“Deglobalization” has entered the narrative zeitgeist. But what’s happening on the ground? This weekly series seeks to answer that question with a round-up of deglobalization developments from the week that’s done.
1. Over recent years, Apple has expanded its production facilities in India, part of its effort to diversify away from China. Now, Apple’s pivot is extending into consumption, too: Apple CEO Tim Cook has scheduled a trip to open the iPhone maker’s first stores in India next week.
2. Vanguard will exit its China joint venture with Ant and close its Shanghai office – moves that will end its six-year presence in China. As of January 2022, the Vanguard-Ant JV had 3 million investors.
3. “The world is fragmenting,” said Stellantis CEO Carlos Taveres. “Global trade is going backwards,” the result being regional economic bubbles. For Taveres, this risks upsetting supply chains and business models. But there is opportunity to be had as well.
4. Microsoft was fined 3 million USD for selling software to sanctioned organizations in Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Russia between 2012 and 2019 – highlighting the growing regulatory boundaries of a deglobalized environment.
5. In Gotion Michigan, the planned site of the 2.3 billion USD CATL-Ford battery factory, community alarm is growing over the site’s ties to China. Residents and politicians are raising questions about CATL’s links to the Chinese Communist Party: “It’s not about having new jobs in the community. It’s about the community having a voice and what those jobs are.”
6. CBS News dives into concerns over China’s C919 commercial airliner –for what it shows about China’s growing might, the role that international companies have played in its development, and the risk that those companies have sowed the seeds of their own demise. Per Matt Pottinger, former deputy national security adviser, “Do you remember Alcatel, Marconi, Nortel? Those companies don’t exist anymore. They’re dead. And Airbus and Boeing are on the kill list now.”
7. French President Emmanuel Macron faces scathing criticism from allies over his China tour and “love-fest” with Xi Jinping. From Roger Cohen in the Wall Street Journal: “In short order in China, Mr. Macron managed to alienate or worry allies from Warsaw to Washington, with his embrace of what a Sino-French declaration called a global strategic partnership with Beijing’ – and condemnation of a” Cold War mentality.’”
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