Skip to main content
Digital chip CCD Matt Laskowsk/Flickr

China’s Dangerous Digital Agenda

Instead of responding to China's digital rise, the European Union has remained fixated on the global success of American platforms like Amazon, Facebook, and Google, even threatening punitive actions against them. But there is mounting evidence that the real competitive challenge for Europe will come from the East.

WASHINGTON, DC/BRUSSELS – When the Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba listed on the New York Stock Exchange late last year, it became the world's 17th largest publicly traded company overnight, with a market capitalization of $230 billion – larger than Amazon, eBay, or Facebook. Europe, however, seems to have missed the news.

Indeed, instead of responding to China's digital rise, the European Union has remained fixated on the global success of American platforms like Amazon, Facebook, and Google, even threatening punitive actions against them. A couple of months after Alibaba's IPO, the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution to prevent online companies like Google from “abusing" their market position. The resolution called for “unbundling search engines from other commercial services."

But there is mounting evidence that the real competitive challenge for Europe will come from the East, especially China, which is taking a protectionist and expansionist approach to securing its future digital dominance. If the European Union and the United States do not collaborate to limit China on this front, they risk leaving the playing field wide open to a regulatory regime based on principles that directly controvert the fundamental values the West's two largest economies share.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/B8Hq8FQ;
  1. haass103_GettyImages_redeastasiamapdotslines Getty Images

    Asia’s Scary Movie

    Richard N. Haass

    A snapshot of Asia would show a region at peace, with stable societies, growing economies, and robust alliances. But, if we view history as a moving picture, we may well come to look back on this moment as the time in which the most economically successful part of the world began to come apart.

  2. roubini130_GettyImages_iphonehandstealingpiggybank Getty Images

    The Great Crypto Heist

    Nouriel Roubini

    Cryptocurrencies have given rise to an entire new criminal industry, comprising unregulated offshore exchanges, paid propagandists, and an army of scammers looking to fleece retail investors. Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence of rampant fraud and abuse, financial regulators and law-enforcement agencies remain asleep at the wheel.

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.