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The Global Battle Over Microchips (documentary)

Daniel Nenni

Staff member
Definitely worth a look:

Computers, cars, mobile phones, toasters: countless everyday objects contain microchips. They’re tiny, unremarkable and cheap, but since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, they’ve been at the center of a political and industrial tug of war. Against the backdrop of the trade war between China and the US, "The Microchip War" spotlights all the aspects of this conflict.

In the film, the world’s most influential actors in this industrial sector weigh in.No one is in any doubt that microprocessors are as strategically important as oil. The battle over microchips could potentially redefine the geopolitical world order. In the United States and Europe, fears over a microprocessor shortage have led to a flood of investment pledges. After ceding microchip production to Asia in the 1990s, market leaders in the West are now trying to bring production back home and thereby regain control of the production chain.

This resulted in the adoption of new legislation in 2022: the European Chips Act initiated by the EU Commission under Ursula von der Leyen and - in response to this - the American "Chip and Science Act" initiated by Joe Biden. China, the US, Europe: major global powers fighting over tiny microchips. Pandemic and resource scarcity have fueled the desire for industrial reconquest and economic superiority. But is this reindustrialization actually possible? Can the West challenge the foundations of globalization in this way?

I think the intro carries the essential premise on which validity depends the rest of the argument.

Semiconductor people believe microchips' role in modern life makes the semi industry completely irreplaceable.

Do people who are actually doing decisions about which industries are irreplaceable think the same?

A lot of important people genuinely do not. Last round of TW-US trade talks had literally zero minutes for semi, but weeks of acrimonious extended talks about pork and potatoes.