Zhongqi Wanduo Huang Yang from Aofei Temple

Goose bench | public number ebandeng

Recently, the United States has embraced us in various matters.

While inviting Huawei to participate in the formulation of 5G standards, at the same time, it completely banned the sale of Huawei and ZTE on the grounds of “endangering national security”. This operation is really not clear.

However, the United States has attacked other countries in the field of cutting-edge technology more than once.

Let’s take history as a mirror and talk about the stories of France and Japan today.

United States vs Japan: from support to suppression

The rise of Japanese semiconductors

After the end of World War II, the United States was forced to establish an outpost in Asia under the pressure of the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

It is only Japan that is most suitable for thinking and thinking, and it is necessary to shift from repression to support policies for Japan.

Otherwise, the Japanese’s brains turned fast, and they were able to get through at one point. The United States quickly returned to the blood and almost turned its head to overwhelm the United States.

Taking steel as an example, Japan was still in ruins at the end of World War II. By 1965, Japan’s steel exports to the United States accounted for 43.9% of the total US imports, which squeezed American workers.


The United States has spent a lot of effort to restrict Japanese products from entering the US market, with little results.

Simply let the yen appreciate in value and come to a super double, so that importing Japanese goods is expensive, and companies will buy American goods, so the United States decided to pull the five countries including Japan to sign the “Plaza Agreement.” .

Although reluctantly over there in Japan, after all, the US military is at the doorstep. Can only comfort myself–

These two years of exporting various commodities have also made some money. After the appreciation, it is also convenient for Japan to purchase real estate and high-tech overseas, which sounds good. So half a push and half agreed to the “Plaza Agreement”.

The crackdown came under the crackdown. After signing the “Plaza Agreement”, the United States felt that Japan was still profitable and wanted Japan to continue to fight for itself.

Undertaking some low-margin, low-level manufacturing industries, the United States itself keeps the high-margin, high-level integrated circuit industry at home.

So the United States transferred hundreds of technology patents to Japan, and Japan was happy to master new technologies.

One of the most marked events is that in 1952, Sony founder Shoda Morita personally led the team to the United States and spent $25,000 to buy transistor technology from Bell Labs and bring it back to Japan.

After returning home, Sony successfully manufactured Japan’s first crystal after two years of technical researchThe TR-55 radio, compared to the huge radio on the market at that time, TR-55 is light and beautiful, once launched, it became popular all over Japan.

Everything seems to be going in the direction set by the Americans. The Japanese do not have high technical level such as TV sets and radios. The Americans are studying the most advanced computers according to the trend at the time.

The little abacus crackled and the scripts were all written. I didn’t expect the Japanese to follow it. Sony’s success directly helped Japan to light up a new skill tree and directly promote the development of the electronics industry.

Just in 1964, Japan was worried that there was no place to learn technology, and Texas Instruments of the United States entered the market with its products.

In order to protect the semiconductor industry that is still developing, Japan has put forward very harsh conditions: if you want to start business in Japan, you must disclose the relevant technology to Japan within three years, and the market share must not exceed 10 %.

In order to enter the Japanese market, Texas Instruments had to agree, and later established a joint venture with Sony, each of which held 50% of the shares.

On the one hand, it is dragging the pace of restricting overseas companies from entering the domestic market; on the one hand, Japan is accelerating support for its domestic industry.

It first sent overseas inspection missions to advanced countries such as Europe and the United States to visit the production bases and learn advanced technologies.

Optics is not enough. Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry found the top domestic technology companies at that time, such as Japan Electric, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi, as well as related industry experts, and formed a research association.

The association said that in the future, the government will pay for technological breakthroughs and share research achievements with the aim of catching up with the United States on integrated circuits as soon as possible.

This is the later famous “VLSI Project”, the English abbreviation is VLSI. The VLSI Research Association has two departments: joint laboratory and enterprise laboratory.

The joint laboratory is responsible for some basic technology research, and it is handed over to the enterprise laboratory after thinking about it. The people there further consider how to improve the process and technology to lay the foundation for the mass production in the future. After that, Japan smashed 72 billion yen on this plan

Thanks to this plan, Japanese companies have captured 30% of the global semiconductor memory market by 1980. After another five years, Japan’s share exceeds the US by 50%.

At this time, the emotions in the United States are more complicated, and the steel side has not yet eased. I did not expect that an inattentive Japan has caught up with semiconductors again. The yield is higher and the price is cheaper.

Under the power of the true fragrance law, Intel, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, and the notorious Fairchild Semiconductor, is also on the verge of being acquired by Fujitsu of Japan.

The United States began planning a counterattack against the Japanese semiconductor industry.

US sanctions

The first thought was to increase taxes. Prior to this, they were all semiconductors.12% tax, compared to Japan’s 6% tax for selling goods to the United States. This raises the selling price of American semiconductor products in Japan.

In 1978, the United States requested Japan to adjust tariffs in the multilateral negotiations on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade held in Tokyo. The two sides finally decided to start adjustments in 1980. The Japanese side reduced by 0.975% per year, and the US side decreased by 0.025% per year. It took 11 years Commonly adjusted down to 4.2%.

But for eleven years, Americans are only fighting for the day and night. After all, according to the speed of the Japanese, it is still a question whether the US semiconductor industry will be there after eleven years.

So after Reagan came to power in 1981, he continued to put pressure on Japan. Brooke, the US trade representative, held talks with the head of Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry and decided to directly reduce the tax to 4.2% in 1982, nine years earlier than originally planned.

After adjusting the taxes, Japan turned to the international market, and its share increased. The Americans are ignorant, aren’t you equivalent to turning a corner, or are you coming to block our American businesses?

At this time, the tax increase cannot solve the problem, and the United States began to think of new recruits.

In 1982, it was the same year that Japan and the United States determined that the two countries officially lowered their import tariffs.

The FBI announced that they had caught six “spies” from Mitsubishi and Hitachi in Japan, accusing them of stealing IBM’s operating system and latest hardware information.


Subsequent investigations showed that these employees really had this idea, but the intelligence they gave to them was fake IBM employees. Their true identity was FBI agents. Yes, this is a phishing law enforcement.

The two companies were grabbed the handle and had nothing to say, so they had to apologize and paid a total of tens of billions of yen for patent use and compensation.

In addition to the IBM spy case, Toshiba also sold the machine tools to the Soviet Union at the time, which made the American big brother unhappy.

These cases have caused the Japanese to fall into legal disputes and pay fines, while at the same time they have created an unreliable image for them, which has laid the foundation for public opinion for the subsequent operations.

On the Japanese side, defense is counting on the United States, the market is dependent on the United States, the body is not straight, the United States is fines and investigations, and it continues to say that it needs sanctions. The Japanese government can’t afford it. The two countries finally ended in July 1986. The “Japan-US Semiconductor Trade Agreement” was reached on the 31st.

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The “Agreement” also requires the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, that is, the department that establishes the “official industry-university” model to assume the responsibility of supervising the reasonable pricing of product sales by Japanese semiconductor companies.

Embarrassment is that the plot does not seem to develop as expected by the United States. Japan is still surging in the international market. In 1986, the global semiconductor output value fell to 39% in the global market.

But of course the JapaneseIt is not unscathed. For example, the conclusion of the agreement forced Japanese companies to reduce the purchase of local semiconductor products to a certain extent.

With fewer purchases, demand is reduced, and new and high-risk technologies such as CPUs are reluctant to increase R&D investment, resulting in Japanese semiconductor production becoming more and more concentrated on DRAM, and the direction of progress is gradually and industry development. The direction is staggered.

Support Korea

On the other hand, when Japan and the United States were in an indisputable dispute over the status of semiconductors, their neighboring South Korea, which had its own clothes, began to quietly develop its own semiconductor industry.

It’s also interesting to say that the reason why Koreans develop the semiconductor industry is not only to catch up with the development trend of the industry, but also because Koreans find that in the course of their economic development, they import a large number of semiconductor components from Japan every year. .

They earn too much.

This makes the Korean government and entrepreneurs feel the need to promote the localization of electronic parts and semiconductor production. In 1974, Li Jianxi, the son of Samsung Group founder Li Bingzhe, founded Korea’s first semiconductor company.

After that, South Korea has a model, modeled on Japan’s “official-industry” integration model.

The government of Quandouhuan also took Samsung, LG, Hyundai, and six universities in South Korea to make a “Very Large Scale Integrated Circuit Technology Joint Development Plan” with the goal of developing and mass-producing 4M DRAM.

It was 1986. In that year, the United States and Japan were still struggling with each other over the semiconductor trade agreement.

The South Korea did not encounter any external resistance and worked together. The goal was achieved within a year. In 1987, Samsung Electronics successfully developed 4M DRAM, which is only 6 months behind Japan.

Semiconductors are all studied. The United States is blocking the door to Japan and the South Korea is closing its eyes. Why is the treatment so poor? The key is that although South Korea is developing fast, it has not robbed the United States of America.

  • When the rise of South Korea’s memory technology, the United States has turned the bow to think about the CPU, without delay, and even a little bit of industry complementarity;

  • For example, South Korea mainly divides its own halfConductor equipment is exported to China instead of the United States, the United States is not so afraid of dumping;

  • Another example is that Korea’s semiconductor industry is mostly in the hands of chaebols, and they are willing to exchange patents and even jointly develop related technologies with the United States.

Do not go up, don’t move the American rice bowl, South Korea is willing to be a screw in the industrial chain. The United States naturally likes to see it, which has made its semiconductor industry develop to the present.

Of course, fattening Samsung and harvesting the labor achievements of South Korea through the financial crisis, this is the story

Missed opportunity

In the face of Samsung’s strong rise and the layers of blockade in the United States, Japanese semiconductor companies certainly want to work harder.

However, the plan cannot keep up with the changes. After the “Plaza Agreement”, the sharp appreciation of the Japanese yen has greatly weakened the ability of Japanese products to go overseas. In Japan, due to the bursting of the bubble economy and the depression, the unemployment rate remained high.

What’s worse is that the entire Japanese industry has misjudged the industry’s development trend. The rise of the personal computer market has made the CPU a new trend in the industry, but Japanese semiconductor companies have not adjusted their development direction.

Due to pressure and accusations from the US government, when the Japanese government finally sees a new direction of development, there is no way to pull everyone together in the same direction as before.

The missed opportunity, the bubble burst, and the highlight moment of the Japanese ended in this way. In the next ten years, the economic growth was lackluster, and the Japanese themselves called it the “lost decade”.

In 2018, Toshiba, a former Japanese semiconductor industry giant, sold its chip business for US$18 billion to a consortium led by Bain Capital. At the same time, Japan’s entire semiconductor industry is no longer glorious.

Alstom, France

Into the new century, the development of another foreign company squeezed into the United States, this company is Alstom in France.

Alstom was founded in 1928. It is a Fortune 500 company in France. Whether it is building power stations or various rail transit lines, it is a good hand. It is known as the “Pearl of the Crown” in French manufacturing. .

It has also participated in many projects in China. For example, my country’s Three Gorges Hydropower Station and Beijing Airport Line both use Alstom technology.

Alstom often encounters another competitor, General Electric, when it conducts overseas business.

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Who is General Electric? That’s the nursing home of the US Department of Justice.

After the prosecutors of the US Department of Justice leave public office, reemployment is often more difficult. At this time, GE will provide them with management positions in the Compliance Department. According to statistics, as of 2014,After 15 prosecutors started their second career at GM.

The United States Department of Justice also often covers the dry son General Electric. According to statistics, almost all of GE’s international competitors have been prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice and are forced to pay huge fines.

For example, ABB was fined US$58 million in 2010; Siemens in Germany was fined US$800 million in 2008, of which 8 staff members were prosecuted.

Alstom has always bullied GM, so the godfather’s Ministry of Justice gradually began to turn its attention to this French industrial pearl.

Internal and external difficulties

Alstom is an excellent manufacturing company, but its own business situation is inevitably affected by the economic environment.

After the 2008 financial crisis, the European economy recovered slowly. The unemployment rate in the entire Eurozone remains high, the bank’s assets and liabilities deteriorate, and corporate financing faces greater difficulties.

In this case, the government and individuals have to tighten their beltsIn the past, there was little interest in large projects such as power stations and construction of rail transit, which just hit Alstom’s business. During that time, the number of orders signed fell by 22%, and the company’s stock price fell more than 20% in 2013.

The worst part is that the company is also facing serious cash flow problems. The cash flow in the first half of the fiscal year was negative. How much was negative, 511 million euros.

Alstom has significantly reduced R&D costs and expenses to solve this problem, but even so, it still cannot change the situation of Alstom’s huge cash flow deficit.

The company’s performance has fallen sharply, and Alstom has to find ways to reduce expenses. General Electric and the United States Department of Justice are worried that there is no reason to run Alstom, so the opportunity came to the door.

The first shot was the US Department of Justice. They quickly launched an anti-corruption investigation against Alstom, accusing Alstom of bribery in overseas projects and asking Alstom to cooperate.

In order to obtain the relevant evidence, the US Department of Justice even placed an undercover agent in the company to record the conversations between colleagues.

Alstom didn’t even plan to take this matter seriously from the beginning, because even bribery did not bribe you the United States. I am a French company and bribe a third country. Can you control the United States, so just Responding to the request of the United States while delaying the investigation.

The U.S. Department of Justice found that anti-corruption did not achieve its purpose, and changed another method.

On April 14, 2013, Frederick Pieruzzi, Alstom’s vice president of international sales, was arrested by FBI agents as soon as he got off the plane at JFK Airport in New York.

The offense was that a decade ago, at the Tarahan Power Station project in Sumatra, Indonesia, Pierruzi and other Alstom managers paid bribes to government officials through “middlemen”.

WhyIs a French company’s transactions in Indonesia subject to the jurisdiction of the US Department of Justice?

The reason for the latter is that they have “long arm jurisdiction”, which means that once a foreign transaction has significant and predictable consequences for US business, no matter where it occurs, it is subject to the jurisdiction of the US courts.

Pieruzzi was helpless, and was sent to prison for three months. He was kept with the prisoners. The prison life was really unbearable. He was thinking about Pierucci who had left the ghost place in the United States and returned to the US authorities. “Acknowledged” his own crime.

On the other side, the US Department of Justice is not enough to catch Pierucci. In the spring of 2014, in order to continue to put pressure on Alstom, the US authorities arrested three former Pierucci’s colleagues.

On April 23 of the same year, Alstom’s vice president of Asia, Lawrence Hawkins, was also arrested in the US Virgin Islands on the grounds that he bribed and covered up the employment of intermediaries in the Tarahan project.

Alstom, who has been operating in a difficult way, was arrested by a large number of executives, and there was a panic inside. People have speculated that the next goal of the Americans is likely to be the company’s CEO, Bai Kelong. .

The U.S. Department of Justice has succeeded here, and the long-awaited General Electric has finally made a deal. It has issued an acquisition offer to Als, intending to directly take advantage of its competitors.

On April 24, 2014, the day after Hawkins was arrested, Alstom announced that it would sell 70% of its energy business to the main competitor, General Electric, for $13 billion.

In order to allow the French government to pass the acquisition, GE also promised to create 1,000 jobs in France after the acquisition.

A good company suddenly announced that it was acquired by an opponent, and many people saw that it was a mess, and the French government was not a fool.

So on May 15, 2014, Arnault Monteborg, then French Minister of Economy, passed a law that was almost tailored to resist the GE’s acquisition proposal, stipulating that if you want to control energy and water conservancy For French companies in the fields of transportation, communications or medical treatment, foreign companies must obtain the consent of the French government in order to purchase.

At the same time, France established an investigative committee to investigate the Alstom acquisition and concluded that the threat of fines and imprisonment by Americans resulted in Alstom’s then-CEO Bai Kelong’s decision to sell Alstom Greatly affected.

In addition to France, Germany’s Siemens, a competitor with General Electric, did not want to see General Motors grow bigger. It brought in a consortium from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan.