Towards a Tech-driven Cold War

Get ready to diversify your tech supply-chain!

New geopolitical risks are emerging and we see the world becoming more and more polarised by a Cold War between the US and China, whose technological rivalry is a key (if not the key) component of their broader political rivalry. AI systems and 5G technology represent surely the two key enablers for supremacy, and the first mover – the first to successfully implement these systems on a large and sophisticated scale – will certainly gain a competitive advantage over others. However, technological supremacy will be achieved by the country that is able not only to devote the largest amount of investment to areas such as AI and 5G, but rather is also able to provide a combination of vision, strategy, resources, ethics and real applications, where emerging technologies are concerned. Currently, the quality of engineers and the ability to attract quality employees are, along with competitive open markets and a strong influence on allies, the key advantages of the US. On the other hand, China is ahead in the game, given its authoritarian state, huge domestic market, reduced privacy concerns and head-start in 5G. In this contest, Europe appears behind, out of the ring so to speak. Holding back on its quality research and internal states’ divergence. It is time for the Old Continent to shake up and create a clear common strategy.