Trump’s China Tech Spat Is About Taking 5G Lead, French CEO Says

By Helene Fouquet and Rudy Ruitenberg

For Paul Boudre, U.S. President Donald Trump’s push against Chinese telecommunications companies is less about espionage than the race for technological supremacy.

Boudre, the chief executive officer of Soitec, a French maker of semiconductor materials that go into 5G equipment, automobiles, cloud computing and IT infrastructure, says Trump’s actions are aimed primarily at allowing American firms to catch up.

“Trump’s kick in the pants for companies is to wake them up and to catch up,” Boudre said in an interview Tuesday in Paris. “Trump is the emissary saying that if nothing is done, we’ll be blown away. That’s why he’s been trying to put a brake on the advances that China has made.”

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