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5 big issues from regulation and EVs to semiconductors


Technologist examines the computer chip.

Sefa Ozel | E+ | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — China’s technology sector has taken a wild ride over the past year, with regulations tightened, billions of dollars wiped off companies’ market value, and a continuing push from Beijing for technological self-sufficiency.

These are some of the key themes being addressed. CNBC’s annual East Tech West eventThe Nansha area of Guangzhou is in south China.

Let’s take a look at some of the most pressing issues and focal points in China’s tech sector.

China launches tech crackdown

This has had a significant impact on China’s internet sites. Alibaba’s share price is down by 41% in the year to-date.

Many questions are being asked:

  • What new regulations will China implement in these areas?
  • Who are the next companies to target?
  • How does this translate into growth in the Chinese tech sector?

CNBC has addressed some of these topics in an episode of the “Beyond the Valley” podcast. You can watch it here. These conversations will be continued at East Tech West.


China’s ongoing technology rivalry with the U.S. has made Beijing more determined to achieve greater self-sufficiency in a number of areas. Semiconductors are a critical component of everything, from mobile phones to cars.

China has been slow to catch up to the U.S., other nations, and this is due in part, however, the complex semiconductor supply chain that is heavily dominated by foreign firms.

Chip manufacturing is an excellent example. SMIC, China’s most important contract chip manufacturer is several years behindTSMC in Taiwan and Samsung South Korea. SMIC cannot actually produce the cutting-edge chips needed for top smartphones.

Companies from abroad dominate the most advanced tools and equipmentHigh-end chips are manufactured. U.S. sanctionsChina has been denied access to certain tools. Chinese companies can’t compete.

It is still a matter of debate how China will overcome these hurdles to boost its domestic chip sector.

‘Frontier’ tech

China’s efforts to improve its reputation in the semiconductor industry are just a few of many.

The following is a description of the product: five-year development plan, the 14th of its kindBeijing stated in a statement earlier this year that it will make science and technology self-reliance and self improvement a strategic pillar of national development.

The plan identifies areas which Beijing sees as “frontier technology” — artificial intelligence (AI) and space travel.

China made notable progressSpace, and even launching its space station. It is ambitious to send its first crewed mission to Mars in 2033.

Chinese technology companies, from Baidu to Tencent, are heavily investing in artificial intelligence.

Electric cars

China’s slowdown in economic growth