Saturday, August 13, 2022
President Biden on Tuesday invoked the hobgoblin of Chinese technological superiority as he signed Congress’s $280 billion computer-chip subsidy bill. China has leapfrogged the U.S. in research and development, he claimed, and “is trying to move way ahead of us in manufacturing these sophisticated chips.” Beijing may be trying but it is struggling mightily despite spending enormous sums.
Bloomberg this week reports that Beijing is launching corruption investigations into government ministers and business leaders involved in its semiconductor initiative, which is a cornerstone of President Xi Jinping’s Made in China 2025 plan to achieve manufacturing self-sufficiency. Corruption crackdowns are Mr. Xi’s modus operandi when things don’t go according to Communist plan.
When senior government officials last month reviewed the country’s chip-making progress, they reportedly grew dismayed that advances may have been overstated and investments weren’t paying off. Mr. Xi’s plan to throw money at the semiconductor industry, as with others, has resulted in many unproductive companies chasing government subsidies.
Well, maybe this CHIPs subsidy program will be different. Isn't that what they're saying?