Japanese chipmakers were having a rotten enough year before Donald Trump opened another front of his China trade war.
Even before Covid-19 wrecked Japan Inc’s 2020, the US president’s tariffs were upending export markets and supply chains. His moves to weaken the dollar were generating fresh headwinds.
Yet his escalating assault on China’s tech industry – national flagship Huawei in particular – threatens to be financially and managerially ruinous for some of Japan Inc’s biggest names.
Trump is going after Tencent’s WeChat and ByteDance’s TikTok, too. But the target on Huawei’s back is the one with the biggest consequences for gross domestic product in Japan and beyond.