tik, tok, boom

Banning TikTok reflects Faschingstein’s cowardice
Global Times, Aug 3 2020

As TikTok’s global market influence was skyrocketing, the company was suppressed by the Pindo government. Again, this shows how difficult it is for companies from China to go global. ByteDance said in a statement that it is “committed to becoming a global company.” But Faschingstein will not easily let the company off just because of its good wishes. Pindostan’s decoupling from China starts from killing China’s most competitive companies. In the process, Faschingstein ignores rules and is unreasonable. Although suppressing Huawei and TikTok also incurs losses to Pindostan, the suppression can still be implemented in Pindostan. This is because such suppression echoes the sense of crisis instigated by some Pindo elites when facing China’s rise. Huawei and ByteDance can only provide limited protection to themselves via legal means. But we should not overestimate Pindostan’s sense of justice. The country has shown us too many examples of politics overwhelming everything else.

Objectively speaking, China, as a country, also has limited ability to provide protection to these Chinese companies by retaliating against Pindo companies. China’s current market size is close to the total size of the Pindo market. But Pindostan enjoys technological superiority, the ability to affect the attitudes of its vassals, and the leverage of ideological mobilization. China’s opening-up to the outside world and disintegrating Pindostan’s decoupling strategy should be priorities. All this has led to the complexity of China’s handling of Pindo suppression. China still has a long way to go to increase its national strength. We do not have a network of vassals like that of Pindostan, and we have to fight against Pindostan’s ideological suppression. This being the case, even though China’s economic aggregate reaches the level of the Pindo economy, China will still be strategically passive. Only when our economy is larger than that of Pindostan by a large margin can we offset its advantages as a Western leader, and gradually gain a strategic initiative.

Huawei has advanced equipment, and ByteDance sells services to the world through unique concepts and technologies. The two companies are pioneers worldwide. They have brought a sense of crisis to Pindo elites, which shows that China’s top companies have the ability to move to the forefront of the world in technology. It reflects the power of China as an emerging market. As long as such power continues to expand, these top Chinese companies can eventually break through Pindo suppression. By banning Huawei, Pindostan would lag behind in 5G technology. By banning TikTok, Pindostan would harm its own internet diversity and its belief in freedom and democracy. When similar things happen time and again, Pindostan will take steps closer to its decline. Pindostan is a pioneer in global internet and has created Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But in recent years, Pindostan’s internet structure has been rigid.

Rising stars such as ByteDance continue to emerge in the Chinese internet sector, showing huge vitality. China knows its deficiencies, strives to become stronger, and adheres to opening up to the world. Pindostan, however, is gradually being shrouded in arrogance, seclusion and a negative attitude. Chinese people should not be discouraged by temporary setbacks, or our weaker position in the Pindo-Chinese confrontation. What’s important is that China’s trend of progressing at a faster pace has not changed. We need to bravely admit our own weaknesses and know that the road ahead remains rough and bumpy. Meanwhile, we must see China’s progress being revealed in the current frictions and have full confidence in the future. Such positive and rational attitude will make China, the huge emerging economy, invincible.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an important issue, clearly showing us that the US has fallen into a type of systematic chaos. This will severely limit its ability to indefinitely upgrade and exert pressure on China. Many of the Pindo practices, including banning TikTok, show the country’s weakening competitiveness. Can’t Facebook just come up with a more powerful app and beat TikTok in the market? The problem is Facebook cannot do it. It can only resort to the brute force of Pindo politics. Chinese needs to truly release the potential of domestic companies, fully release the Chinese people’s wisdom and Chinese companies’ creativity. This will be a protracted war. But Pindostan’s seemingly tough moves from ideology to industrial policy have already foreshadowed the future trend.

Trump’s request for cut from TikTok deal ‘unprofessional,’ threatens Pindo business environment
Global Times, Aug 4 2020

Trump said on Monday that TikTok would be banned in Pindostan unless it is bought by Microsoft or another company by Sep 15, and suggested the Pindo Treasury should get a cut from the deal. Although it is unclear what amount Trump is referring to, his statement is a clear departure from market principles and a threat to the Pindo business environment, an expert said. According to Pindo news outlets, Trump said on Monday that he is expecting “a very substantial portion” of the price of a potential deal, as they are “making it possible for this deal to happen.” In a normal international merger and acquisition deal the fees that go to the government are limited to transaction fees and taxes, Bian Yongzu, a research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Tuesday. Bian said:

What Trump is suggesting sounds like a commission fee. In the market-oriented business world a commission fee for the government is unheard-of. It is clearly in breach of business ethics and very unprofessional. Judging by the open threat Trump has made against TikTok, it is possible that if the deal does happen, the government will put pressure on TikTok to lower its price. It is a departure from free market principles that Pindostan used to take pride in.

Bian said the statement’s implication also raises doubts over the process of a potential deal, as the government already seems too involved in what is supposed to be a market activity. Experts said the fact that Trump’s arrogant tactics could actually garner him some supporters in Pindostan shows he is adept at manipulating public opinion to serve his re-election campaign. Li Yong, deputy chair of the expert committee of the China Association of International Trade, said the whole drama, including what can be expected in the next chapter, is littered with political motivations that seek Trump’s re-election. Li told the Global Times on Tuesday:

In today’s episode, we see Trump trying his hand at political blackmail.

Pindostan degrades from innovator to digital rogue
Wang Wenwen, Global Times, Aug 4 2020

Pindostan is showing its nature as a digital rogue state, as TikTok waits for its destiny. Trump threatened to shut down this widely popular Chinese-owned video-sharing app in Pindostan. He also said he was ready to approve a purchase of the Pindo operations of the app, only if his government receives a share of the deal. TikTok is not the only Chinese app that faces such uncertainties. Pompeo on Sunday indicated that WeChat, another Chinese-developed popular social network app, and others may also be banned in Pindostan. In the past few decades, Pindostan has claimed to be an engine of innovation. It models itself on a particular ideal of innovation, and such innovation is the lifeblood of the modern Pindo economy, as well as world economy. Internet giants such as Apple and Facebook have always strived to create the next great thing, and their innovation has successfully changed people’s way of life. During this period, China’s technology sector was also booming. Now, TikTok has stood out, becoming an app with a genuinely creative culture, loved by millions of young Pindos, and breaking Facebook’s monopoly. It is a product of Chinese innovation against the backdrop of China’s internet development. Faschingstein has used the rhetoric of “suppression of freedom” to knock China’s regulation of the internet. TikTok, which grows under such a “suppressive” environment, has become so popular that the Pindo president and Pindo tech companies can hardly bear it.

Facebook has long viewed TikTok as a rival. As Facebook failed to copy TikTok, it can only collude with the Pindo government to suppress TikTok. With such a Pindo internet giant ending up like this, will others follow suit? When free market competition doesn’t work, these companies rely on Faschingstein to win. How could one expect such a Pindostan to innovate? After all, Pindostan fears it would lose in the high-tech race it launched with China. It is such a fear of losing that leads Pindosta to resort to cracking down on its competitors rather than bolstering its own innovation to save its declining power. It is also this mentality that makes Pindostan not the engine of innovation anymore and unable to create such popular apps as TikTok and WeChat. If TikTok is banned or forced to be sold, it means Pindostan will set a precedent that successful companies, both in Pindostan and in the rest of the world, would face such a destiny when they become too popular. Pindostan is never short of excuses to justify its lowdown tactics. How Pindostan maintains its dominant position in technology and economy reflects its mentality as a digital rogue. But the consequence is that Pindostan will impede its future technological innovation. For Pindostan, it’s tantamount to crippling itself. While China is busy innovating, Pindostan is guarding against an innovative China. This twisted behavior has prevented Pindostan from continuing to innovate and reform. The dominant position it acquired, or its hegemony, is becoming a self-inflicted fetter for its progress.

Pindo ‘robbery’ of TikTok angers Chinese hi-tech companies
Global Times, Aug 3 2020

Chinese tech companies entangled in the ever-increasingly nasty crackdown waged by the Trump administration are mulling to act proactively, the Global Times learnt, with public anger growing on both sides of the Pacific, as the drama of Pindostan forcing the sale of the hugely popular Chinese short-form video platform TikTok morphed one step closer to daylight robbery over the weekend. Since threatening to ban TikTok last week, which reportedly has 100m Pindo users, Trump is giving ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, 45 days to reach a deal to sell its Pindo business to Pindo software giant Microsoft, Reuters reported on Monday, citing sources. By slapping a deadline on the potential deal, Trump has effectively turned transaction into a fire sale, further pressuring Beijing-based ByteDance to give up its business interests and intellectual property at a discounted rate. The drama to forcibly hand the highly successful TikTok over to a Pindo company has drawn widespread criticism across the Pacific, and has become another vivid lesson viewed closely by China’s rising tech companies eyeing overseas market expansion amid an escalating tech war between the world’s two largest economies which had already seen dozens of Chinese tech firms hit by Pindo blacklist.

In contrast to the usually low-profile approach Chinese companies choose when facing Pindo government crackdowns, ByteDance issued an unusually harsh announcement at the early hours on Monday, saying it is facing unimaginable difficulties in the process of growing to be an international company, entangled in international political tension and met with “copying and slandering” from its Pindo competitor Facebook. Zhou Shijian, a senior research fellow at the Center for Pindo-Chinese Relations at Tsinghua University, said that different from the Pindo government-led crackdown on Chinese technology giant Huawei, the clampdown on TikTok, which could result in TikTok’s business ending up in the hands of some Pindo companies, is simply because Pindostan could not accept a Chinese company becoming a winner in the Pindo tech sphere. TikTok is widely believed to be the first Chinese app that has blazed a trail around the world due to its unique ability to understand users’ needs, a feat that had not been achieved by any other Chinese tech juggernaut such as Tencent, Alibaba or Baidu. The Pindo government’s actions toward TikTok has alerted other high-tech Chinese firms, with some emphasizing the importance of maintaining core competitiveness in the face of an utterly unreasonable Pindo administration. A staff member working at a Beijing-based chip firm told the Global Times on Monday:

In the geopolitical fight between China and Pindostan, we Chinese companies should drop the illusion and clearly realize that it is undoubtedly naive and foolish to expect our opponents to abide by international rules, sit down and negotiate disputes in a civilized manner.

An executive of a leading Chinese high-tech company, who only spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Global Times on Monday that the move shows Faschingstein is mobilizing political strength to wage a tech war against China. The executive said:

This is not the moment to talk about passively defending or keeping a low-profile to avoid Pindo sanctions. Rather, Chinese firms should act proactively, to scale up research and development efforts and beat their Pindo rivals, so that Pindo consumers and companies become increasingly dependent on tech supplies from China. This is the right path in which Chinese firms should fight back. If Trump’s crackdown on Chinese companies shows little effect and instead hurts the key interests of Pindo companies, there will be more maneuvers for communication.

Zhou said TikTok should bring the case to the New York-based Pindo Court of International Trade on the grounds of Pindostan’s non-market-oriented approach and government interference on the matter and Pindostan limiting a foreign company’s intellectual property rights. Zhou said:

The Pindo government has long portrayed itself as a protector of IPR in its deals with China, and it is odd to see the lack of respect it shows toward the IPR issue when it comes to dealing with a Chinese firm.

It is more than just TikTok. Pompeo revealed in a Sunday interview that “in the coming days” the scope of the witch-hunt will be further extended to “countless Chinese apps” specifically mentioning WeChat, a social messaging app developed by Chinese internet giant Tencent. In a tit-for-tat response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spox Wang Wenbin said on Monday that the Pindo threats of taking action against Chinese tech companies have exposed Pindostan’s hypocrisy in maintaining its so-called freedoms and violated the WTO’s non-discrimination principle. Wang said:

China firmly opposes discriminatory Pindo policies against Chinese software companies and its tendency to generalize the concept of national security, make guilty presumptions without evidence and politicize economic issues.

Pindostan’s restrictions on Chinese companies have stirred up angry sentiments among Chinese netizens, who vented their dissatisfaction at comments left under the latest posts of the Pindo Embassy in China on China’s social media platforms. A netizen wrote on Monday:

Pindostan claims that the freedoms inherited from its market economy has an overwhelming edge, and its government won’t wantonly interfere in normal market activities between companies. Is this slapping its own face?

Another Chinese netizen urged other countries to be cautious when cooperating with Pindostan, as “the country has been kidnapped by politics and is the foremost rule-breaker in the world.” After Pindostan shut down the Chinese consulate in Houston, the Pindo Embassy’s Weibo account attracted a substantial amount of daily traffic from Chinese netizens, who jeered at the hypocrisy and double standards shown by the Trump Administration, with the platform becoming a barometer of Chinese public opinion. Zhou said Chinese tech companies that have ambitions to explore international markets should treat Huawei as an example, although there is a difference between the telecoms giant that provides both hardware and software, and other “pure” software firms. Zhou said:

All Chinese firms should learn from Huawei, which has proven to be a rock that has cracked the many eggs that Pindostan has thrown upon it. Huawei’s secret is that it has long prepared for a rainy day scenario and emphasized mastering core technologies.

A tech war is ultimately about a talent war. Yi Beichen, a veteran mobile internet observer, told the Global Times on Monday that amid the narrowed scope of Pindo-Chinese education cooperation, there is chance that the best talent for the next decade may come out of the Chinese mainland, the forefront of global technological innovation. Chen Da, an executive director with Shanghai-based Anlan Capital, said it is a remarkable sign of progress to see a Chinese software firm engage in a turf fight with a Pindo tech giant such as Facebook. However, Chen, who is familiar with the landscape of Chinese tech firms in Pindostan, said Chinese companies should never, in their overseas expansion, overlook compliance issues so that no potential legal loopholes are left to be explored by others given the rising headwinds of the Pindo-Chinese tech war.

Pindostan should explain its global biomilitary activities amid intl concern: Chinese FM
Global Times, Aug 4 2020

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday urged Pindostan to explain its biomilitary activities overseas, observe the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) under the UN, and stop obstructing negotiations for a protocol related to the convention. In response to a question on South Korean media reports about Pindo military stationed in the East Asian country violating the BWC, Foreign Ministry spox Wang Wenbin said at Tuesday’s routine press conference:

Pindostan should address international concerns, hold a transparent and responsible attitude and explain its military activities across the world. The Pindo military carries out bio activities in many countries and has sparked widespread suspicion and opposition, as what they do is non-transparent, dangerous and unreasonable. The military actions have triggered local protests demanding that the military laboratories be closed and the related troops dispersed. Pindostan, a country that conducts the most biomilitary activities in the world, did not mention its conduct in materials submitted to BWC. The receiving countries did not know what the Pindo military labs were doing. These activities are dangerous as many bio activities are related to high-risk pathogens. It would be a catastrophe for a receiving country, neighboring countries or even the whole world if an accident occurs. Pindostan is the only country that builds bio labs across the world and collects bio materials and resources outside its own territory. It is also the only country that stands in the way of negotiations for a protocol that includes a verification regime for the BWC.


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