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The internet is no longer American

This is the topic of Benedict Evan’s latest blog post, which is all about the internet, regulation, and the rise of China, as well as other countries. The internet is now deeply ingrained in everyday life. As of 2017, about 40% of Americans had met their partners online. We do everything online. But 80-90% of the world’s internet users are now outside of the US. There are more smartphone users in China than in the US and western Europe combined. And venture capital dollars have started to diversify away from just the US (see above chart). All of this — but mostly Tiktok — has Americans questioning how best to handle and how best to regulate.

Here’s an excerpt from Benedict’s post:

Both of these are captured in Tiktok. This is the first time that Americans have really had to deal with their teenagers using a form of mass media that isn’t created in their country by people who mostly share their values. It’s from somewhere else. That’s compounded by the fact that the ‘somewhere else’ is China, with all of the political and geopolitical issues that come with that, but I’d suggest that the core, structural issue is that it’s foreign. This is, of course, a problem that the rest of the world has been wrestling with since 1994, but it comes as something of a shock in Washington DC. There’s an old joke that war is how God teaches Americans geography – now it’s regulation.

For the full post, click here.

Image/facts: Benedict Evans

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