Technology and trade wars

There are several ways countries try to wins technology wars. The usual ones include putting resources behind companies or research institutes to help developing a domestic standard with the hope to increase one’s competitiveness and capture market shares – usually known as the “National Champion” strategy.

Then there is the “National Looser” strategy or when a country tries to protect a hopelessly un-competitive market from foreign firms by restricting access – a strategy recently used by the Indian government to  prevent Chinese companies to bid for the loss-making Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) over security concerns raised by intelligence agencies.

While both countries are members of the WTO (and therefore technically bound to promote free trade), this shouldn’t come as a surprise to the Chinese government who has for [too] long been protecting its telecommunication services market from foreign operators on grounds of sovereignty and national security!