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European tech must keep pace with US, China: Meta's Clegg
Paris, June 24 (AFP) Jun 24, 2024
Europe is lagging behind both the United States and China when it comes to technology and innovation, top executive with US firm Meta Nick Clegg has told AFP.

Clegg, president of global affairs at the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, said Europe had a "real problem".

"We are falling very rapidly behind the US and China," said Clegg, who was promoting a scheme to mentor startups on the continent.

"I think for too long, the view has been that Europe's only role is to regulate. And then China imitates and America innovates."

But he argued it was not possible to "build success on the back of a law".

"You build the success on the back of innovation, entrepreneurship, and a partnership between big tech companies and small startups."

Clegg was promoting a scheme run by Meta and two French companies to offer five European startups six months of mentoring and access to their facilities.

Clegg has spearheaded previous efforts by Meta to invest in tech in Europe, announcing in 2021 that the US firm would create 10,000 jobs there to help build the "metaverse".

Meta burnt through billions of dollars trying to make its metaverse project a reality but has since changed focus to artificial intelligence and announced thousands of layoffs, including in the teams working on the metaverse.

dax-jxb/bc

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