Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

The global economic and tech system appears to be breaking in two, one led by the U.S. and the other by China, in an unfolding new world resembling the competing geopolitical spheres of the Cold War.

The big picture: One of the eeriest features of this apparent future will be new virtual and legal "borders," a formalization of attempts already afoot by the U.S. and China to bar the other from the sphere they themselves control.

  • "We will reborder" to keep unwanted Chinese companies out of U.S.-led parts of the world, Janice Gross Stein, political science professor at the University of Toronto, tells Axios.
  • "China is already rebordering," walling off its people from the global internet, Stein said on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Conference, a gathering of military and security officials from the world's democracies.

Driving the news: Lying behind this coming world of new borders is, from the U.S. side, a more palpable realization that China's rise means a sharp diminution of U.S. power and possibly living standards.

  • President Trump has declared a trade war and demanded that Beijing stop trying to be No. 1. But China is pushing back, a dynamic made most recently clear in Papua, New Guinea, over the weekend, where the U.S. and China bickered publicly in a way not seen between great powers since the actual Cold War three decades ago.
  • The main battleground for the future is tech — the race to dominate artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, green energy, electric cars, and so on. With the trillions of dollars and military power to be gained through these and other technologies, China is out to build itself up and preserve its closed political system; the U.S. objective is to maintain the global dominance it has enjoyed since World War II.

In the West, the rebordering, as Stein calls it, will take the form of regulation of technology companies — not to protect consumer privacy, but for national security. Stein sees a change in public and government perception in which advanced technology is seen much more clearly as having dual use — for both consumers and armies.

With the shift in attitudes, regulation will come "in a way that would have been inconceivable five years ago," Stein said.

"The regulatory state is coming back."
— Janice Stein, University of Toronto

Some say that Congress itself may not have the mettle to crack down so hard:

  • Nicholas Burns, a former senior U.S. diplomat and now a professor at Harvard, tells Axios that there is a "trust-busting spirit coming out of Europe," but that he is not certain it will spread to the U.S.
  • And Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware said Congress will talk about regulation, but ultimately may not approve anything. "We will haul [the tech executives] in front of us and yell a lot," he told the conference.

But, just on privacy grounds, the ground seems to be already fertile for regulation:

  • In a poll yesterday by SurveyMonkey for "Axios on HBO," 57% of American adults agreed that social media giants are hurting democracy and free speech. And 55% want the government to regulate them.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking to "Axios on HBO," called regulation of Big Tech "inevitable" because "the free market is not working."

What's next: Notwithstanding Cook's remarks, expect tech executives to fight. As of now, they say they are only superficially monopolistic — that they fiercely compete among each other for ad dollars, and for the future of AI. Sooner than many people presume, they say, there will be even more savage, direct commercial competition with Chinese big tech companies. But that is the same dynamic that thinkers like Stein think will bring the sharp new tech divide, separated into U.S. and Chinese zones.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bernie Sanders: U.S. must recognize that "Palestinian rights matter"

Sen. Bernie Sanders. Photo: Stefani Reynolds via Getty Images

The United States must encourage an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and adopt an "evenhanded approach" that recognizes Palestinians and Israelis have a right to "live in peace and security," Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) wrote in a New York Times opinion on Friday.

Driving the news: Violence escalated this week after Israelis intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem. Hamas fired rockets and Israel massed troops, leaving more than 125 Palestinians and seven people in Israel dead.

4 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: Uber makes new hire, launches anti-racism campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Eager to show progress on the pledge to make its platform and business anti-racist, Uber on Friday announced new anti-racism driver and rider campaigns, as well as fresh internal hiring practices, Axios was first to report.

Why it matters: Uber is one of the biggest ride hailing companies in the world. Its decisions impact the millions that use the platform, where drivers and riders alike say they have experienced racism.