Leveling the Playing Field: Tech Access in China

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China’s exploitation of national security concerns to shield its technology companies from foreign competition has shifted the global competitive landscape. American companies, hindered by China’s Great Firewall and restrictive trade policies, are limited in their ability to compete fairly in the market. Behind this protection, Chinese Internet and technology giants were born, and have now changed the face of technology competition for the 21st century.

President Obama’s meeting with Chinese president Xi this week should focus on creating unfettered market access for American technology firms that do business in China. Beijing’s approach to the technology industry has been to limit foreign ownership rights for companies in the technology sector, often by requiring a Sino-foreign joint venture. This model not only presents intellectual property risks to American partners, but it often requires that companies partner with would-be Chinese competitors. Over the last year, American companies have met new government-initiated resistance against allowing commercial use of their hardware and software in Chinese company networks.

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