Have you ever heard of the Trabant? Assuming you’ve heard of the defunct East German automaker, it’s a safe bet you’ve never driven a Trabant. You haven’t because it never could have competed in the hyper-competitive U.S. car market, and it couldn’t have because the cars were creations of the East German state.
Laughing as I type, the 1950s design of the Trabant was still the design in the 1990s! This is government in operation. Governments are constrained by the known, while in capitalist, largely free-market economies innovative minds are endlessly pursuing the unknown. Applied to cars, their shapes, gadgetry and capabilities are constantly evolving in order lead the needs of the marketplace. While government and its “businesses” are the embodiment of the capital-repelling stationary state, businesses actually informed by market signals are part of the advancing state by virtue of them operating as businesses.
All of this is something to keep in mind as politicians and pundits continue to promote the laughable notion that Huawei, TikTok, and other Chinese business giants are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The simple truth is that if the latter were true, then it would also be true that Americans would never have heard of Huawei and TikTok for much the same reason they were never aware of the Trabant.
Where it gets funny, but also embarrassing for Huawei’s all-knowing critics, is that the Chinese technology giant just released the Mate 60 Pro. About Huawei’s new smartphone, Paul Triolo of U.S.-based Albright Stonebridge Group described it as a product “that may not be quite as good as cutting-edge Western models, but is still quite capable.” Stop and think about that. Any comparison of any smartphone means comparing it to the products of Apple, the world’s most valuable company.
Which means that even if the Mate 60 Pro doesn’t exactly stand toe-to-toe with the latest iPhone, it’s right up there. Better yet, the Mate 60 Pro is on the rise despite endless efforts by the U.S. political class to strangle its creator, Huawei. The efforts included going to great lengths to make sure that Huawei would not attain access to U.S. technological inputs said to be necessary for Huawei to compete in the smartphone market.
Oh well, rather than shut down, Huawei acted like a private business and seemingly chose to profit from adversity. Huawei set about designing and manufacturing its own chips inside China in order to work around protectionist U.S. politicians. Apparently, it succeeded. That Huawei succeeded is good for the American people, good for the U.S. technology sector, yet bad for a protectionist, economic-policy ignorant U.S. political class.
For the American people, Huawei’s successes in the technological space signal future advances overseas that will ideally find their way to the U.S. Work divided is the surest path to progress, and if the Chinese are this good in the face of government-manufactured adversity, just think of the advances that they’ll craft without it; advances that will redound to all of us. Just as Apple’s success didn’t hurt Chinese people in Shanghai, neither will Huawei’s advances harm any of us here. By definition, they’ll lift us.
Those successes will also lift U.S. technology as work divided invariably does, not to mention how competition has a tendency to lift all boats. Put another way, Americans were much poorer when the Chinese people were poor.
As for the notion that Huawei is controlled by the CCP, see the Trabant once again to understand how ridiculous this notion is, and always was. What government touches, sucks. And Huawei products apparently don’t suck.