December 4, 2020

Silicon Valley Likes Biden


Madrid

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Tech companies and business groups are getting closer to Joe Biden’s playing field. They are preparing for new rules of the game. The victory of the Democratic candidate in the US elections heralds a turn in relations with foreign innovation and companies in Silicon Valley, the cradle of technology. Three will be the axes of its policy: support for clean energy, pressure towards technology monopolies and international consensus in the fight against Chinese innovation.

Analysts believe that the Democratic candidate will move away from the protectionism that has characterized the Trump Administration and his approach will be more moderate but, nevertheless, on many issues, the direction will be the same, such as the influence of Chinese technology companies on issues of National security. Your project includes experts from the field of technology who will help you outline measures that ensure the transition towards decarbonization of the economy, something that has already been present for years on the roadmap of technology companies.

On the geopolitical level, Trump has had a special obsession with innovation from China that has wiped US hegemony off the map. In the last leg of the legislature, he viscerally approved presidential orders that affected two Chinese brands, Huawei and the social network TikTok. The technology maker was banned from doing business with North American companies like Google, provider of Android, the most popular operating system. It was a stabbing but, against all odds, the Asian firm has managed to outsell Apple in the mobile market. Trump unleashed another storm with his efforts to shut down TikTok arguing that the popular social network represented a national security problem for the US due to its ties to ByteDance, which is based in Beijing. This same Thursday it was confirmed that times are changing with the announcement, by the US Department of Commerce, that it will reverse its initial intention to give the green light to the closure, thus complying with a judicial decision after a lawsuit filed by three influential users of this platform.

In any case, the policy of the president-elect in relation to the Asian giant will continue to be critical, but a rapprochement with the allied powers is expected to establish new rules. “Biden has a more focused and rational vision of everything, and nothing jerky compared to Trump,” says Enrique Dans, professor at the Instituto de Empresa. Biden has a more conciliatory profile than Trump, although in some interventions he has shown his misgivings towards one of the heavyweights of the industry, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. ‘He doesn’t seem to be in favor of a trade war. He wants to regain the influence of the US but the way to fight against China is not by blocking it, it is not to close the sale of its products “, Dans values, while considering that the challenge is” to apply international pressure at all levels ” for Chinese companies to compete with the same rules. «It is a measured and logical type of international politics, and it wants its allies to play a determining role.», Explains Dans

“It will seek a greater international consensus for the sake of greater coordination with its allies, although certain decisions may find greater legal complexity from the European perspective, where, for example, the rules that regulate free competition or personal data protection they are much more guaranteeing and strict than the American ones ”, explains Fernando Fernández-Miranda, director of the digital regulation area of ​​the consulting firm PwC.

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Biden has requested changes to Section 230 of the Decency in Communications Act, which grants digital platforms, such as Facebook, legal immunity for content published by third parties. But the Democratic candidate, who is inclined to repeal this regulation, has won, in part, with a great support from executives of technology companies: “It is logically the candidate they wanted,” says Dans. In his view, Biden will not be a “particularly rowdy” president. However, it is not expected to let antitrust issues decline “because it is on the agenda of the Democrats,” although it will “go ahead in a more reasonable way and not with decisions made from the stomach,” he adds. In fact, among their proposals is the development of a stricter regulation on internet surveillance inspired by the General Data Protection Regulation of Europe. Its program also includes the reestablishment of net neutrality, a principle by which all internet traffic should be treated in the same way.

Another of the lines of its program establishes an increase in investment for the development of emerging technologies such as 5G networks and the deployment of broadband in rural areas. Many “made in China” tech firms are expectant about how events unfold in the White House.

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