China is ramping up efforts to remove American influence from its technology sector.

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    In 2022, the Chinese government took significant steps to assert its technological sovereignty by implementing a directive known as Document 79. This directive, colloquially referred to as “Delete A” for its aim to diminish American influence in China’s technology sector, represents a marked intensification of efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and reduce reliance on foreign technologies, particularly those from the United States.

    Document 79, regarded as highly sensitive and restricted in dissemination, mandates state-owned enterprises, particularly in key sectors like finance and energy, to transition away from foreign software and adopt domestic alternatives by the deadline of 2027. The directive underscores a strategic shift in China’s approach, seeking to sever longstanding dependencies on American tech giants like Dell, IBM, and Cisco, which have historically played a pivotal role in powering China’s technological infrastructure.

    The initiative, however, extends beyond hardware considerations to encompass software providers, targeting industry behemoths such as Microsoft and Oracle. This move aims to gradually replace their software solutions with homegrown alternatives, thereby bolstering China’s technological autonomy and mitigating potential vulnerabilities in critical business operations.

    Document 79 is emblematic of a broader national strategy championed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, emphasizing the imperative of self-reliance across various sectors, including but not limited to technology. This overarching agenda, underscored by initiatives like “Xinchuang” or “IT innovation,” seeks to enhance China’s technological prowess while simultaneously insulating the nation from external pressures and dependencies, particularly amid escalating geopolitical tensions and trade disputes with the United States.

    The directive leverages the considerable purchasing power of China’s vast state-owned enterprises, which collectively wield substantial influence over procurement decisions. While the transition to domestic technologies may entail some quality disparities initially, the government is banking on sustained investment and innovation within the local tech ecosystem to bridge any gaps and eventually rival or surpass foreign competitors.

    Moreover, Document 79 serves as a tangible manifestation of China’s determination to assert technological leadership on the global stage, challenging the traditional dominance of Western powers in shaping the trajectory of technological development. By fostering indigenous innovation and nurturing homegrown talent, China aims to consolidate its position as a formidable player in the global technology landscape while simultaneously safeguarding its national interests and security concerns.



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