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China attacks Apple for allowing Hong Kong crowdsourced police activity app (techcrunch.com)
372 points by elsewhen 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 206 comments

Apple will most likely be fine because it's unlike any other western company operating in China in that it employs a lot of people assembling their products. It's not in the CCP's interest for people to boycott Apple in a nationalist fervor only for unemployment to rise, which would be an existential threat to the CCP if they lost control of.

I doubt it. This is just, like, my opinion, man, but I think the Chinese would walk away from any company in the world in an instant if it suits their security needs. If their economic ministry is doing its job then they will have detailed contingency plans to address the loss of any of their major foreign benefactors, and if required those jobs can be replaced with state handouts, at least until the crisis passes.

If I were Tim Cook I'd be real worried about being shut out of my own supply chain right about now.

> If I were Tim Cook I'd be real worried about being shut out of my own supply chain right about now.

You're not wrong, but if people see that China is willing to shutdown someone as big as Apple, then they'll know that everyone else (who is probably smaller) stand no chance at all. People may start re-evaluating the (economic / supply-chain) risks they're will to take at that point.

I’d hope what's happening now is already enough for everyone to reevaluate those risks!

In any case, threatening to shut Apple down wouldn’t be a message that you can’t do business in China, just that everybody, no matter how big, needs to toe the line. Do that, and you won’t have any problems.

> everybody, no matter how big, needs to toe the line. Do that, and you won’t have any problems.

And maybe you're fine with that today. But once you've ceded that ground, what happens when they move the line?

Because they always move the line.

As technology and finances have enabled China's expanding authoritarianism, they have broken new ground with:

- Mandatory state written malware for phones and computers,

- "AI" for tracking people in public, at schools and businesses

- Prevalent speed and crosswalk cameras to enforce traffic laws that their own police force fails to write tickets for.

they already are, trust me

China is never going to mess with Apple in any significant way. Not only would it be cutting off their nose to spite their face in terms of unemployment, it would immediately lead to capital flight out of China which they absolutely can't afford.

It'd basically undermine the entire economic model that has led to China's rise out of poverty over the past 30-40 years.

And Apple is such a high profile company that it would likely cause an international incident.

> And Apple is such a high profile company that it would likely cause an international incident.

That's an overstatement in my opinion. Can you provide an example where a high profile (tech) company caused an international incident?

Could be the case for companies with a national-security profile like energy or food industry, but the Chinese can live without iPhones and Apple, while feeling the bump, will move on.

>If I were Tim Cook I'd be real worried about being shut out of my own supply chain right about now.

If this extremely unlikely event happened the US government isn't going to ignore it.

Samsung certainly went from having a large market share in China to being an also ran that abandoned Chinese manufacturing after state led boycotts of their products as a response to South Korea allowing a ballistic missile defense system to be installed on their soil.

As I recall, buying local brands instead was framed as patriotism.

That is again a myth. Before Thaad Samsung's share is already shrinking.

The milestone being Note 7 explosion, they refused to offer the same refund package that they offered to the world outside China, and actually accusing some users microven the phone for fraud...

And it blows up. No one wants to be treat as idiots.

If I were Tim Cook I'd be real worried about being shut out of my own supply chain right about now.

Didn't Apple start ramping up iPhone production in India recently? I agree that China is likely to retaliate but I imagine whatever decision making process there was for approving this HK app involved plenty of lawyers and analysis of potential fallout.

Not at any particular scale -- just enough to avoid import tariffs and keep the local politicians happy. The same thing that you see in the US for military contracts.

Apple is also paying lip service to "manufacturing in the US" by manufacturing the low volume, high margin Mac Pros.

Not meant to be a value judgement, knowing how to placate politicians is necessary when you operate at scale.

Not at any particular scale -- just enough to avoid import tariffs and keep the local politicians happy.

My understanding is that the Indian built phones were destined for the EU market which isn't engaged in a trade war with India or China.

Many companies are ramping up electronics production outside of China as a hedge against tariffs.

This may be just like, your opinion, but it really ties the room's arguments together.

Unlikely. Messing with Apple means the potential (probable?) loss of what, 1/2 million jobs?

The Chinese value stability, and that big of a dislocation would have a negative impact on their stability.

I’m sure they can pressure them, but extreme measures would be reserved for cases where a company has crossed a line that cannot be in-crossed.

> If their economic ministry is doing its job then they will have detailed contingency plans to address the loss of any of their major foreign benefactors, and if required those jobs can be replaced with state handouT-shirt

Why not already do it instead of taking the risk allowing Western companies undermining their state ideology? Does Apple transfer technology to them and they needed that?

I don’t see them easily recovering, in the PR sense after kicking Apple out. They are already in the defensive posture with HK protests, which they saw get out of hand. Concentration camps for Muslim minorities is a terrible PR disaster. If anything Apple is in a good position to squeeze more concessions and handouts out of them at this point. Even, say make a publicity stunt about opening a factory in Vietnam or moving it back to US.

> Apple will most likely be fine because it's unlike any other western company operating in China in that it employs a lot of people assembling their products. It's not in the CCP's interest for people to boycott Apple in a nationalist fervor only for unemployment to rise, which would be an existential threat to the CCP if they lost control of.

The CCP isn't going to compromise on its core authoritarian and nationalist values over a piddling concern about the unemployment caused by one Western company leaving. Apple's not that important, and my guess is the problems caused by the trade war dwarf any effect Apple could cause.

Also, I doubt they like Apple much anyway, and they would probably welcome the disruption to Apple that it would experience during a pullout. Might create opportunities for Huawei or Oppo.

So I googled and saw that there's 4.8 Million apple employees in China? More than i expected when I started the Google search.

With that said, is that enough for China to care at all? a little? a lot? Meaning, I wouldn't be surprised if China would forgo plenty of jobs from Western companies as their economy matures. Especially if China fully boycotted Apple, I doubt many other US Companies would respond at all

Many of those companies are showing themselves to be spineless right now

Not sure what Google you use, but Apple has about 123.000 employees in total.

Edit: according to Wiki, the US DoD is the largest employer in the world at 2.1M employees.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_employers

This figure includes the employees of Apple contractors. It’s a representation of how many jobs Apple supports in China. Of course Apple is not directly manufacturing anything in China, but the factories and parts suppliers are very much dependent on Apple’s business.

> if China fully boycotted Apple

They'd seize the factories and continue production, at least for the medium term. It makes no sense economically, but it keeps Xi in power.

To Beijing, the factories are valuable for (a) IP and (b) jobs. Apple walking deprives China of (a), but not (b), not in the short term.

This is an interesting thought, because most Apple products are essentially bricked without software activation. And Apple has gone to great lengths to make it impossible to circumvent. Sure, they could produce cheap clones running Android but China already does that.

> most Apple products are essentially bricked without software activation

In the near-term, expropriation would stave off job losses. (In the cities, amidst highly-skilled workers no less.) In the medium term, production lines could be adapted to make non-bricked products.

Long story short, the threat of massive job losses to China is minimal--Apple has limited leverage over Beijing.

Good luck producing iPhones without the chips, which are not made in China and have at most a few weeks worth of stock, I'd guess.

> Good luck producing iPhones without the chips

They wouldn't produce iPhones without the chips. They'd just keep running the lines. Apple has limited leverage in threatening to walk away from China.

The vast majority of the chips are not made in china, there are no "lines" for them to run.

Ah you mean apple can't stop producing in China quickly. Well that's what you get for putting all your eggs in the same red basket.

It's easy to boycott companies that are only in China as another market to sell to. It's not easy to boycott one of the largest private employers in an industry the CCP views as strategically important.

Is that number direct employee's or does that include MFG/Suppliers etc?

Either way, 4.8 million people + friends/family, being angry is not a small number. China's population is ~1.3 billion according to CIA world fact book. So it's certainly less than 1% of the population, but not insignificant.

I'd say it's significant because those are the people "awake". Most of the population are poor country-side folks who couldn't revolt in any meaningful way.

Guess it depends on how spread out or concentrated they are geographically. If concentrated it would have greater impact on a region.

Can you share the source for the 4.8M?

Except everyone assembles phones in China. A dip for Apple is Huawei's gain, and they're entirely based in China.

Samsung has just closed its last phone manufacturing plant in China and has no such production left in the country:

The shutdown of Samsung’s last China phone factory comes after it cut production at the plant in the southern city of Huizhou in June and suspended another factory late last year, underscoring stiff competition in the country.

The South Korean tech giant’s ceased phone production in China follows other manufacturers shifting production from China due to rising labor costs and the economic slowdown.


It's not like Apple would stop making and selling phones. And I doubt people wanting to buy a iPhone are the same as those wanting a phone from another brand.

Yeah, the iPhone is as much someone's identity now as it is a product.

Even as a pretty heavy Apple user, I feel so sorry for people that have to identify with a product. If someone asked me to describe myself, my choice in computer/phone/whatever would not be a part of that description.

Not a device or product but open-source though... for me as a dev, or tech nerd, or advocate of freedoms / defender of rights, or just as an aware citizen, you know... open-source matters to a fundamental layer of our digital-izing civilization.

It does, but that requires a lot of tech literacy - much more than someone who cares if they can use iMessage or not to chat with their friends.

You mean it's my "tech literacy" (category) that is part of my identity, and I'm merely specifying my colors (property) within that category. Gotcha, agreed. Thanks for this insight!

People buy devices cheaper than the iPhone either because they cannot afford it or because they disagree with Apple somewhere.

First group doesn't really have a choice and the second group has no interest in an iPhone.

This might be broadly true in the US, where iPhones are a status symbol and where they achieved market dominance early, but it's not true globally.

I certainly enjoy being able to access my phone as a USB drive from linux, being able to put an sd card and run (real) firefox. Wouldn't want an iPhone. I think this kind of capability will be more and more relevant.

How is something a "status symbol" when Apple has close to half of the market share in the US and anyone can afford one via monthly payments offered by Apple and the carriers?

Most people can afford a used car or a handbag from a vaguely popular brand, but they're still a status symbol. The status it symbolises isn't particularly high, but it's still status.

A status symbol is something that shows that you can afford something other people can’t. Almost anyone in the US who is on one of the four major carriers can afford an iPhone.

Have you ever thought that people might actually prefer it’s functionality?

I'm from Australia. The reason I call it a US status symbol is because of the observably different attitudes in different countries, not because I've got an axe to grind. I understand that most of the Americans who use iPhones do actually like them, but there's a perception of Android as a budget option and iPhone as a premium option that I found to be less common in Australia.

I quite like the iPhone and I've considered switching on the basis that it seems to have a better security model.

Android is the budget option. The average worldwide selling price of an Android phone is about $400 less than an iPhone. Why get a cheap Android phone when the price difference over a 24 month interest free payment plan is $11/month?

I gave up arguing with iPhone haters a long time ago. Whatever you say, no matter how rational and bullet-listed with well-articulated reasons it might be, you always will be the fanboy who chases status or emulates somebody rich, or wants to look cool at a party etc. :(

These days I just keep quiet on the topic and organise my tech life to the best of mine and my family's convenience. And the Apple ecosystem is so far unbeaten in that regard.

Eh. I buy an Android because it suits my usage better. I do also disagree with Apple's philosophy but that honestly isn't why I don't have one. I used to have an iPhone when Androids weren't as good feature wise for my use case even though I disagreed with Apple philosophically and disliked OSX, but since then iTunes has gotten more bloated and Android hardware has gotten better.

Being able to use my phone like a USB stick/manage music and audio books and things is a huge point in Android's favour for example.

Consumer boycott is the problem here. If buying Apple is unpatriotic, that would be a bigger issue for Apple.

Wouldn't a rival phone/computer be also assembled in China ?

Here we see the true form of the word "toxic" as it is applied in modern discourse.

>“Providing a gateway for ‘toxic apps’ is hurting the feelings of the Chinese people, twisting the facts of Hong Kong affairs, and against the views and principles of the Chinese people,”

It's a way to say something is bad without saying anything about it.

The term in the context of propaganda is as clear as it gets though, if you mean to say "infecting or enabling otherwise 'sane' people with 'undesirable' ideas and behaviors".

Toxic is subtext that directly speaks to people (Chinese) wondering "what should I do?" => don't use it, don't even approach it or look at it (it's toxic).

It's idiomatic and quite explicit, in subtext, in this context (Chinese gov stuff).

Jeez they even tried to get a song removed from Apple Music? I wonder how much other stuff China was able to suppress without anyone noticing.

When people believe that suppressing speech is the correct course of action, there's really no telling where it ends.

If they are worried about a song, it makes them look very weak indeed.

Please allow me to direct your attention to this small event in Chinese history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution

If looking weak to Westerners was ever on CCP's priority list, it couldn't have been anywhere high.

a movie started a democratic movement that ended in Tiananmen massacre so yeah.

What movie is that?

I feel weird about all the China outrage currently. Some of it feels very hypocritical. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politic...


Not sure if shill or just really disconnected? Trump saying outrageous stuff with little to no actual consequence is a FAR cry from the dictatorship of China.

Rightly so but this thread is about China. What you’re doing is whataboutism.

This would be a great time for Apple to start allowing users to install apps manually.

Been an Android users since the first Android phone (HTC G1), before that I was on Windows Mobile. If Apple opened things up I would switch in a heartbeat. I doubt it will happen though.

I could never trust Apple given their track record.

Plus, their hardware is overpriced for what you get.

I genuinely have a hard time understanding the appeal. It seems to have the Gucci brand name, maybe integrations but I don't feel this is lacking on Android, and maybe privacy but I don't trust Apple for privacy.

But you do trust Google for privacy?

Hell no, Google is a data vacuum the likes of which has not been seen since Mega Maid [1].

Yet... I still use Android-based devices. They happen to be Google-free, i.e. no Google Services nor any Google apps, no Chrome or Chromium, no Google search engine. Instead of those Google apps I use things like ~Osmand (maps), Nextcloud (storage and some applications), etc. Firefox/Fennec and Privacy Browser for web-related things. A self-hosted Searx instance for searching. Peertube for video, Airsonic for audio, Libreoffice Online (integrated into Nextcloud) for that type of stuff, eJabberd for chat, now experimenting with Pixelfed for photo sharing, self-hosted mail/web/etc. I've been doing something like this for as long as I've been using Android, i.e. about 9 years.

[1] https://spaceballs.fandom.com/wiki/Mega_Maid

You'll have to trust someone. Both Google & Apple are in the same boat in that respect. My main reason to switch to Apple is the consistency. I am getting sick and tired of Google killing app after app I rely on only to release a new one with half the features. At this point I'm willing to shell out the extra money even though I agree that Apple hardware is borderline rip off levels of pricing.

Google is well known to monetize your data, it's their primary revenue after all. Apple sells hardware, while they could monetize your data, they are actively presenting themselves as a privacy company. So Apple looks better than Google in that regard.

Though I have no idea why would anyone trying to hide from Google. You can't really. Google spies on you everywhere, from every website. They already have all data and you can't do anything about it. It won't be much worse if they'll have a bit more data.

All it takes to keep Google from spying (apart from not using any of its products directly and not having a Google account) is a well-targeted block list on your router and in your ad blocker. They'll probably still be able to glean some data about you but it will be sparse and more or less useless for ad targeting - or maybe it is useful in that it tells them that 'you' don't like nor look at ads?

> Both Google & Apple are in the same boat in that respect.

I have to disagree here - Google explicitly monetizes their information on your activity on the Internet, Apple does not.

Yes! Then they could have sidestepped this problem!

you can also have up to 10,000 TestFlight users now i believe...

Still has to be reviewed by apple before submitting to Beta Testers.

That is not the same at all.

Title is kinda misleading. A more accurate but longer one is like 'China state media journalist accused Apple approving app that aid violent protesters from evading police"

Which similarly, it also happens on the other part of the world? E.g) US? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/06/nyregion/waze-nypd-locati... https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/01/28/382013185...

IANAL, but “evade law enforcement” seems inaccurate.

> HKMAP helps residents comply with the wishes of law enforcement (who communicate their demands by colored flags quickly raised in the dark).

> …[the app] doesn't contravene any Hong Kong law that I am aware of. This app helps answer questions like "will I get shot with a bean bag round if I come out of this MTR station, because the police raised a colored flag I can't see".

—Maciej Ceglowski, the American who runs the Pinboard bookmarking service, who has been in Hong Kong for a while now, to follow the protests.

Thread about how the app works, and how it keeps non-protesters safe: https://twitter.com/pinboard/status/1179233936582565888

About the use of tear gas and bean bag rounds: https://twitter.com/pinboard/status/1181790019943452675

> This app helps answer questions like "will I get shot with a bean bag round if I come out of this MTR station..."

Helpful and sassy comment.

It's not surprising that two different organizations would have two different headlines. That's common sense, not a conspiracy.

NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/09/world/asia/china-apple-nb... Even the same organisation. Still not a conspiracy but as a non US citizen it's clear that a lot of the US media doesn't treat China the same as the US. I am sure it's like that in every country, but that makes it difficult to find objective news, or at least news that doesn't have an emotional charge to it.

Websites will a/b test different headlines to drive visitors to the articles and revise them during the course of the day to play off subsequent developments.

The reason they inject emotion into the headlines is because that's what people want.

Oh I fully agree and I think that's terrible. It's awful in my opinion that a news organisation cares more about their income and what people want to hear, than what is objective news.

Uh, the Chinese state media journalist is speaking on behalf of the government. Do you think the journalists there build their career by being a maverick known for investigative journalism?

There is a big difference.

US is not gonna ban Google or Waze.

China might actually ban Apple tomorrow. There are no courts to appeal. There is no retort. Just the decision of one man.

One man? If you are just trying to sound dramatic, sure. However, I'd urge that you go and actually read more about how CCP works and the actual reaction of Chinese people on Weibo and other Chinese social media. The reaction to NBA and Hong Kong is not merely the government's manipulation, tho I'm sure there are some being done.

When people see the news and make a judgement, it's often times the judgement the media want you to make. I'll give you another video about Hong Kong protesters for a different perspective: https://youtu.be/ZPYuGYLesx0

This video by no means represents all of the protesters, but I hope people here can see the same event from different angles.

Edit: fix typo

> the actual reaction of Chinese people on Weibo and other Chinese social media

Why do you think those people react that way? Nobody is born with an opinion. What politics they were exposed to growing up? What did the schools teach them? What behaviour did the government punish, what did it allow? Which information sources where they given access to? Are the "actual Chinese people" who disagree with the party allowed to share their thoughts on Weibo without fear?

And it's only going to get worse:

> Director of the SOAS China Institute Professor Steve Tsang said: "One way to improve, or re-earn a positive social credit score could be to report your neighbours for speaking against President Xi Jinping. This could be seen as helping to defend the honour of the country, or the honour of the leader, by alerting the party to someone who is potentially going to destabilise the country."

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1153414/china-latest-ne...

Like you said, nobody is born with an opinion. Same questions you asked above can be asked of Americans. Democracy != Good and Communism != Bad

Things aren't as black and white as people make it out to be.

Now, I'll tell you I'm Chinese, but I've been in the US for almost ten years now. I've seen perspectives from both sides and the truth is far from what western media tells you. The unfortunate problem is the language barrier. Many people in English speaking countries cannot read Chinese, thus relying on "Chinese experts" for their opinions, without realizing many of the so-called experts themselves cannot speak Chinese.

I tell you that I don't support the Hong Kong protest, this is not posted on Weibo or any Chinese social media. This is my own feeling and judgement. It's sad I even need to make this disclaimer. Now you have this one data point from me as a Chinese citizen, if that's worth anything.

You're of course entitled to your opinion on the HK protests, but I don't think that's what people are looking for. You're just one random person on the internet. What I think we're interested in is figuring out what public sentiment actually is, and what's causing it.

For example, is it that most Chinese people are genuinely, organically outraged? Or is it a small, vocal minority that is being amplified by state media? Or is it mainly groups like the 50 Cent Army manipulating public opinion? It's hard to say, and I don't think the Western media is equipped to answer that question.

As an example, there are reports that Chinese media outlets are dishonestly painting the HK protestors as largely a violent group that (among other things) are separatists. If people in China hear that, and believe that, I'd say outrage is completely understandable... but it's based on a false premise. But I don't -- and can't -- know what's actually happening over there, so it's just one explanation among many possibilities. How do we, as foreigners, get to the heart of the matter? Is it even possible?

To your note about the language barrier: I think about that a lot. I speak/understand a very tiny amount of Chinese, and can read basically none (something I'd like to improve at soon). I was watching a recording of a clip of a Chinese news broadcast, and of course there was a translator speaking over it in English. How do I know the English translation was actually what was said? Even if the translators were acting in good faith, how do I know that the translation accurately expresses the intent of the speaker? I don't, and recognize that there are limits to how much I can understand what's going on.

I think, also, for context, a lot of non-Chinese people naturally distrust China's government. Personally, I have trouble believing anything at face value that comes out of an authoritarian government, or the media apparatus that it controls. The US has many, many faults, but at least I can believe with reasonable certainty that the media outlets are saying things (whether right or wrong) because they want to say them, not because the government is forcing them to say things.

I appreciate your level-headed response.

To address your first point: are most people genuinely outraged? That I do not know tbh. I can only represent my own opinion. However, I have Chinese friends that have voices their discontent with the NBA and Hong Kong situation. That's all I can tell. For me personally, I'm against Hong Kong protest, but again, it's my own opinion.

About the news reports in China, ofc they are biased. Most if not all media are biased imo. But that doesn't mean you can't get information out of it. By getting your news from multiple sources and cross checking, you can be more confident in your judgement. By multiple sources I don't mean from CNN, Fox, etc., I mean sources from China, US, Europe and all other places. This again brings me to the language barrier point. It's hard for you to access the Chinese media without it being translated and presented to you, that I don't know how you can solve.

For the media being controlled by the government point, I'd like to agree on the Chinese part. The US media tho, while they seem to be saying what they want to say, sometimes it's not true. Case in point: https://youtu.be/yUGPIeE9kMc

About censoring, I'm not denying Chinese social media is heavily censored. However, I find the situation in western forums and social media are rather interesting. Whenever people post anything neutral/good about China, they get bashed and down voted to oblivion. People call them wumao/50 cents to ignore their opinions. Just my observations. Maybe there's a name for it, but I think it's a different form of censorship, but I could be wrong.

Again, I appreciate your response. I don't know why I'm getting down voted. Just because I hold a different view or something else?

But people in China can't really cross check things with sources that aren't controlled by their government. I've been in China for the entire duration of the Hong Kong protests, and unfortunately I often have to watch CCTV news at night.

They didn't even cover the protests for something like two weeks. They waited until they had some negative things to cover and their talking points all sorted out, then started hammering away about how violent the protestors were and how they were all that way because of foreign influence. It was truly absurd.

The Overton [1] window in China and amongst Chinese people is therefore very far from the truth. Combine that with social pressure, and poor reporting by Western sources, even overseas Chinese people have trouble understanding other opinions on the matter.

I don't agree about your different form of censorship idea. It's completely different to have the majority of people disagree with or ignore your opinion than to have top-down censorship of different ideas. I can easily find Chinese opinions on social media and educate myself about your beliefs. Not so easy in China. To me it just shows weakness - if the government of China can't trust their people to make up their own mind, what does that say about their arguments?

I haven't tried to bring up the Hong Kong protests with many friends here in China, just because I'm afraid of losing their friendships. How must it feel for Chinese people who have sympathy for them?

As far as the NBA, some friends have actually broached the topic with me. They tend to be upper-middle class, educated types, and while they might disagree with what that one guy said (and apologized for), they aren't angry at the NBA, and they feel the government response is ridiculous and counter-productive.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_window

Definitely agreed that you can get a lot more information about something by comparing what different news agencies, especially in different parts of the world, are saying. It's sometimes difficult, since there are so many options, but it can be done.

But the problem is that, internally, Chinese people don't have access to all that. They pretty much -- as you well know -- just have access to what the government allows. If the government tells everyone that the protesters in HK are doing terrible things, they have nothing to compare it to to check those "facts".

Regarding the video you linked, I got a good chuckle out of it, but I don't think it really suggests what the speaker thinks it does. He asks:

"Is it laziness that causes reporters to copy each other?"

In some cases, yes. Many (most?) news reports are based on one of several feeds. Often the end publications who write up pieces about it will use a lot of the same language. And in any case, journalists talk to each other, probably a lot, in the course of getting their work done.

"Is someone coordinating the message?"

Maybe? But the implied conspiracy angle here requires extraordinary evidence, and a bunch of news outlets all using the word "bracing" to describe how HK feels about the coming weekend is, well, circumstantial at best.

"Are these reports all just coincidences?"

Probably not, but that doesn't have to indicate that something nefarious is going on.

He goes on to state: "Freedom of speech means you can finally feel free to trust the media."

Wellll... kinda, but not really. Freedom of speech means that you, personally, can express your opinions without government interference. That also means the media can do the same. It means that you can feel free to trust that the media is saying what it says without the government pulling the strings. But, as you point out, everyone has their own biases, so you can't trust what the media says to be the hard truth, or at least to not be heavily slanted or spun in order to promote a particular narrative. Again, as you pointed out, reading from difference sources, from different places, can give you a better idea of what's really going on.

The news compilation at the end was also pretty funny, but not all that surprising. Remember that most television news in the US is owned by... maybe five(?) parent corporations. I'm not particularly happy with that, but the reality of the situation is that, for the most part, individual stations have a ton of freedom to report on whatever they want to report on. Sometimes -- as in this particular case -- the parent company will require that they run a segment on a particular topic, and I guess even provide suggested wording (which I figure most will probably just take as-is, if they don't find anything too disagreeable about it). And yes, this can be used for sketchy purposes. In this particular case -- talking about how spreading lies and incorrect information as truthful news is harmful to democracy -- well, that's true, and I don't really mind them passing along this message. But we have to be vigilant to spot an evil required message if and when one comes through.

Regarding "a different form of censorship", I don't really agree with that. It's very different for a government to not allow you to say something on the threat of jail, versus you saying something and your peers telling you you're wrong and you should shut up. I wish people wouldn't be so shitty about that, and try to engage in a more productive discussion, but... well, humanity isn't really all that great sometimes, I guess... to put it mildly.

I'm not sure why you're being downvoted either. I hope it's not just because people disagree with you, but unfortunately that does happen sometimes on HN. I really appreciate that you've taken the time to have a conversation with me here!

This analysis is whataboutism[1]. It is an attempt to create a false moral equivalency by drawing vague, factually inaccurate parallels between two radically different information dissemination structures, as a nationalistic apologetic for the PRC.

Any means of propagating information is directly and heavily censored by the government itself in China, as you yourself readily acknowledge. There are well known, open, severe criminal penalties for failure to comply. This applies not only to media outlets, but even to ordinary people posting personal opinions on the internet. None of this is hidden or controversial.

Categorically, nothing remotely similar to that use of "widespread coercive criminal penalties to control the spread of information, as a government sponsored social control apparatus" exists in the west. (This does not imply anything about the status of biases existing or not existing in western media. That is a logically unrelated issue.)

It is not a question of different degrees or forms of what's basically the same thing; it is two totally different structures: one system uses the state's monopoly on the use of violence to directly and openly enforce and restrict the spread of information. The other system explicitly prohibits this.

What the moral goodness of each structure may be is a seperate question. What is objectively clear, though, is that their respective moral analyses must necessarily be wholly differently conducted, since they are structurally different at the most basic level. There is no possible moral equivalency.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

As an anecdata point, I recently asked a person who lives in Shenzhen the same question -- what is the broad public sentiment about the HK protests in the PRC, and how much information do ordinary people in general even have?

I was told that people who live near HK can get HK TV and radio, which carries substantially the same news information about the protests as in western media, and this group has a variety of opinions.

Outside that area immediately adjacent to HK, I was told around 80% of people are unaware that protests are happening in HK at all, and most of the other 20% believe the protests are a western plot to undermine Chinese sovereignty.

I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this information, of course. It's one data point from one person.

I'm sure a majority of Chinese citizens support the PRC's Holocaust-scale campaign of genocide against the Uighur people in Xinjiang, but that doesn't make it okay to imprison hundreds of thousands of people in concentration camps without trial (and there are now reports of extreme torture, killings, cremation of bodies to cover it up, etc.).

The U.S. and Germany (and many other countries) have learned from horrific experiences (e.g. internment of Japanese Americans) and I think that has yielded greater freedoms that make it less likely that these tragic and disgusting actions will be repeated in the future. Hopefully when China learns the same lesson, it won't be too late.

> the actual reaction of Chinese people on Weibo and other Chinese social media.

That isn't the actual reaction of Chinese people, that's the reaction that the Chinese social media companies permit to be displayed. Do you think that a post supporting the Hong Kong protesters would be permitted by the censors?

The opinions in HK (which is not being censored) is widely divided also. It is not about the WHAT that they're asking, it is about HOW. If they are protesting peacefully, nobody would object - even the police. But then again, youthful protester would then claim that the only way that the government only listens when they use violence. The truth is, their voices were heard, it was just couldn't be agreed upon on. The younger generation's perspective in HK is like this - If I don't get what I ask for, you are not listening. Since you are not listening, I would do whatever it takes to make you listen to me, including breaking the law (destroying properties, set up fire in subway, beat up, lock up, surround or threaten people with different opinions). The enforcement is there to oppress me because they attempt to stop me from letting my voice be heard through breaking the law. Since they oppress me, I need to fight them back by throwing bricks, metals, slingshot, petrol bomb to them. Since they oppress me, their family deserve to die and their children deserved to be bullied at school.

THAT is how they think and what they are doing currently. Certainly not all of the protesters are like that, but none of the protesters are willing to tell them that these radical protesters doing / thinking is wrong.

That too can be manipulated. Peaceful protesters could be infiltrated with violence quite easily and the message gets automatically diluted into something like.. the protesters want violence, the protesters are bad

But the tweets and posts to support HK polices on Twitter/Facebook were deleted, how would you explain that?

Do you mean the recent tweet supporting the HK protesters? We know why that was deleted, because the Chinese government threatened the NBA. The NBA quickly caved, but it seems to have been too late: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/08/china-state-tv-suspends-nba-...

> I'll give you another video about Hong Kong protesters for a different perspective

The video shows one person being frustrated that a road is blocked by protesters: "if you kill people, set fires, I don't care. But you're blocking the road."

I'm sure if you look at any protest throughout history, you could find an anecdote of someone being inconvenienced by it.

But do you see how the protesters treated this old lady? Pointing lasers at her eyes. Giving her the Chinese flag to make her look pro China. You still only seem to see how frustrated this lady was being while ignoring the behaviors by the protestors in this case

I think it's a pretty understandable reaction on the part of the protesters. "Hey, we're here fighting for our freedom -- and yours -- and you're pissed off that the road is blocked? Get bent, lady". Sure, perhaps they could be more patient with her (though I doubt I'd be in their situation) and shining the laser pointers in her face is not cool, but she's not exactly being friendly and nice to them, either.

She also fundamentally does not get how protesting works. "Tell me, why do you people need to block the road?", she asks. Because if you sit in a corner and protest where no one can see you, and it doesn't affect anyone's day in the least, you're completely ineffective. It's not great that random people have a harder day because of that, but as a protester, you need to occupy space in a way that causes problems, or you aren't taken seriously. It's a shame that's how it has to be, but that's how it is.

And beyond that, she's just lying and treating them poorly: accusing them of throwing things at her when they aren't, saying that they're armed when they aren't, claiming they want to beat her to death when they don't, and just overall acting completely irrationally. She even tells them that she doesn't care if they set fires and kill people, but just don't block the road. Even if she's being hyperbolic, that's a really shitty thing to say. Then she starts acting condescending, calling them kids who don't know what they're doing. Meanwhile, the "kids" just take it all, offering the truth in response, and she just ignores them and gets more agitated.

Meanwhile, her only real complaint is that "the road is blocked". My sympathy for her is basically zero. I only watched the first few minutes of the video because of how utterly annoying and unreasonable I found her to be.

What the lady frustrated was not about the road being blocked, it's about he livelihood of many families in HK were disrupted. The protesters have the right to fight for the freedom that they think they don't have, but they don't have the right to disrupt others livelihood with the cost of other peoples' freedom.

> the actual reaction of Chinese people on Weibo and other Chinese social media

People are censored and punished for disagreeing with their government and its dictator-for-life.

Do you think I'm censored by posting in HN? Do you believe I'm a wumao? I'm here speaking out of my own free will. I'm in the US and I don't agree with a lot of what CCP has done, but in terms on NBA and Hong Kong issues, I can see the reason why Chinese people feel differently from Americans, and I sometimes feel the same.

Do you believe HN and Weibo have the same level of censorship? You are talking about the reaction on Chinese social media platforms, which have a long and detailed history of censorship.

I agree with what you said. And the point of my previous post is trying to say that I'm not posting on Weibo and I'm not censored, yet I still have the similar sentiment that people who do post on Weibo have, tho not as extreme.

You have a similar sentiment to what is permitted to be displayed on Weibo. As we have agreed, there is strong censorship on Weibo. Do you believe that pro Hong Kong protester posts would be permitted by that censorship? Clearly there is a strong anti Hong Kong protester reaction on Weibo. But with the heavy censorship we have no idea what percentage of the Chinese population might have a different view.

You may personally have "no idea" what percentage of the Chinese population have any particular view. However those of us who know more than one mainland Chinese actually are not totally ignorant about this. We can simply talk to our friends to get some idea. And it's always hilarious to me when Chinese people post on HN and are immediately dismissed by the armchair experts here and downvoted into oblivion just because they don't conform to expectations.

If you can voice out your opinions only if they agree with the supported policy, then it's hard to tell that it's legitimate Chinese opinion. You are standing before a giant selection bias.

apparently that is not true for HK.

Yes, one man will have the final word regarding a ban on Apple. I didn't say that Chinese people wouldn't approve of the ban. But it will be for one man to decide one way or the other.


A lot of Chinese people have iPhones. Are you just going to hack all of them or replace all of them over night?

As you said, China MIGHT. Which mean it has not happen yet to deserve the accusation.


ummonk 12 days ago [flagged]

That the protesters are engaging in violence is an established fact.
srbloom 12 days ago [flagged]

Self-defense is violent, yes

Happy to see Apple caught in such a difficult situation. They insist on being the sole arbiter of what software a user is allowed to install on their device, so this is their burden to bear. They could at any point give up their walled garden approach to iOS, but they won't, so they're dragged into this impossible situation of appeasing CCP or appeasing the rest of the world.

FWIW I'm happy they've chosen to allow the app (although at first they didn't), but the whole situation really brings the consequences of controlling a user's device to light. I hope it changes.

I've always accepted their walled-garden philosophy as a security measure, but you know, I'm realizing that it doesn't have to be either-or. They can continue to hold App Store listings to high standards of security and quality, and I'll continue to use it when that's what I want, while allowing people the option of side-loading at their own risk. Most of the problems with malicious apps on Android don't happen because of side-loading, they happen because of Google's terrible moderation of the Play store.

The trouble is that if you provide a mechanism to side-load, people will be convinced to use it without understanding the risks they are taking. See also the recent issues with MDM. In that sense, it kind of is either/or for the average user.

Is side-loading really that common for an Android user? It hardly seems widespread. Certainly not for your average, tech-illiterate consumer.


From all the android users who I have some level of intimacy, the only one sideloading an android app is my brother who uses a gps spoofer to teleport his Pokemon Go character around the world without leaving the confort of his chair. He's a dev and poweruser who knows what he's doing.

All the other dozens of users only have apps from Google's app store.


ps: I truly believe most of people here talking about Hong Kong have no idea how Hong Kong works before and after CCP. I found it both sad and amusing, but often time I found myself stupid when posting on the Internet. But anyhow, the facts should be delivered.

Sorry if this sounds rude, but why does it matter if HK was more or less democratic before 1991? The protesters are not asking for a return to British rule.

In the same vein, the United States is vastly more democratic than it was a 100 years ago. That does not mean the democratic process does not need additional improvement; there are critical things worth protesting today.

The unfortunate part is not WHAT the protesters are asking, it is about HOW the protesters are asking. For those who were only watching from the western mainstream media, you are missing out on some footage of the whole picture. E.g) You may have seen police beating up protesters, but you were not told that police were beaten by surprise from behind. You may have seen police fire warning shot with lethal weapon, but you were not told that police chased by mob of angry protesters who were wielding metal rod at a police who fell on floor. You may have seen police shot a protester who was later identified as a high school student, but you were not told that a mob of angry protesters were wielding sharpened metal rod, hammer and wrench on another police who were chased, jumped on and fell on floor in front of him. You may have heard police shot a 14 years old on the street and then being set on fire by petrol bombs but you were not told that he was surrounded by mobs of protester in his car before, being assaulted from behind after he stepped out and beaten up on the ground by surrounding mobs with metal rods. You may have seen police shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds, but you were not told that police were launched by bricks, metal rods, slingshot, petrol bombs or metal road sign from the bridge above their head. You may have seen "pro-China" citizens removing stickies and posters on wall, but you were not told "pro-China" citizens were beaten up with severe injuries. You may have seen 'pro-China' chanted 'We are all Chinese' beaten up by protester, but you were not told that he was being spied on his personal cellphone by the so-called 'reporters' and a western 'reporter' blocked his way out by shutting the door in front of him. Unless you can understand Cantonese, you definitely were not told that many citizens were famed for attacking reporters or females, beaten severely and unconsciously only because they expressed different opinions in the public or taking picture of protesters vandalizing public properties / stores / banks. You would not be told that professors were locked up and surrounded by mob of angry students only because he expressed different opinions on social media. You would not be told that many high school students were trained or encouraged by their teacher to set fire on the street or fight against police. You may have read a female lose an eye and accused of police weaponry, but you were not told that the same girl whom assisted by the opposition party filed an objection to police to obtain her medical record for investigation to proof her claim. Unless you can understand Cantonese, you would not be told that protesters are always asking others to open their umbrella to shield themselves from being recorded when they are vandalizing properties or beating up people with different opinions. You may have been told that they are fighting for their freedom, but you were not told that none of their already owned freedom were taken away. You may have been told that they are fighting for their 'future', but you were not told that they are very willing to sacrifices the 'present' of many families who were still making a living nor the 'past' of those who contributed to the society.

It is not true that all actions from the police are justifiable. But at the same time, HongKongers youth are definitely smart nowadays, they know exactly the interests of the western media. Hence they will always play nice with 'reporters' from different colors and always portray themselves as the victims in many incidents.

So that long paragraph was essentially saying... protesters should ask more nicely? You should have saved your words.

Quiet, non-offensive protests do not work. Large-scale, massive protests that disrupt society have a chance of working.

I also don't think it's reasonable to expect that police tear gas protesters and shoot them in the face with rubber pullets and expect zero acts in return - especially since one of the HK demands is an investigation into ongoing Police Brutality.

>protesters should ask more nicely?

The protesters have never asked nicely. The history of HK protests post handover has been couched in nativism bigotry against mainland China, the very audience they should be trying to win over. If their problem was the Chinese government, they wouldn't be targeting mainland people and their businesses. Whatever little effort they made to reach out was framed in "support us because you're brainwashed" language. They would be burning CPC government flag instead of the Chinese national one. They wouldn't be waving western flags, which may as well be tiki torches, or appealing to western authorities.

Ever considered why no one ever had the idea of waving the Chinese flag and petitioning the Chinese for change? They should try it. It's easy for the CPC to look the other way and watch the city burn, it's much harder for the CPC to ignore 2 million HKers who wave the Chinese flag for a better future. Of course that doesn't play well with the west, but maybe they shouldn't be focusing on them in the first place. The cost of their strategy is that on mainland China, whose sentiment their future depends upon, HK protestors are viewed as the equivalent of alt-right agitators instead of patriots: disenfranchised, social media savvy, economically anxious youth who see their culture being displaced and their privileged being eroded by immigrant mainlanders. Rich ones come in to buy all the property, poor ones use up all the social services. These are common complaints to the mainland locust narrative - when the mainland sends their people, they're not sending their best.

"Ever considered why no one ever had the idea of waving the Chinese flag and petitioning the Chinese for change?"

You mean the same China that just cancelled the NBA playoff broadcasts because a single NBA GM tweeted support for HK? https://www.foxbusiness.com/sports/nba-china-revenue-busines... The same China that does not even allow the emoji for Taiwan? https://qz.com/1723334/apple-removes-taiwan-flag-emoji-in-ho...

Why indeed would they ask China to help Taiwan - China has made it incredibly obvious they do not recognize Taiwan.

Considering China's past (hello Tiananmen Square) there is a history of violent suppression of dissident thought or political opinion. The first demand of the protesters is literally "Full withdrawal of the extradition bill" - where do you think they would be extradited to?

Insert list of western atrocities etc etc.

At the end of the day, HK fate is decided by appeasing to China not the west. If you're going to wave the Chinese equivalent of alt right symbolism and violently target mainlanders, they will be treated accordingly. Which btw by all objective metrics have been exceedingly restraint for protests its size. The point is, don't pretend this was a well intented or peaceful protest, anyone who understands the subtext knows it's anything but.

1. You cannot wave your hand and say all countries are guilty of the same atrocities or the same behavior. To this day, China continues to deny that particular atrocity ever happened, and scrubs the internet it controls of any such mention. Compare that to how Germany treats the history of the Nazi Regime. It's night and day. HK wants a democratic voice - that shouldn't be hard to understand.

2. It's an incredibly bad argument that HK should be trying to peacefully win over China to their cause given that China has made it absolutely clear that they do not recognize HK.

3. "If you're going to wave the Chinese equivalent of alt right symbolism and violently target mainlanders, they will be treated accordingly." Is there a 'Worst of HN' I can submit this to? I haven't seen someone so bravely defend fascist police brutality in quite awhile.

they had perhaps the best teachers in how to do revolutions and propaganda in the world, so they're doing what works. the problem with what you say is that it is not backed up by sources and yeah i don't speak Cantonese nor Mandarin. the CCP doesn't care about their citizens enough to defend them in the way you do, i guess that's because they'd have to admit that there's anything worth talking about going on if they did.

You are absolutely right that there are not many sources from western media that can back up my statements, it is because they are not showing you the full picture. If you have a chance and patience to go through the list below, you would find that many of them was not even mentioned in any western media. It is true that not many of the footage below show how enforcement arrest protesters (which you may have already seen on mainstream western media). But my point is, the full picture is wider than you were told by the media.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_9elA4YTKU&list=WL&index=10... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms5RHsSR50I&list=WL&index=10... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGP78BMboWc&list=WL&index=10... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Es3zNcbCBs&list=WL&index=99... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xmxW0RAqT8&list=WL&index=96... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KlpDIvljNM&list=WL&index=94... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRdXjsGlh2s&list=WL&index=93... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgo8AJ84SFY&list=WL&index=92... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gACHVcOA1xc&list=WL&index=90... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AmFZQc57G0&list=WL&index=88... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaNunaVVSQM&list=WL&index=87... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIC2kRA-P58&list=WL&index=86... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG8aF4o37Zg&list=WL&index=80... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOYEv6phLGA&list=WL&index=79... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk4P1oeItOA&list=WL&index=76... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8a6IevQsjo&list=WL&index=75... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RCjnBSGvfY&list=WL&index=74... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q-7aW0WR9w&list=WL&index=73... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q-7aW0WR9w&list=WL&index=73... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuyYVJH6ARM&list=WL&index=72... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qCoFKpmMHk&list=WL&index=67... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMKkQs81PgE&list=WL&index=63... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRDZZyHCP8A&list=WL&index=54... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CE-lPakRVM&list=WL&index=53... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUnapSWRV8w&list=WL&index=47... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl5am0fuex8&list=WL&index=42... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwVX_T9NMJ0&list=WL&index=39... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEA92KPpgcM&list=WL&index=41... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwVX_T9NMJ0&list=WL&index=39... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIau2kwxzZA&list=WL&index=38... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDcfwLna7kw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btm6NrOpmo4&t=13s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdyCyJhb7Ww

Weird. Yesterday, people on here were accusing Apple of bowing to the Chinese for this exact same app.

It's not weird. Apple reversed their decision and allowed the app on the App Store. Now they are facing veiled threats from Chinese state media for doing the right thing.

There was no reversal. It was new, and had never been approved.

It got through the approval process recently.

According to [1]: The app, known as HKmap.live, is a mobile version of a website that helps users avoid potentially dangerous areas, according to the developer, who uses the alias Kuma to remain anonymous. It was rejected from Apple’s App Store because it "facilitates, enables, and encourages an activity that is not legal," Apple told the developer, according to a copy of the rejection notice seen by Bloomberg News. "Specifically, the app allowed users to evade law enforcement," Apple wrote.

Bloomberg claims they saw the initial rejection notice, which was later reversed.

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-03/apple-rev...

I hadn’t seen that reporting.

What I meant was that it had never been approved, so the state never switched.

But you’re right, the reporting was that it was initially rejected, so I was wrong.

How is that not weird? The posts from yesterday were after the app had already been approved and released. And, unless someone has a source that says otherwise, it seems very likely that the app rejection was automatic and had nothing to do with the political implications being ascribed to it.

They removed the app. This is why people were attacking Apple.

Apple is sitting on cash reserves big enough that they could change the world right now by pulling production out of China completely.

This would be a wild future.

So the word 'attack' has a new meaning now?

What new meaning?

That didn’t take long. NBA, American Airlines, Blizzard, Marriot.. the list grows. Soon they will have to ban rest of the 6 billion people.

I wonder how much of this is because they know there is going to be a crash soon and need to consolidate power and control the narrative internally before it happens

I didn't consider that angle...

If this is the series of events that triggers the next global recession, it gives both the US and Chinese govt enough fodder for propaganda about "national security concerns" and how this is the other side's fault. Oy

Apple is going to cave. And it’ll set a worse precedent because other governments are going to demand backdoors etc.

If Apple didn't cave to the US government, what makes you think they're going to cave to China?

If Apple didn't cave to the US government, what makes you think they're going to cave to China?

Because it has, occasionally, in the past.

Apple doesn't have a perfect record when it comes to China. It's OK. I'm not sure I'd call it "good."

But between the Taiwan flag emoji, and the Chinese iCloud fiasco, my esteem for Apple is at an all-time low.

Apple is required to follow the laws of the region in which their product is used so both of those scenarios aren't Apple "caving" to China. Apple is just following what they have to do for their software in those cases. In this case, it's someone else's software and they chose not to "cave" because there's no obligation on their part to take action since the app doesn't break any rules or laws.

Apple hid the flag of Taiwan/ROC flag for users in Macau and Hong Kong, and changed the name of Taiwan in Siri to 「中國台灣」 (Taiwan, China).

This is a new change with iOS 13.1.x and 13.2.

Because Apple has no spine and routinely caves to pressure by the Chinese government?

Apple didn't cave to US government, because they are not obligated by US law to do so. In China they have/make any laws needed to make Apple cave. See Apple iCloud in China.

They just removed tbe app. They caved. Shocked now?

.. and they caved.

I'm an Android user, but this might be the first action of Apple that gets some respect from me without alternative motives.

It would be one that makes me change to a more expensive platform in 3-6 months.


Apple has bent the knee plenty of times to China.

If you really are an Android user, this should not be news. You can put any app on your device. Only Apple restricts you.

I did say it's the first time, didn't I

So why would you change to a less reliable company?

Not anymore ;)

> This app is truly rioters’ friend. It helps criminals to circumvent and escape the police, get away with all their sabotage, vandalizing, and violences committed to anyone who doesn’t support them.

2.5/5 rating thanks to stupid Chinese bots.


Easy way to flag Chinese bot accounts and delete them then

Western companies have been bending blatantly a little too low to save assets and market shares in China. With trade war, human rights abuse in Xinjiang, and Hong Kong protest, this is probably a good chance for the West to stand against China's invasion.

No politician for the past 50 years stood up to China until Trump faced them head on. Credit where it’s due.

He sure isn’t standing up for Hong Kong. Jeez.

What does standing up for Hong Kong mean to you. What could Trump do to help? Generally curious.

Extend an official visit to one of the protest leaders.

Just recognizing HK and Taiwan as separate countries from China would be big.

Hong Kong is currently about as much a separate country from China as Puerto Rico is a separate country from the US.

Taiwan is another thing.

Recognizing HK as independent would be a huge step, and one even the UK didn't take.

The UK wanted to give HK free elections and China threatened to invade if they did.


the HK protests aren't about creating a separate sovereign country, it was largely about an extradition bill and has now grown somewhat to include ousting the current "chief executive" among other things.

Yeah, it’s beyond sad to me that TRUMP is the guy who just happens to be standing up to the authoritarian threat of China.

Why can’t we get a proper leader to do the same? Are any of the Democratic Party nominees making good noises about China?

Warren wrote this editorial last week: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/03/it-is-time-for-the-unit...

Generally this isn't a very partisan debate. Most people who support Hong Kong do so in the name of democracy or self-determination. Most of China's supporters are acting in their economic self interest or because of appeals to nationalism.

The Internet has finally brought the world together, and people are now at scale discovering that people in other parts of the world really are different, beyond just what clothes they wear and what food they eat. That's proving to be a shock to nearly everybody. It was always something you could ignore in the past.

Classic whataboutism. Your 1 event is nowhere near equitable to what is going on in China, but even if it was, so what, now the world must endure unlimited pain, because 1 time 1 person tried to? It's a dumb argument, as are all Whataboutism arguments, time to pick at least a different logical fallacy.

The China market is often framed as a mortal necessity for companies that have no more room to grow stateside.

What we forget is that this assumes infinite corporate growth, which is literally impossible, despite being demanded by shareholders. We need to drop this notion that every single year has to result in growth. Corporations no longer have the option of settling into a market segment and developing a harmonious relationship with society. They grow like cancers, consuming everything they possibly can ad infinitum, and this unquenchable hunger is the only reason they find themselves making compromises to appease China.

That's absolutely right.

The toxic and relentless push for infinite growth pairs really well with the dreamy promise of infinite untapped market potential in China.

I really wish even the greediest of investors and shareholders in general to finally wake up that this dream will never materialise. Even if you get to China you'll quickly find out there are a lot of strings attached if you want your "infinite growth" -- and it definitely will be a lot less than you thought.

You're thinking of it wrong, it's not infinite growth investors are after. They are after easy and fast growth.

Infinite growth is useless on a mortal timescale. Easy and fast growth is where it's at and places like China offer tons of it.

We are saying the same thing with different words. But I do question if China really offers tons of easy and fast growth.

Fast, but we're starting to see the cracks in "easy".

The problem is that most people would need to look in the mirror.

Do you have a 401k? Do you plan on having a retirement? Then infinite growth needs to be a thing, otherwise that 7-9% a year that people think they are "guaranteed" from index funds would evaporate. If people couldn't make money off of passive investments it would turn the entire economy upside down.

to be fair, pension indexed to market rates are such a stupid idea; i'm glad most of europe didn't buy the idea - and they kept using the old model.

You'd still get dividends.

This is the point of confusion: media often presents growth as == profit. But growth is growth in profit. The derivative of profit; expanding profits, over time. A company that doesn't grow at all continues to output just as much profit, just not more profit.

Yes, but dividends aren't going to provide you with a 7% return, and most people that can afford to plan for retirement on the basis of 7% returns can't afford to do so on the basis of ~3-4% you might expect from dividends.

Sure. It wouldn't be a quick-fix; other parts of the system would have to adjust. But it isn't fundamentally infeasible: there's still a positive flow.

We are at a point where society has pushed society/people past their limits in the chase for growth. We are so hungry for growth that we have destroyed the environment to fuel our products, squeezed every last drop of our workers, and have now resorted to selling out our freedoms. And after all of this, most of us are still unable to secure a stable future due to high housing, healthcare, and living costs. Essentially we are at the point where we are just trampling over each other to survive.

I encourage everyone pessimistic about our future to learn about David Deutsch's infinite optimism: https://youtu.be/lX-K63pVPTM

Am I wrong that this motivation comes from investors valuing the total stock price (and ultimate selling of those stocks) over continued paid dividends?

This preference has always bugged me as personally I'd prefer to have a consistent trickle I can plan on than a sudden value spike I have to capitalize on, but I suppose I've always been adverse to gambling anyway.

It is a mortal necessity. If you don't take China's money then someone else will and eventually they will be bigger and able to take you out on the global marketplace.

Either you want globalism or you don't. This is the problem with globalism too, not everyone wants to play by your rules and sometimes they're big enough to tell you to pound sand... which is exactly what China is doing.

Globalism itself is fine, but China has declared itself hostile to the rest of the world. I'm fine with companies seeking growth in countries that are willing to play by the rules. I'm not fine with companies worshipping growth at the expense of all other priorities.

Let Chinese companies have the China market; let the rest of the world cut it off like the tumor it is.

>Infinite corporate growth,

That assumption is not necessary. Economies of scale and network effects are important. Platform companies can be crippled relative to competition if they are cut from large markets even if the markets are finite.

Especially since operating in China seems to always result in losses given the slanted playing field there.

“Providing a gateway for ‘toxic apps’ is hurting the feelings of the Chinese people"

Awww, your feelings got hurt? Care to think about the feelings of a million Uighur people that are being tortured in concentration camps? Or the 7 million Hongkongers that you've been trying bully into submission?

Breaking the site guidelines like this will get your main account banned as well, so please don't.

I’ll admit, I don’t see apple supporting the equivalent app for, say, the US.

I thought many GPS apps show speed traps and police checkpoints in real time? Not a user and not identical but I assumed they did.

Even Google Maps shows speed traps now.

Interestingly and maybe ironically, Chinese navigation apps had speed trap warnings since day one. I wouldn't be surprised if it was officially sanctioned with a ton of false-positives thrown in, in a "speed traps are everywhere so you better always drive slowly" sort of way. Which makes me wonder, couldn't the HK police figure out ways in spam locations into this app?

Waze. They even featured it in a keynote.

5 seconds of googling. Police Detector (speed radar) apple appstore

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