After a year of startling growth, the tech industry faces a more vexing 2021.
The pandemic helped bring the world’s tech giants such as Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to new heights in 2020. The shift to online shopping and remote working accelerated at a pace that would have been inconceivable without the coronavirus.
But there are signs the good times may end soon. Late last year, governments in the U.S., China and Europe separately began investigating whether Big Tech is too big. The scrutiny in Washington is expected to continue under a Biden administration, which also appears inclined to continue the Trump administration’s export restrictions against Chinese companies that are reshuffling global supply chains.
While Big Tech faces perhaps its biggest challenge in years, some sectors can look forward to 2021. The world of electric vehicles may finally arrive. President-elect Joe Biden promises to make cybersecurity a priority. And Washington will start doling out financial incentives to help U.S. companies stay ahead of Chinese rivals.
Here are some of the tech industry’s most important themes this year.