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Gabriella Turrisi

What We’re Watching: Chinese stocks, Iran nuclear deal

Chinese economic jitters

The Hang Seng Index, Hong Kong’s benchmark equity market index, dropped to a six-year low on Tuesday. Why are investors so worried? Here are three possible reasons.

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Annie Gugliotta & Jess Frampton

Who’ll rule the digital world in 2022?

Apple this week became the first company ever to surpass $3 trillion in market value — the latest milestone in the growing influence of Big Tech.

This was already happening before the pandemic, but COVID accelerated the trend. More people now buy stuff online, keep in touch on social media, and use apps to serve their daily needs than before the virus upended both the "real" and the digital world.

As Big Tech gains more clout, governments are increasingly struggling to exercise sovereignty over the digital space. Our very own Ian Bremmer argues that a handful of tech firms are now as powerful as nation-states: geopolitical actors with unprecedented influence over the information we get access to — and not — via their algorithms.

But governments don't like playing second fiddle to Big Tech in the "technopolar world," a new global order in which tech companies dominate the online world, but don’t rule it (yet). Eurasia Group, our parent company, considers a rapidly expanding digital space that neither governments nor tech firms can effectively control the #2 top geopolitical risk for 2022.

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Why is Xi Jinping willing to slow down China’s economy?

China's GDP grew a lower-than-expected 4.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021, a whopping three percentage points less than in the previous period. It's a big deal for the world's second-largest economy, the only major one that expanded throughout the pandemic — and now at risk of missing its growth target of 6 percent for the entire year.

Normally, such a drastic slowdown would have put the ruling Communist Party in a tizzy. But this time, Xi Jinping knows this is the price he must pay for his big plans to curb rising inequality and boost the middle class at the expense of the CCP's traditional economic mantra: high growth above all else.

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Placeholder | Cyber In :60 | GZERO Media

Can China limit kids’ video game time? Risks with facial recognition

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

China is to ban kids from playing video games for more than three hours a week. But why and how?

Well, controlling the time that kids spend online fits in a pattern of growing paternalism from a state that wants to control its population in every possible way. This time around, the gaming industry is made responsible for enforcing the time limits in China that foresee in a true diet of gaming; one hour per day on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. And of course, children are vulnerable. Protecting them from addictive and violent activities can be a very wise choice that parents want to make. There are also laws in a number of countries that limit advertisements that target children, for example. But whether the latest restrictions on gaming in China will work or instead will inspire a young generation to learn of clever circumvention remains to be seen.

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