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Scholar: Global tech teamwork vital

By XU WEIWEI in Boao, Hainan | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-31 09:12

Reporters interview Carl Fey, professor of strategy at BI Norwegian Business School, at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2023. [PHOTO by YUAN CHEN/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Enhancing technological collaboration between countries in the Asia-Pacific and around the world would be to everyone's mutual benefit amid global challenges, said Professor of Strategy at BI Norwegian Business School Carl Fey.

Speaking to China Daily in an exclusive interview at the Boao Forum for Asia in South China's Hainan province, he also said that the United States should not consider banning TikTok, as it will only hurt its own economy. The US has already banned high-end chip exports to China, which is currently causing some challenges for China but will also present challenges to the US in the future, he said.

"This is probably not a very good thing for anyone," he said. "We need to have countries, whether in the Asia-Pacific region or other parts of the world, collaborating together more closely to facilitate technology."

He said that collaboration is important in the chip industry because people in different areas and regions come up with different ideas.

Fey added that the basic point is that international collaboration benefits everyone. The fact that the US is now not letting China import high-end chips simply means that China in some period, perhaps over the next five to seven years, will simply develop its own technology.

He said the exchange of scientists and other experts between countries is critical for advancing innovation. Fey's research on 200 firms in China shows it is really important that businesses focus on knowledge management, from both inside and outside of the company.

With regard to US government allegations of TikTok sharing data with the Chinese government — which was raised at a recent Congressional hearing before being dismissed out of hand by TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew — Fey said that any such data sharing is nothing to fear even if it were proven.

"I think it's very unlikely that the Chinese government would use it in the way that many Americans are thinking it might be used. This would be the end of any business relations for TikTok and for many other Chinese companies," Fey noted. "And of course China has a strong interest that these companies continue to thrive around the world."

He said in the digital era, China is not alone in having data security laws, citing Germany among the countries with similar laws. The US should not ban TikTok and lose the app's benefits, he said. "It's very popular in the US as you've seen many different businesses advertising how it's been helping them."

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