back to article American tech goliaths decide innovation is the answer to Chinese 5G dominance, not bans, national security theater

Some of America’s super-corps have remembered how the US became the dominant global technology force it is, and have vowed to use innovation over threats to counter Chinese dominance in 5G markets. Thirty-one corporations ranging from AT&T to VMWare, and including Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Oracle, have …

  1. BebopWeBop
    Trollface

    Well I never! Fancy competing by investing in their own work rather than legislation - whatever will happen next, lawyers behaving ethically, customers coming first? We do live in strange times.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lawyers do behave ethically. The key part is that they will make the best case they can for their client, even if he is a complete and utter crook. Of course, successful crooks tend to be able to afford better arguments.

      It may be a very expensive job trying to make a silk purse out of a pig's ear, but that's just karma operating as it's supposed to. And the alternative, as seen in some countries with less than robust legal systems, is innocent passers by getting killed in crossfire.

      Traditionally, industry bodies arise either to deal with an external threat, or because the members have got tired of fighting one another. I suspect in this case it's both.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        The key part is that they will make the best case they can for their client, even if he is a complete and utter crook.

        Enough of them have been convicted in fraud cases to suggest this isn't always the case. And even less "ethical" is when they get involved in lobbying for legislation, which they increasingly help to draft with their clients' best interests in mind.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    What happened to R&D?

    But behind the threats has also sat an uncomfortable truth: Chinese companies dominate the market in large part because there aren’t many good alternatives: competing products are limited, more expensive and often inferior.

    The US made it particularly easy for them: competing but incompatible wireless technologies (CDMA, iDEN, etc.) and vertical integration is the American way but it also stifles competition by making it difficult for users to switch, so less pressure to innovate. Meanwhile, much of the world was looking at how Europe, through the GSMA, promoted interoperability and through this competition. The US then decided that it was cheaper to have stuff made (and by extension) developed in China. The Chinese followed the GSM route (though also used CDMA, I think) to 3G then UMTS then LTE, for which it had a greater need.

  3. Klimt's Beast Would
    Coat

    Open RAN

    Endorsed by A Flock of Seagulls?

    Icon: Getting my walkman out of the pocket. Spare batteries in the other.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Open RAN

      Here's Wishing…

  4. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Who makes the Silicon?

    And where pray tell will these new companies get the chips to power these newly interoperable devices?

    the economically viable market of the middle kingdom?

    if Xi and co wanted to spy on everyone, why on earth would they put the compromised tech inside systems with MADE IN CHINA slapped on the side and not hide it in any of the devices with other more palletable flags on the front, but Chino-fabricated innards...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Who makes the Silicon?

      "the economically viable market of the middle kingdom?"

      Or any of the many emerging manufacturing markets? South Korea is well established, Vietnam is looking interesting to manufactures, parts of Africa. China is no longer the cheapest labour market with it's rapidly expanding middle classes. This might well be one of Chinas drivers in world trade and projecting its military force and territorial ambitions in the South China Sea. They plan in the long term, not just the next election cycle, and can probably see the day coming when other "upstart" nations steal their crown for cheap tech savvy labour. Similar to the way the Saudis are using their oil fortunes to massively diversify with investments all around the world while attracting high value tourism to their own shores.

  5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Coat

    remembered how the US became the dominant global technology force it is

    What? You mean ignoring all non-US patents and copyrights?

  6. IGotOut Silver badge

    Well of course they have to innovate....

    ....for years they relied on suing everyone for even remotely resembling a patent infringement.

    The problem for them is now is the Chinese have the patents.

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