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Commentary: So-called "forced technology transfer" a ridiculous lie

(People's Daily Online)    14:37, August 14, 2019

The so-called "forced technology transfer" does not exist in China. It is a lie cooked up by U.S. politicians. Those who fabricated the story about the Chinese government forcing foreign companies to transfer technologies cannot prove their claims.

It's undeniable that mutual learning can be found in the development of technology around the world, especially when we look back 30 years to a time when the U.S. was far ahead of other countries in technology. At that time, China did need to learn from the U.S., and it indeed enhanced its technological strength through continuous learning from the world's frontrunners.

However, throughout China's development, it has had no policies or practices that relate to forcing foreign companies to transfer their technologies.

Have foreign companies transferred technologies to their Chinese counterparts? The answer is yes, for sure. But it should be clear that such transfer of technology is only mutually beneficial commercial activity between enterprises.

For instance, Siemens has supported China in its efforts to develop Time Division - Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access (TD-SCDMA) technology. The company had previously developed TD-SCDMA technology, but it didn't gain support in Europe. Therefore, Siemens shifted its focus to Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) technology, which meant its technological results in TD-SCDMA technology would be largely wasted. That's why the company was willing to cooperate with Chinese companies and provide its achievements in TD-SCDMA.

It is well-known that Nokia Corporation and Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell Co. Ltd. have established a new joint venture – the Nokia Shanghai Bell, aiming to develop communication system equipment, including 5G technologies and products in Shanghai.

If two companies decide to expand their market by setting up a joint venture, how can they integrate and pool their strengths to develop if they don't share their technologies?

As Chinese companies grow stronger and expand into the overseas market, they have accepted the idea of paying for the right to use intellectual property (IP). Chinese telecom giant Huawei is Qualcomm's most important client in China. Huawei purchases enormous numbers of chips from Qualcomm every year, paying a staggering amount for the right to use its intellectual property.

In today's globalized world, it has become standard practice for Chinese and foreign companies to negotiate contracts for the right to use the other's IP and resolve issues concerning the violation of IP rights through legal channels. If a Chinese company violates a foreign company's IP rights, the latter can report the breach to China's IP authorities or file a lawsuit against the Chinese company in court.

At present, the most popular U.S. products sold in China are those in the electronic information industry, such as chips, software, servers, and routers. Besides American companies, Chinese companies also cooperate with many famous enterprises in the electronic information industry around the world, including Nortel Networks, Ericsson, Nokia, and Siemens.

To date, no executive of a foreign company has complained about a Chinese company forcing them to transfer technologies, and no Chinese company or project would make technology transfer a compulsory requirement of cooperation. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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