...we're never told what was found in the balloon debris, just that it had unspecified "American technology and Chinese sensors". This isn't unusual; restricting information is the key to guiding the narrative.
Assuming it was collecting generic data from half way around the world and not just weather information it would need to transmit that data to something. (Wait a minute -- it wasn't able to transmit the data back to the PRC or something....). It had a few options for this -- satellite, contacting the terrestrial phone network, all the stuff that a generic remote sensor might have. I presume its 'crammed with American components' because it had a Raspberry Pi or something similar in it.
The thing is, if our government wants to maintain its credibility its got to stop gaslighting us. This sort of pap may work for feeding generic journalists but this is a technical site so its readers are used to 'technology' in all its manifestations. Normally we'd treat these brain farts as just noise but since they're now intruding into our daily lives and work I feel that we have to push back. I'm also expected to vote for these clowns in a year (mainly because the alternative is beyond horrible, its downright terrifying) but, honestly, are they worth the time of day?