London, UK | XINHUA | The extent to which the U.S. tech sector has become dependent on China is “under-appreciated”, said an opinion article recently published by the London-based Financial Times newspaper.
“The two tech worlds are connected via a tangle of wiring,” it said, noting that the great uncoupling would cause huge economic pain to hundreds of U.S. tech companies.
It cited Apple as an example. “In a world where many homes in the west are cluttered with its devices, China also offers a vital source of fresh customers,” said the article.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, was quoted as saying that “three out of four people in the country buying Mac computers were doing so for the first time; two out of three iPad buyers are new to the product.”
Five U.S. chip companies were also used as evidence to prove the U.S. tech sector’s dependency on China. “Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Intel and Broadcom — each with a market value of more than 100 billion U.S. dollars — depend on China for between 25 percent and 50 percent of their sales,” said the article.
“It is not just the depth of dependence, it is also the breadth. Pick through the latest earnings season and you come across countless examples of U.S. tech company executives highlighting their strength in China,” it added.
Data from both Skyworks and Qualcomm were also quoted as examples. “More than 60 percent of smart phones sold in China now incorporate 5G technology. Qualcomm’s shares, too, are close to an all-time high,” it said.
The article pointed out that for all the anti-China actions, the market does not believe the United States will be willing to completely pull the plug or that China will opt for damaging retaliation. “This is too complacent,” it said.