BY Wesley Diphoko 3 MINUTE READ

When Tik Tok appears in front of the US Congress next month it won’t be the only Chinese technology company receiving the US lawmakers attention. Another Chinese tech company, Huawei, is already receiving the toughest sanction from the mighty US.

It is now reported that the Biden administration has stopped granting export licences to US companies to export most items to Huawei.This is a major setback for Huawei as the company will have difficulty making devices with the necessary functionality for the current market. This is almost the final nail in the coffin designed by the US government for this Chinese technology giant. Whether it succeeds or not, this act together with TikTok’s appearance in front of congress signals that the US is declaring a war on Chinese technology companies. Where does this leave the consumers and users of these brands?

The Huawei ban during Trump’s administration was softer than what Biden has ordered. The Chinese tech giant could work around the ban. Huawei users could still find other means to still make use of the devices. Huawei also worked on their own operating system, HarmonyOS.

In anticipation of the latest attack from the US, Huawei has been working on plans for a dedicated chipset fabrication plant for its telecoms business in Shanghai that would bypass US sanctions, according to a report then by the Financial Times. It’s important to note however that this was not seen as a quick fix, the assumption was that it would take time before such chips were ready for new devices.These approaches points to resiliency in this Chinese tech company. Users of the Huawei are in for an interesting journey that will see them using new innovations from Huawei in response to the US attack. Huawei users will become active spectators in the technology war that has never been seen in the history of technology.

As for TikTok, its young CEO will become the face of the US-China tech war when he appears in front of US congress next month. He will not only stand for Tik Tok but for Chinese Tech giants who are under attack. He will become a proxy in the war about tech dominance.

The popular platform has also tried to avoid sanctions from the US. At some point there was a possibility of a US Company intervention in the form of taking over US operations. Another attempt by the company to bow to US force had a lot to do with relocating its data centre to the US. The company went so far as agreeing to use Oracle infrastructure as a mechanism of storing data.

All indications are such that Chinese tech companies have tried to do everything ordered by the US government. Next steps now could even include ordering companies like Apple and Google to remove TikTok on their app stores.This is a war that China will have to win. This debacle is not just about a company violating a law and a country authority punishes it for a transgression. If it was, companies like Google Alphabet (Google) and Meta (Facebook) would have been closed a long time ago.

This is a war between two dominant powers of the world. It is a war about dominating the future of technology. China and its companies have no choice but to continue innovating.

We may now see the real splinternet in the world.This means if the US goes ahead with banning Tik Tok we may see the beginning of a fragmented technological environment. We will start to see the technology environment that is led by China and its consumers. We will also see the technology environment that is driven by the US without the China elements.

It’s not an ideal scenario however China may be left with no choice but to build an alternative technological order with no US involvement.

This will impact negatively on US firms who are still in need of the Chinese market (think Apple and Tesla). The ideal scenario is for a mediator to intervene and bring an end to the China/US Tech war. This requires a body equivalent to the UN to work out a peace deal. Failure to do so will lead to a new technological order.