Europe was the world’s great tech enforcer. Not anymore.
From enacting the world’s strictest privacy law to placing guardrails against the power of America’s tech titans, the EU has long seen itself as the world’s digital policeman, offering an alternative vision to America’s techno-capitalism and China’s surveillance-heavy statism.
But with China and the United States ratcheting up pressure on their tech industries this year, the EU may find its grip on that role slipping — especially as the world’s rival superpowers look like they might pack a bigger punch. China is moving aggressively to assert control over companies like Alibaba, while the U.S. — with a trustbusting regulator and bipartisan support — is taking on Google and Facebook in court, after more than a decade on the sidelines.