China escalates trade wars with controls on tech exports to the US and tariffs on Australian wine

Wed 2 Dec 2020
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

China is imposing new restrictions on technology exports in what commentators describe as a ‘tit for tat’ response to similar US measures.

The new laws will prevent Chinese tech companies from exporting valuable IP to the US, the BBC reports.

The tighter controls will be primarily introduced for military technologies and other products which are deemed to impact China’s national security.

Tech cold war

The move follows a similar crackdown by the US on Chinese technology businesses such as TikTok, Huawei and Tencent.

The Trump administration has introduced a series of executive orders to limit the growth of these firms in the US arguing they could share sensitive data about US consumers to the Chinese government.

Alex Capri, visiting professor at the National University of Singapore, told the BBC that China was looking to protect its AI and algorithms through the retaliatory controls.

He said these trade tensions are likely to follow the “same trajectory” under the Biden presidency next year.

“We’re in a tech cold war with China,” he said.

China vs Australia

Meanwhile, China has ramped up its trade dispute with Australia, introducing tariffs of up to 212% on wine imports, reports CNN.

The move effectively closes China as an outlet for Australian wine exporters. China represents a 39% share of the Australian wine exports market by value.

Tony Battaglene, CEO of trade association Australian Grape and Wine, said the scale of the tariffs was a shock.

“There’s no way that we can compete at those levels,” he added.

Tensions between the countries grew after Australia demanded an inquiry into the origin of coronavirus. Beijing has also suspended some imports of beef and imposed heavy tariffs on barley.