The US-China Tech Divide – Where Will it End?
Our news roundup is dominated by the seemingly endless ways that the US and China can find to quarrel over tech policy. The Commerce Department’s plan to use an executive order to cut TikTok and WeChat out of the US market has now been enjoined. But the $50 Nick Weaver bet me that TikTok could tie its forced sale up until January is still at risk, because the administration has a double-barreled threat to use against that company – not just the executive order but also CFIUS – and the injunction so far only applies to the first.
I predict that President Xi is likely to veto any deal that appeals to President Trump, just to show the power of his regime to interfere with US plans. That could spell the end of TikTok, at least in the US. Meanwhile, Dave Aitel points out, a similar but even more costly fate could await much of the electronic gaming industry, where WeChat parent TenCent is a dominant player.
And just to show that the US is willing to do to US tech companies what it’s doing to Chinese tech companies, leaks point to the imminent filing of at least one and perhaps two antitrust lawsuits against Google. Maury Shenk leads us through the law and policy options.
The panelists dismiss as PR hype the claim that it was the threat of “material support” liability that caused Zoom to drop support for a PFLP hijacker’s speech to American university students. Instead, it looks like garden variety content moderation aimed this time at a favorite of the far left.
Dave explains the good and the bad of the CISA order requiring agencies to quickly patch the critical Netlogon bug.
Maury and I debate whether Vladimir Putin is being serious or mocking when he proposes an election hacking ceasefire and a “reset” in the cyber relationship. We conclude that there’s some serious mocking in the proposal.
Dave and I also marvel at how Elon Musk, for all his iconoclasm, sure has managed to cozy up to both President Xi and President Trump, make a lot of money in both countries, and take surprisingly little flak for doing so. The story that spurs this meditati
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