CES 2020 Kickoff Highlights the Decoupling of U.S. and China’s Tech

By Naomi Xu Elegant

The world’s biggest consumer technology trade show kicks off Tuesday in Las Vegas amid an escalating tech cold war between the U.S. and China.

While new generation tech that has been the focus of China’s innovation efforts—like artificial intelligence and 5G—will be at the forefront of CES 2020, major Chinese tech players like Alibaba, Tencent, and JD.com are absent from the first major global tech event of the decade.

The U.S.-China trade dispute is spilling into CES in spite of plans for the two countries to sign a “Phase One” trade agreement on Jan. 15 in Washington. A Chinese consulate and commerce ministry-backed station at the expo will offer free legal help to Chinese attendees, who have also been encouraged to carry documents certifying their intellectual property rights. IP theft has been a sticking point in trade negotiations.

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