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Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

For all their differences, Europe, China and the U.S. are making remarkably similar moves in tech policy.

The big picture: Nations and regions with wildly differing political systems and cultures have converged on a shared set of responses to the power of big tech firms: rein in the companies, avoid dependencies and subsidize critical networks and technologies.

China, which has long been accused of protecting domestic companies, has recently been taking action against companies, limiting their ability to raise foreign capital and collect user data.

The U.S. has long discounted the value of top-down industrial policy. But under the Biden Administration, it's moving to boost the U.S. semiconductor industry, among other sectors that are seen as critical to future economic and national security.

Europe, caught in the middle, has been trying to take action on the antitrust front while navigating the U.S.-China battle over 5G and networking.

Political strategist Bruce Mehlman highlighted the similar moves in a recent presentation that characterizes the common strategy as:

  1. Tame the internet
  2. Restrain the dominant
  3. Subsidize the critical
Image: Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas

The big picture: The policy convergence comes as each region looks to deal with similar trends that challenge existing rules, including cryptocurrency and the gig economy.

  • The three regional powers are also eyeing the power of large tech companies and using antitrust regulation as one means to limit it.

Yes, but: Both China and the U.S. will likely want to make sure that the pressure they exert on homegrown companies doesn't inadvertently benefit the overseas competition.

  • That's definitely an argument that U.S. tech giants are using in their dialogues with state and federal officials.

Between the lines: One of the trickiest parts of these parallel policies is the effort to boost technological independence.

  • China has been on this path for a while, though the motivation certainly accelerated during the Trump Administration amid battles over Huawei, trade issues and cybersecurity.
  • Despite significant efforts to boost its domestic capabilities, China remains highly dependent on the U.S. for both chips and software.
  • U.S. companies, meanwhile, have scrambled to be less dependent on China for manufacturing, but it remains a key supplier of cell phones, computers, TVs and other electronics.

Go deeper

Dec 2, 2021 - World

U.S. and EU signal "converging" views on China

President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. and the European Union are adopting "increasingly convergent" views on the threat posed by the Chinese government, according to senior Biden administration officials, deepening a trend that could tilt the scales in an era of great power competition.

Why it matters: European leaders were initially wary of President Biden's campaign to rally a coalition of U.S. allies to challenge China, hoping to duck a confrontation between the bloc's two largest trading partners. But the winds in Europe seem to be shifting, in part due to Beijing's growing belligerence.

Dec 2, 2021 - World

U.S. defense chief denounces China hypersonic missile pursuit

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook during a ceremony with in Seoul, South Korea, on Thursday. Photo: Ahn Young-Joon - Pool/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday the U.S. would "maintain the capabilities to defend and deter" threats from China's government and warned the country's hypersonic weapons program was increasing regional tensions.

Driving the news: Austin made the comments in Seoul after meeting with his South Korean counterpart to discuss regional security matters, including threats posed by China's government and the North Korean regime, which he also expressed concern about.

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."