In trade war as in trade war, eye for eye, bit for bit: Xi Jinping's China does not seem to want to stand idly by in the fierce diplomatic, trade, customs and technological guerrilla warfare between it and the United States .
The Reuters agency thus announced that the country would initiate the first steps of a procedure targeting Google and its possible abuses of dominant position, a preliminary step which could turn into an investigation in the coming weeks.
The most recent confrontation between the two nations, of course, concerns the Trump administration's desire to forcibly pass TikTok under the American flag. A decision that the state-run Xinhua news agency bluntly called "Perfect example of modern piracy and intimidation by the United States".
In acrimony, the two countries also exchange commercial and technological “blacklists” like other stamps or Panini images. The United States added at the beginning of September many companies – some of immense strategic importance – to the list of those with which American firms have been banned from working. What Beijing is preparing to respond to with a similar method.
But one of the most important disputes between the two countries remains the ban on Huawei in 2019. The US federal authorities arguing risks to national security, the Chinese giant of the smartphone and telecommunications infrastructure was barred from access to the American market and technologies – in particular the highly profitable 5G market.
According to Reuters sources, it was Huawei who, in 2019, pressured the Chinese government to send the United States a response from the shepherd to the shepherdess. This could take the form of an antitrust investigation, which will seek to determine whether Google has not used the almighty power of its Android mobile operating system to stifle competition and cause "Extreme damage" to Chinese companies.
We can understand that Huawei saw scarlet red: the firm was not simply banned from the United States, it also had to do without the technologies that the country was selling to it – in particular this Android essential for the global market, to which it has had to hurry to find and build a replacement.
It is also understandable that China is attacking Google, with which its authorities and its market have long had complicated relations. Because the maneuver is not just a measure of symbolic retaliation and tinged with nationalism, not a simple way to protect the country's technological giants, Alibaba or Tencent, or to camouflage the sometimes exorbitant dominance of some of their products.
This decision, if confirmed, would echo the current global trend towards Google: a similar procedure has been launched against the American giant by the United States justice itself, and the European Union – that the practices of the company have never stopped irritating – still want to tighten the screws.