TikTok Is the Canary in the U.S.-China Coal Mine

Biden and Xi Jinping

With U.S.-China relations at their lowest point in decades, President Joe Biden went into his meeting Monday with China’s top leader, General Secretary Xi Jinping, looking to “build a floor for the relationship.” The long-delayed meeting looked like it could prove to be a turning point in bilateral diplomacy, but in the tech sphere, the bottom is nowhere in sight.

Over more than a decade, U.S. and Chinese policymakers have come to recognize that the two countries’ deep interdependence in digital industries poses novel security risks. Tech ecosystems have thrived on cross-border supply chains and collaboration among designers, engineers and manufacturers in the two countries, yet those close ties could be weaponized.