The precious resource that the US and China compete for (and why Washington is winning the battle)

  • Suranjana Tewari
  • Business correspondent in Asia

US and Chinese flags on a microship.

image source, Getty Images


The fight to dominate the semiconductor industry is changing the landscape of the global economy.

For more than a century the fight for oil sparked wars, forced unexpected alliances and sparked numerous diplomatic conflicts.

Now the world’s two largest economies are fighting over another precious resource: semiconductors, the microchips that literally power our daily lives.

These tiny bits of silicon are at the heart of a $500 billion industry, expected to double by 2030. And whoever controls their supply chains – a tangled web of companies and countries that make microchips – owns the key to becoming a dominant superpower.

China wants the technology to produce the microchips, which is why the United States, the source of much of the technology, is isolating Beijing.

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