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Economic nationalism and technology regulation are critical political risks for the technology sector, according to Willis Towers Watson

Managing Political Risk in Technology Sector White Paper highlights significant risks affecting technology, media and telecommunication clients

Credit, Political Risk and Terrorism
Geopolitical Risk

February 4, 2021

LONDON, February 04, 2021 – The move toward economic nationalism resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the EU technology regulation, is causing increasing concern to the technology sector, and may result in lasting impacts on supply chains and IP, according to Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW), a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company, at the launch of a White Paper into Managing Political Risk in the Technology Sector.

The White Paper has been developed in conjunction with country and sector analysts from Oxford Analytica and outlines some of the key factors which are creating growth in technology companies seeking political risk insurance. Based on in-depth interviews conducted with a panel of external affairs and risk management professionals at the world’s leading technology companies, the top geopolitical threats facing technology companies in 2021 include:

  1. Economic nationalism
  2. EU tech regulation
  3. Political uses and abuses of technology
  4. Political aftershocks of COVID-19

The White Paper outlines how regulatory restrictions may lead to costly shifts in value chains with examples including:

  • Data localization requirements implemented by public authorities that restrict the collection, storage and accessibility of personal, government and other types of data;
  • Measures to restrict applications of machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI)

The technology sector will continue to develop and adapt but its ability to work in a volatile business environment is critical, as the last year has shown.”

Laura Burns,
US Political Risk Product Leader, Financial Solutions, Willis Towers Watson

Laura Burns, US Political Risk Product Leader, Financial Solutions, Willis Towers Watson, said, “If “data is the new oil,” as the saying goes, might Big Tech be the new Big Oil? Today, it appears that competition for dominance in high technology may become central to geostrategic competition, just as oil did from the 1850s to present. And as these Big Tech companies operate, increasingly they may collide with the geopolitical objectives of Host Countries and Home Countries. The technology sector will continue to develop and adapt but its ability to work in a volatile business environment is critical, as the last year has shown. At Willis Towers Watson, we aim to help our technology, media and telecoms clients identify and mitigate unique sets of risks to help them continue to grow.”

The full White Paper can be downloaded at https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-GB/Insights/2021/02/managing-the-new-political-risks-in-the-technology-sector

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 45,000 employees serving more than 140 countries and markets. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential.

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