68% dependent on the ASML holding from the Netherlands, which has repeatedly declared its loyalty to the US policy, and the remaining 32% of imports come from Japan.
China has long been the largest automotive market in terms of both production and consumption. In this sector, the country is 80% dependent on the supply of imported semiconductor components. And this is taking into account the fact that since 1978, joint ventures for the production of automobiles began to function in the PRC, in which 50% of the shares belonged to the Chinese side. Even the production of semiconductor components for the needs of the automotive industry in the PRC is 98% dependent on imports. The outbreak of a shortage of auto components around the world seriously threatens the Chinese industry.
In medical technology, China is 80% dependent on imports, 100% in aircraft engines, and 90% in numerical control machines. High-precision sensors are imported to China in 80% of cases, the Microsoft Windows operating system controls 88% of the local desktop PC market, another 5.4% is occupied by Apple OS X. In the smartphone segment, China depends almost 100% on imported operating systems, despite Huawei’s attempts change the situation. On the other hand, the pandemic also revealed the weaknesses of American imports – its main rival in the economic sphere depends on China by 80% in terms of the supply of basic ingredients for medicines, as well as medical equipment. The exacerbation of the political situation is thus detrimental to both sides.
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