Why US sanctions on China’s Ant Group may be an empty threat

Washington could soon expand its war against Chinese tech companies by setting its sights on Ant Group, the crown jewel of billionaire Jack Ma’s empire.



a group of people performing on a counter: People walk past the Ant Group Co. mascot displayed at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Jack Ma's Ant Group is seeking to raise $17.5 billion in its Hong Kong share sale and won't seek to lock in cornerstone investors, confident there will be plenty of demand for one of the largest equity deals in the financial hub, according to people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images


© Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People walk past the Ant Group Co. mascot displayed at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. Jack Ma’s Ant Group is seeking to raise $17.5 billion in its Hong Kong share sale and won’t seek to lock in cornerstone investors, confident there will be plenty of demand for one of the largest equity deals in the financial hub, according to people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

But there doesn’t appear to be much the US government could do to realistically hurt the digital finance company. Unlike other Chinese tech firms that have drawn the ire of Washington, Ant does little business in the United States.

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Ant Group

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U.S. Sanctions Turn up Heat but Huawei Serving European 5G Clients, Executive Says | Top News

ZURICH (Reuters) – Chinese telecom giant Huawei is finding it harder to counter U.S. sanctions designed to choke off its access to semiconductors but can continue to serve European 5G network clients, a senior European executive told an Austrian newspaper.

The world’s biggest maker of mobile telecommunications equipment and smartphones was still “looking for a solution” to help millions of Huawei phone users after Google

was banned from providing technical support for new Huawei phone models using mobile operating system Android.

“Since the U.S. sanctions last year, U.S. manufacturers of semiconductors are no longer allowed to supply us so our previous U.S. partners can no longer work with us. Since August it has become even more difficult,” Abraham Liu, Huwaei’s vice-president for Europe, told the Kurier paper.

He said Washington was “blackmailing” chipmakers into shunning ties with Huawei, which denies U.S. allegations that Huawei equipment could be used by Beijing

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Samsung earnings soar on smartphone sales rebound, US sanctions on Huawei

Samsung predicts its profit jumped nearly 60% last quarter, suggesting it could soon retake its position as the world’s top smartphone seller from embattled Chinese rival Huawei.



a person standing in front of a mirror: A man wearing a protective mask walks past an advertisement for the Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Z Fold2 5G and Z Flip 5G smartphones at the company's D'light flagship store in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images


© Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A man wearing a protective mask walks past an advertisement for the Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Z Fold2 5G and Z Flip 5G smartphones at the company’s D’light flagship store in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The South Korean conglomerate said on Thursday that it expects to make an operating profit of roughly 12.3 trillion won ($10.6 billion) for the July-September quarter. That’s up 58% from the same period a year ago. The estimates also beat the 26% profit bump analysts polled by data provider Refinitiv had predicted.

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Samsung said it expects sales for the third quarter will rise about 6% to 66 trillion won ($57 billion).

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Huawei’s Rivals Are Already Filling A $27 Billion Hole Left By US Sanctions

After more US sanctions have all-but-crippled the future of Huawei’s global networks business — and its efforts to become the dominant 5G provider — dollar signs are already materializing for its rivals.

At the crux of Huawei’s withdrawal is an annual $27 billion opportunity for its competitors — including Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung — to become the go-to providers of 5G and other telecommunication services to domestic carriers, says Ryan Koontz, an analyst at Rosenblatt Securities. “It’s a massive economic transition,” says Koontz. “It’s relatively urgent for these carriers to make the change.” 

The multi-billion dollar market opportunity, which hinges on Huawei’s sales figures for the year ended September, will not evaporate overnight, Koontz says, but will likely be absorbed over the next three to four years. 

Because

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U.S. sanctions on chipmaker SMIC hit at the very heart of China’s tech ambitions

  • The U.S. government has reportedly imposed restrictions that require suppliers to get an export license to sell certain equipment to China’s biggest chipmaker SMIC.
  • The move threatens to hit at the heart of China’s plans to boost its domestic semiconductor industry, a need that has been accelerated by the trade war with the U.S.
  • SMIC is seen as a critical part of China’s ambitions and the commerce department’s sanctions could hold back the company’s development for several years.



a circuit board: A close up image of a CPU socket and motherboard laying on the table.


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A close up image of a CPU socket and motherboard laying on the table.

GUANGZHOU, China — The U.S. government has reportedly imposed restrictions on exports to SMIC, China’s biggest chip manufacturer, a move that threatens Beijing’s push to become more self-reliant in one of the most critical areas of technology.

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Suppliers for certain equipment to SMIC will need to apply for an export license, according

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