I could see them hitting some roadblocks and wanting to try again to get into China, but that would be a reasonable thing to come out and say.
It also would be reasonable to come out and say they've changed their minds due to political climate or some other risks.
Instead its... the new guy is busy?
My comment from August 15, 2018:
"I would like to see a statement that YC China will not discriminate based on ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation and more importantly will not support startups which create technology which make doing so easier."
* and this is not meant to exonerate US startups or hold them to another standard
Oh and don’t get me started about race
You’re right about China (and other communist countries) being first on gender equality at least in some respects, but... so what? In the West it’s good enough at a macro scale.
Saying China is bad on human rights in some respects is a gross understatement.
The US definitely does it...
Eh, one out of four ain't bad, I guess.
The workplace isn't the only area where someone can leverage technology to discriminate against a characteristic...
..but your feat of childish defensiveness applies either way.
I’d have thought YC, given their history, wouldn’t have any trouble raising money.
Also this story of a Chinese Stanford professor/investor’s “suicide” last year is quite the story. There’s a potential safety issue here too. https://www.forbes.com/sites/arthurherman/2018/12/13/a-death...
Because that's pushing the line further and further of what the CCP can make people accept.
> Most companies are morally agnostic
What do you think makes companies do what they do? Companies consist of people. There are still people making these decisions. Many companies have taken ethical stances wrt China. Many more have not. Companies don't just get let of the hook because they're companies.
Of course, there's a question of causality. Are businesses "morally agnostic" because they choose to be, or because the ones that aren't don't survive? Companies that say "we don't do business with places that harvest organs from prisoners" will struggle against ones that say "we were able to cut the price of our phone 50% by doing business with (said regime)"
This would actually be a good reason to impose import duties on those places - to make goods from ethical regimes more competitive.
I know right? I mean, it's not my liver that's being harvested...
Coming from Poland some of the the post-war socialism Whataboutism is a meme here (check the polish variant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_you_are_lynching_Negroes#V... )
In a world where so many companies' valuation is tied to the number of users willing to give you their personal data, reputation is a precious thing.
The people of Hong Kong, and their right to live with self-determination, matter.
Same sentiment for Saudi investors? Same for Israeli?
People have different lines and I'm sure soon founders will be doing a great more DD in this new age of outwardly conscious capitalism.
I'm patiently waiting for the tweet thread/medium article of a successful founder pointing out all the dirty cash they didn't take. Unfortunately, as of yet it is still a great deal of money that builds companies. Not unwaivering morals... One day.
"Yes" & "Possibly, but being open to investor' individual behaviour to supersede their country's"
See: it's not that difficult. One man's slippery slope is another's perfect hill for early morning skiing.
Not so strange to me. Don't companies usually come up with inoffensive BS for public statements like this?
> Instead its... the new guy is busy?
Maybe he wanted to spend more time with his family, too.
I get that if PG tweeted something like, "We're pulling out of China because they're violently repressing pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong and they run a re-education gulag archipelago for millions of Uighurs and they murder political prisoners so they can sell their organs through their state-administered transplant market", it would be satisfying to read -- but I'm not a YC alum. I don't run a company that could get screwed if YC lands on Beijing's shit list. Sure, that's probably a small slice of the portfolio, but this is still the right call from a business perspective.
Actions speak louder than words, and this decision was pretty clear.
The fact that not being on an oppressive country's "shit list" is at all a priority is exactly the problem here. If your company relies on making money from these places, you deserve to fail.
Umm, your entire comment was pointing out how embarrassingly loud words can be, and therefore how it was better just to take a quiet action.
Btw if you have a smb or an European company that doesn’t think it applies to you, you are signing your company’s death sentence
That's a strange way of saying they require a Chinese national to be part owner, and if it grows enough the party will seize it all.
* I dislike the tendency of some people to prohibits others from looking at things in a nuanced manner.
Funny, your examples include a company famous for the CCP removing their CEO (Ali) and the company being an arm of military intelligence (Huawei).
I don't feel the need to continue.
> the company being an arm of military intelligence (Huawei)
The CEO and founder of Huawei is a member of the communist party, the government also requires a large staff of military intelligence workers.
Do not assume the strong distinction in the west between private entities and the government exists in China.
In China if you are of any real size whatsoever as a company, the government is either taking a role in things directly, or you are going to be forced out.
> carefully managed by the government
That's not true. They make business decisions based on the profit motive.
> The CEO and founder of Huawei is a member of the communist party
That's not very meaningful. There are a lot of people who are members of the party.
> Do not assume the strong distinction in the west between private entities and the government exists in China.
I think that a lot of people in this forum (and other fora in the West) do not understand the basic economic reforms that China has gone through. There is a huge difference between how a private company like Tencent operates and how a state-owned enterprise operates. It has been government policy over the past few decades to allow the private economy to grow, and to allow it to operate according to profit considerations.
Companies and people in China do not have the same sorts of protections should the government decide to go after them, but it's not as if the government controls the decision-making of private companies.
> In China if you are of any real size whatsoever as a company, the government is either taking a role in things directly, or you are going to be forced out.
This simply isn't true. The Chinese government does not run Alibaba, and doing so would actually go against the direction of Chinese economic reforms over the past few decades.
The Chinese government does not operate them directly, but it has a direct hand in how they are run in a way that simply does not have a parallel in the west.
An analogy might be an American company appointing high ranking government people (who are still active in government) to their board of directors, accepting special government run departments, and working closely with the government on goals and policy.
That sort of thing is entirely unheard of, outside of perhaps defense contractors in the USA, but even there, there is clear division between private and public interests.
It's not at all uncommon for high-ranking government and military officials in the US to sit on corporate boards right after they leave government. There's a well known revolving door.
American companies are also subject to very significant pressure from the government. See, for example, how the US government informally (and successfully) pressured all the major payment processors to cut off WikiLeaks in 2010, or how social media companies are now under significant pressure to censor content.
This sort of pressure, which exists to varying degrees in every country, is not the same as the government directly running a company or dictating its business plans. That is not, by and large, how things operate in China either in the private sector. I see the claim made all the time (for example in the first post I responded to) that all businesses in China are basically run by the government. I think the people making those comments don't know what they are talking about, and are basically advancing a paranoia about China which has become ever more intense in the US over the past few months.
The US government and private interests do indeed co-opt each other a lot, but its nowhere near the (implicit) threat of being run out of business (or worse) that it is in china.
Companies can, however, be banned from the US for overtly political reasons. See Huawei and ZTE.
I agree that Chinese CEOs walk on thinner ice personally, and that they can be thrown in prison or worse much more easily. That's a general problem in China. However, the easy way in which Americans claim Chinese companies are run by the government is not true. It's also true that large US companies are thoroughly embedded in the government and vice versa (the massive defense sector, parts of the tech sector).
Also recent developments of TikTok's business in US is also a red alert. If indeed the regulation extends to capital markets, then YC's US investors will put themselves against greater uncertainty of guarding their investments.
If the Corp US are smart and watching, they need to reduce/spin off/get rid of their Chinese ties as soon as possible, because they might have to endure long term consequences if the conflict in between two countries get worse.
This is no different then when HR calls you in before you're terminated. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you so no point in saying anything.
If (when?) they decide to take another crack at things it'd be helpful to not be on the record about anything.
The simpler explanation is probably that the business climate is super risky if you're the foreign partner in any sort of JV with China, and they thought they could work through it through ... charisma and sweat and tears. And it turns out that in fact it is hard even if you're some techy VC or w/e.
I think few question what the gov't is doing, but the question is more whether YC in particular was affected by actions in the past year that caused them to reverse course.
Why is it a problem what i "primarily" do? The only posts that really spur me to comment are these nationalistic one-sided pro-us anti-anyone-other posts and comments. The rest of the (computer) posts on HN I just read and study. There is nothing in the guidelines about what you "primarily" do.
Isn't ideological battle good for the curious? I'm confused. Are we allowed to be curious except when it comes to questioning liberal democracy? This seems like censorship of people who question liberal democracy, and i thought we were supposed to be curious here.
As for "dogs"...please be better than that here.
Don't you see that this mentality is exactly the problem? Some of these comments are really surprising.
However, despite realizing this problem, it is not clear what to do about it. Clearly, YC did not choose to become leaders on the issue.
Did you read one prior to Summer 2018? Because when YC decided to go into China, there were people in internment camps then too. This stuff didn't start last year:
It's pretty obvious why; everyone would be in China in a huge way if it wasn't for their trade abuse and/or human rights abuses.
Its a half truth divided by two, with the other two fourth’s being convenience of Qi’s own transition, we all know what we were expected to read and didnt which is the final quarter
Just have a little chuckle at what they chose to say and get out of a hairy situation
I am also encouraged they are still funding Chinese companies and have a nuanced approach to China in this highly politically charged environment that reminds me of McCarthyism.
Indeed one does not need to look far for such sentiments:
"The Chinese aren’t smarter than we are. They don’t work harder than we do.
They CHEAT." -Lindsey Graham
"At one point during the dinner, Trump noted of an unnamed country that the attendee said was clearly China, “almost every student that comes over to this country is a spy.” " -Donald Trump
"FBI Is 'Harassing' Some Chinese Citizens Says Academic Group"
Instead I think that they believe that doing business in China implicitly supports the Chinese government by failing to make a statement and by making the government more successful economically. That is basically the same idea behind a government implementing economic sanctions.
There is also the issue that in some cases doing business in China means actively supporting the actions of the Chinese government; e.g. by engaging in censorship.
Finally, I think that there is a perception that Chinese industry "cheats". This could include stealing intellectual property, requiring foreign corporations to partner with Chinese corporations, and asymmetry in the ability for foreigners to integrate into and be accepted by the culture. In the same way that working as a scab at a company with unfair labor practices could be good for the scab but bad for workers as a whole, a corporation doing business in China despite these issues could be viewed as prioritizing individual profit over the common good.
I'm not necessarily saying that I agree with all of these points in all situations. I'm just trying to show that people do have legitimate points that don't boil down to McCarthyism.
No, he's not deeply misinformed. Perfect example is the ridiculous spying bullshit that SuperMicro was accused of earlier this year.
”A political movement reaches great enough support that it can paint its minority opposition as persona non grata. Then they make even mere association with opposition into a crime against the State and force employers, housing authorities, and other institutions to block such ”sympathizers” access to their work, homes, and assets.”
But I am not a historian.
Everyone, from the general public, to corporate America, to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, raked Bloomberg over the coals for that story. If anything, I think that's a sign that McCarthyism is hardly in play here.
A real dictionary will show you that McCarthy-esque allegations are specifically treasonous.
Wikipedia pretty much defines it the same way: "McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence."
> specifically treasonous
Treason is one small dimension, use as a rhetorical device to make the real villain stand out - accusations without evidence.
Where do you see this statement? I see, "change in leadership" and "now is not the right time".
I translate that to, new leadership (and likely those who put him there) think now is not the right time. That could be for any reason internal or external.
Honk Kong unrest?
There is much politically informed anti-China coverage in the MSM, so it is hard to take reports on China from them without much skepticism. Even in Hong Kong it is on display that the police are largely acting with restraint similar to what a western police force might behave, it is the protesters who have been violent.
My speculation about YC is that there are always something beyond our understanding so they choose not to make judgement for time being. If that's the case I applaud their altitude. Modern human have serious cognitive defects in my view.
Those that signed the first letter, criticizing China, include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
Signing the second letter, in defense of China’s policies, were: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Gabon, Kuwait, Laos, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
It's Western capitalism + allies vs Eastern communism + allies?
That line just proves how much of an echo chamber this place really is when it comes to international affairs.
I live in India. I just had lunch with my colleague who is a Kashmiri native. His parents recently arrived from that state, and his father has returned back to run his medical shop. Though the situation is not ideal, it is a far cry away from being a breach of democracy or humanitarian concerns. The government has evoked constitutional law to maintain peace and order, largely as preventive measures against extremist operations and organisation. This has certainly affected the lives of daily citizens, no doubt, but the way western media blows it out of proportion one can just wonder whether it is genuinely clueless journalism or ideologically motivated smear campaign.
I mean not specifically you, but why are people in these comments all moral policing a country halfway across the world while their own is just as bad?
China is systematically doing this to its own citizens, and intentionally harvesting body parts from them.
Those are, in fact, quite different.
> fuck knows how many
> migrants (and children) in concentration camps
People who violated immigration law. (Also, many are free to leave, via voluntary departure.)
> "terrorists" in concentration camps
People who violated international law.
> slaves in overcrowded prisons
People who violated federal or state law.
In particular, those laws do not prohibit religious faith or speech.
I'd suggest a closer analogy to the Muslim re-education centers would be Japanese internment facilities in the U.S during the 1940s.
Reading news about any foreign country, including China, only from US MSM, is inherently biased (sampling bias). Maybe consider reading news from Chinese outlets in this case?
I know people will start arguing that Chinese outlets are mainly propagandas because they are controlled by governments and they are not independent...
But, but are we sure that Deutsche Welle or Japan Times are unbiased?
For example, Deutsche Welle is funded by German government. , and the editors of the Japan Times were appointed by their government .
Yes, German and Japanese governments are more trustworthy than the Chinese government, but every country has its own foreign policy and political agenda. Are we sure that we are not being "brainwashed" by those media outlets?
This is happening within the US as well. Think conservative news outlets vs liberal outlets.
Here is Deutsche Welle (Germany): https://www.dw.com/en/how-china-intimidates-uighurs-abroad-b...
Here is Japan Times (Japan): https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/08/08/national/social...
I could get more internationally sourced coverage if you really need. More or less the only MSM not covering the Uighur concentration camps are the Chinese MSM.
The Chinese government sent government workers to take time off their normals jobs and live in the homes of Uighur Muslims suspected of disloyalty to the Chinese government. More than a million Uighur households had monitors sleeping in their rooms and watching their lives for troublesome signs like the children not using patriotic greetings or the parents wanting to keep Muslim dietary guidelines.
In this article "relatives" refers to Han Chinese government monitors and "little brothers" and "little sisters" refers to the Muslims they watched.
> The relatives were given written guidelines on how to conduct themselves. Based on reports from Uighur contacts in Urumqi and Khotan, such manuals provided guidelines and forms that needed to be filled out and then digitized for security databases. In a manual that was used in Kashgar prefecture, relatives were given specific instructions on how to get their little brothers and sisters to “let down their guard.” The manual, which was posted on the internet but taken down just as this story was going to press, advises relatives to show “warmth.” “Don’t lecture right away,” it suggests, and show concern regarding their families and bring candy for the children. It provides a checklist that included questions such as: “When entering the household, do family members appear flustered and use evasive language?” “Do they not watch TV programs at home and instead only watch VCD discs?” “Are there any religious items still hanging on the walls of the house?”
> The manual instructs the relatives to tell their little brothers and sisters that they have been monitoring all internet and cell-phone communication that is coming from the family, so they should not even think about lying when it comes to their knowledge of Islam and religious extremism.
> The manual also instructs them to help the villagers alleviate their poverty by giving them business advice and helping out around the household. They were told to report any resistance to “poverty alleviation activities.”
edit: wow... 2001
EDIT: I posted this as a bit of an experiment. In https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21601613 I link to a TV program criticising the Chinese government's treatment of Uyghurs. Here I criticize blatant propaganda published by an organization funded by the US government for precisely that purpose. Almost an hour later, this comment is at -4 while the other is at +6. Agreement-based voting at it's finest, but I'm not going to let propaganda slide just because it pushes a viewpoint I agree with.
Seriously. Show me one major corporation that cited this as a reason for pulling out of China. I’m not justifying the actions—I’m saying western industries don’t care about genocide. Because they don’t.
But major businesses aren’t the whole economy. Just a part.
They even have the YC logo on their website and claim to have funded Airbnb, Dropbox etc. Be careful to read their whole website. This whole website of MiracleMinus is extremely dishonest. I would be very careful not to be connected too much to dishonest and lack-of-integrity people like Qi.
Your personal comments don't match my experience at all. I have known Qi for many years and have always found him to be extremely high integrity and trustworthy.
YC's entrepreneurial methodology has produced a number of star companies such as Airbnb, Stripe, Dropbox and more. After 14 years of practical tests, it has fully proved its effectiveness. In China, we implement the YC entrepreneurial methodology into local companies to serve our startups."
And most people don't know/understand/care what's going on in HK or Xinjiang.
I'd be surprised if less than 80% of Blizzard's fan base isn't aware of the "Free HK" controversy and doesn't support the notion of freedom in HK to some degree.
I assume you mean 80% of Blizzard's US fan base?
On a fairer note, I think YC got to ask: what unfair advantage do we have in this country?
Most of their advantages are network effects in SV and brand-awareness in the western world. Their advantages in the US are MUCH higher than in China, where you'd have to build much from scratch, rebuild the investors' and founders' networks. If Qi was supposed to bring all this -- which he undoubtedly had as ex-COO of Baidu -- why would he need YC at all?
I'm not going into the details of his personality or whether this is a gentleman's move or are the highest standards of honesty and integrity. You shall make your own opinion about Chinese business.
That to say, all of this -- just like any other comment here obviously -- is a hypothesis and nothing less. So take each comment with a huge grain of salt :).
I first got to know about it on WeChat actually. There was an announcement from the official WeChat account of YC China in regard to the split-up (link: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/SnSsli_ZGo0yI58YD-ddaw), though the announcement took a much more positive and exciting tone than its English counterpart. The announcement from YC China talked a lot about 本土化 (which is not to be confused with sinicisation （汉化））。 As someone who has moved back to China recently, I noticed that 本土化 is actually a really big thing in China and it basically means localisation on steroid to become more similar to other products/services in China in every aspect (including HR, internal operations, etc).
Anyway I'm fascinated by all the comments here, none of which discussed the cultural and sociopolitical differences between that of the west and that of China, which I believe is one of the main factors that have enabled the disintegration between YC and YC China.
The Chinese government is one thing. But "the Chinese way" is another thing. And "the Chinese way" actually underlines how the Chinese society works and how the Chinese government functions. To understand "the Chinese way", one has to try to emulate a generalisation of how a Chinese person thinks and acts in this day and age after all these revolutions and wars and pandemonium that have shaped the land and the way people interpret things and interact with one another. Without great knowledge in the modern Chinese history and a good grasp of the contemporary Chinese language and culture (from a none-bias perspective as much as possible), it's extremely difficult to form a proper mental representation of "the Chinese way". The thing is not many Chinese people are aware of this too (since they are already operating under "the Chinese way", emulating it would be like running a meta-circular interpreter - not impossible just highly difficult for an average person). Perhaps this is why people (Chinese and none-Chinese) often resort to understanding China through the lens of the media (i.e. state-sponsored or company-sponsored) and that is akin to looking at a 2d projection of a higher dimension object.
It helps understand situations vastly different from ours, but it doesn't dismiss your own core values.
It's probably a good postmodern conclusion that truly understanding the Chinese way is impossible without actually being completely in it, but at that point you are again too biased. But that doesn't mean that without a full immersion we can't gain valid insights about it. We can. We are perfectly aware of the big picture, we have seen it hundreds of times by now in various countries (and proto-countries) over the last few thousand years.
To be fair, you don't describe any particular difference yourself in the following paragraph. You say these cultural differences can't be defined and simultaneously expect us to discuss them.¿
The fact is, there are plenty of businesses who have successfully navigated the cultural and political waters of China-Western relations. Maybe it's not the right time for YC - that's fine.
I think we all understand that dealings between the West and China are complicated, to say the least, by cultural, language, and historic differences. That is why we look to the best of us to reach across these differences and make deals so that we can all prosper rather than be left behind as the rest of the world moves on.
Which person in Chinese history has had the most influence on your perspective of the "Chinese way"?
Recently I stumbled upon a Zhihu post (Zhihu is basically Quora in China) discussing about Vox: "What do you think about the Youtube channel Vox" (https://www.zhihu.com/question/314185948) filled with opinions accusing Vox of slandering (抹黑）China in a malevolent (恶意）manner. And the accusations regarding the biasness of Vox were in no way unbiased themselves, commingled with comments on how bad the content quality of all Vox's videos are. If you think this is just pure propaganda or some sort of communist bot commentary then you are taking the simpler path out of this, and people in China would probably find it to be disrespectful. These Chinese comments reflect the general view of people in China who are exposed to Western media that would otherwise be censored without the use of VPN. These people support the government by their hearts and they believe in the government and the surrounding ideologies. There is a somewhat modernist honesty in it. This is why people actually get agitated when the government is being criticised in ways they condemn as "pure slandering". You may be tempted to call out bigotry and label these people as having been brainwashed but from their point of view the same label and description can be applied to people in the West. And epistemologically what is brainwash but just another Freudian invention from the time of bigotry? And what is bigotry really but closed-mindedness? My point is that this is a very complex social-political situation of the 21st century. And some aspects of it certainly have direct impact on consumer behaviours - we have seen that with the boycotting of Dolce & Gabbana. And some aspects of it influence business processes too, and what it means to be professional, and how politics plays or not plays out in a working environment, etc. There are just a lot more to it than what you see on the surface. I have denoted the central mechanism to be cultural but in many ways it is behavioural and psychological as much as linguistic and philosophical. And out of all these the most fascinating is that - let it be a bubble or not - the Chinese economy has been doing extremely well over the past few decades with crazy growth rate and my prediction is that they would continue to do well in the next many decades or so until some sort of a Nash equilibrium is reached. Not only would "the Chinese way" continue to work, it would be more and more relevant in the future, especially to people in the West that will increasingly be affected by it as the world gets ever more interconnected.
By understanding more about "the Chinese way", and by having a better appreciation for it, people in both the East and the West would have a much more accurate view of how not just China but the world works. As much as "the Chinese way" is about China it is also about pragmatism and a deviation from Western ideologies.
You mean the Russia where per-capita GDP (both nominal and adjusted for purchasing power) is higher than China's?
"The Chinese Way" is a cop out, it points out the cultural differences between the West and China, but that does not change the fundamentals of political ideologies. Fascist and authoritarian regimes, all, justify their actions through the proxy of cultural differences.
It is not right to shut down discussion about political climates by reducing it to a non-negotiable argument, i.e. the other party does not understand "The Chinese Way" or they will never know the history of China. There are plenty of non-Chinese historians arounds the world who have studied China deeply, academically and by experience such as expats including myself who have spent significant time in China. We know "The Chinese Way".
> The Chinese government is one thing.
No, that's the elephant in the room here, don't be so quick to dismiss it. Ask yourself this - "Would I feel threatened to criticize the Chinese government publicly while I am in China?" If the answer is yes, you either A) Took allegiance to the Chinese nationalism B) or afraid to speak out. If it is B, then it is time to move out of China before it is too late.
The more fundamental question here is: What if the modernist's definition of democracy which you have just laid out is extremely one-sided and full of grey areas and, when implemented into a society accordingly, would be full of vulnerabilities to be exploited for things the very ideology opposes?
> It is not right to shut down discussion about political climates by reducing it to a non-negotiable argument, i.e. the other party does not understand "The Chinese Way" or they will never know the history of China.
Firstly, I don't see how reducing an argument into a different form would end up "shutting down discussion". Secondly, this is not a non-negotiable form, actually it opens up more areas for research and there are many questions to be asked and answered such as "how does metamodernism manifest itself as we see a ~800% increase in middle class in China between 2000 and 2018"?
Also, read about the history of China so you can be more informed before discussing about China? I don't understand what do you mean by "they will never know the history of China".
> There are plenty of non-Chinese historians arounds the world who have studied China deeply, academically and by experience such as expats.
Exactly. So go read some books about the history of China. Or read a paper, say, about postmodernism in China. It really helps to put things in a different perspective.
The thing is that nowadays comments on HN have certainly diluted.
> No, that's the elephant in the room here, don't be so quick to dismiss it. Ask yourself this - "Would I feel threatened to criticize the Chinese government publicly while I am in China?" If the answer is yes, you either A) Took allegiance to the Chinese nationalism B) or afraid to speak out. If it is B, then it is time to move out of China before it is too late.
When you put people into two polar categories you are basically radicalising them just like on any other social media. The problem here is that "speaking out" doesn't change a damn thing. And it never will. Not in China. Not in the States. If you want to improve the system you first understand how the system works, then work hard and do things that will improve the system. When "speaking out" works that is merely an indication that the system has evolved and changed over the years. When LaToya Jackson spoke out in the 90s did it work? No, and that's because "the system" was still fucked. Criticising is only useful when it actually influences something. Otherwise you are just playing the devil's advocate in a Nash equilibrium that is not in favour of your proposition. And then there is the question: what is the proposition really? Can it be fine-tuned to satisfy the people's needs without shaking up too much the status quote, the legacy code? Ultimately I believe it is about improving people's lives. And it's a constraint satisfaction problem.
Aren't you doing exactly that right now? "speaking out" on Hacker News against people you disagree with?
> Criticising is only useful when it actually influenced something.
Of course. And countries with freedom of speech allows criticism to be influential.
>> If you want to improve the system you first understand how the system works, then work hard and do things that will improve the system.
>> Criticising is only useful when it actually influences something.
The trick is to achieve system understanding first. On Hacker News, the system is set up to reward intellectually stimulating arguments, e.g. taking a systemic view of social phenomena. Since there are at least some open-minded people here, that kind of criticism may actually influence something.
To effectively "speak out" on China, you need an entirely different skillset, including being able to reference a large corpus of shared knowledge that most people on HN are probably unaware of.
Since China does not yet allow criticism to be very influential, it is likely that the effort invested into criticism would be better spent, for now, on increasing the likelihood that future criticism will be influential. There are many possible ways to do that; it appears the person you're replying to has settled on a particular one I don't quite understand yet.
Even in the worst scenario in which the opposite side could be in the wrong, but surely there must be at least a few good things come out of it. We ought to focus on those details. Our world is indeed full of grey areas, but human nature just tends to default to a black and white, us vs. them mentality. It probably helps to strengthen our individual identity, yet it hinders and limits our full potential at the same time.
Even the strongest ideology will never stand the test of time as it is only created by humans, for it must constantly evolve or be replaced by another one due to human limited life expectancy. It can never be true forever in a dynamically changing world.
The key to intelligence is being able to hold two opposing ideas together in our minds while still function perfectly well at the same time. This, by the way, is a teaching that comes from the West.
These are books you are unlikely to be able to read in China, and not because reading history does not comport with some imagined "Chinese way" but rather because the truth is threatening to totalitarians.
I think you're circling around the main argument about authoritarian regimes and despite of evidence in front of you, some how twisting words to either avoid discussing the nature of authoritarism or subscribed to the Chinese government propaganda. Honestly, I plead you to sit down, and question the consequences of an impossibly powerful government ruling almost a billion people without representation. It is not about cultural differences, it is about co-existence of multiple cultures around the world in peace. Lately, the Chinese government is supressing free speech and using financial leverage to shut voices down - outside of China. Instead, you're arguging about what's the point of free speech which is worryingly obtuse.
Mother nature doesn't given a shit about these politicians, you're intelligent enough to not subscribe to propaganda. We have so many seconds to spend on this pale blue dot - let's do it peacefully, respectfully and with strong ideals about freedom, liberty and justice. Politicians are using nationalism to gain power over public, tapping into human psyche to rally up support. Question authority fearlessly.
We need an anti-nationalism movement on the world stage.
However, at the same time people rightly point out that sure, it's totalitarian and rooted in socialism and whatever it was around in the 1920s, but it's full of Chinese characteristics. And ... somehow this makes it very indecipherable, and a-okay, and not a big human rights crisis. :|
Happy to see (for whatever reason) that they're recommitting to communities that (at least on the surface) don't support fascist overtures.
Sorry, but what you said is quite different from my conclusion from comparing a country which starts wars all around the world, with a country which build infrastructures all around the world.
An interesting thread last year suggested that in some cases companies spent many years "doing business in China" as a form of ... de-escalation to avoid nuclear war, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17004546
Plenty of Chinese people call the communist party "The organization" because as far as they are concerned, its the only power structure that exists in China.
Of course, all that’s based on hearsay, so who knows what the reality is.
North Korean is also human too. So is those in nazi Germany für Ibm.
You really had to go full Godwin dehumanization on a billion people right away?
Why do you dismiss any comparisons with the Nazis out of hand? Seems like an exceptionally poor way to learn from history.
Because they're generally silly hyperbole, just like this example. If you put China in the same tier as Nazi Germany, you're missing the forest for the trees.
If YC truly saw no chance for YC-China in the future, then I don't doubt they would come out and say so. However, that's a pretty strong statement, and I don't think anyone can make such a prediction. There is always a chance for a more serendipitous time in the future.
There is no question China presents an opportunity to generate capital returns on a scale that YC can no longer achieve in the more mature US venture capital market. They also present many risks that are hard to put in an equation.
Whoever the next Chinese government is, they probably won’t look kindly upon those who collaborated with the CCP.
YC is generally Bay Area-only, and after consideration they decided to stick with that.
Edit: maybe I should add that we do moderate posts that are just political, i.e. don't have an intellectually curious angle, as well as threads that depart from the path of curious discussion and sink into flames.
The default answer is simply "no"/"not right now"; not a ton of explanation required.
Maybe because politics was not involved and it was purely an operational capacity decision? I know it's not as fun as silly conspiracy theories.
YC China was a bet at doing something different. With that gone—and idk if it should have stayed or gone.. sometimes experiments fail—what is YCs plan?
Invite 200, 300, 500, 20,000 companies to SF? maybe it is the best option, but also maybe not the best thing to do. YC Seems stuck in an innovator's dilemma. Reminds me of Apple under Tim Cook. Keeping a good thing going, but nothing innovative.
* Supporting more hardware specific companies.
* Supporting more biomed device tech companies.
* Scaling online with startup school.
* Trying to scale the number of companies who get accepted into the program.
There is still a lot to figure out in the 'nurture small/young companies' space.
That said, each country has its own unique challenges.
How could you possibly know it's only 50%? Please, HN, stop with all of the ridiculous guessing of motives with nothing to back it up.
Again, there's no way you can know that and you're making complete assumptions.
LOL: even the website ycchina.co redirects to MiraclePlus.
The announcement by YC emphasizes the separation from YC China, the announcement by MiraclePlus emphasizes the continuity with YC China.
I wonder Qi just decided to just go his own way.
If that's the case, let him say so.
Unfortunately, it seems they haven’t succeeded much. I think the main reason is that Chinese entrepreneurs rarely want to target the international market. They don’t really know much about it, they don’t have the network and they have a huge domestic market, where they feel much more convenient.
The state of early-stage investment is different in China, compare to US or Europe. You won’t find here many events or meetups where angles or early-stage VC connected with entrepreneurs. They don’t actually like sharing events of that kind. For example, the largest community of such kind in Shanghai is founded by non-Chinese. The only way to reach a well-known VC fund is your network. A warm introduction helps multiples your chances for fundraising dramatically. Probably YC failed with establishing a good network among early-stage VC funds in China, and moreover, they don’t have a strong brand there.
The Chinese market is not mature enough. Maybe in US you eager to make a blue ocean project, but in China entrepreneurs mostly driven by higher returns. China is all about scale - even a bad product may have a huge IRR. However, never underestimate the local competitors. If the company managed to get a series A fundraising and got coverage in media most probably they surpassed 30-40 completely identical companies. Such tight competition brings some innovative ideas - WeChat, Doyin, VipKid. The western world can study these cases.
Unfortunately, there's been mostly negative coverage in media about China nowadays. I worked in Chinese startups and in Chinese academia. People are bright, high-skilled, and motivated. There are great visioners like Allen Zhang or Frank Wong. Only a few entrepreneurs take advantage of CCP regulations. Many of them claim that the party negatively affect the investment and business climate in the country.
I saw an article coverage of YC China's last demoday (17 Nov) and noticed that most start-ups graduated this year have had their angel rounds before entering YC China, which could be due to the reason as you've described - YC China failing to establish a good network among early-stage VC funds in China, thus looking out more for post-angel companies. Or it could also be because there were just too few aspiring early-stage start-ups in China. Perhaps funding early-stage start-ups in China imposes a much higher risk than say in the Valley.
Anyway do you think it would be possible for someone who has okay track record but no direct connections with angels and VCs in China to get their early-stage start-up angel-funded? Will it change a thing if it is an early stage with MVP that has thousands of active users? What about an early stage in artsy-style (i.e. as a small self-publishing media company related to the tech/product being developed) with a self-media WeChat/Weibo account that has tens of thousands of visitors every week?
I'm one of those people that ended up moving back to China and looking to start a blue ocean project here. The early-stage investment landscape in China really is not looking good right now, just wondering how that will change over the next few years (especially in China where things are so fast-paced!) So would also love your opinions on that! Thanks!
I assume you're fluent in Chinese, that helps a lot. As for angel-funding without connection, it could be a bit tuff. Also sometimes it helps to go through your current Chinese network and to ask whether someone is envolve or know people who involved in PE and VC. Btw, which city are you based?
> What about an early stage in artsy-style
Try to reach https://www.parklu.com/ or similar KOL companies. They should be more familiar with the state of the business. But there've been a lot of media-incubators recently.
>I saw an article coverage of YC China's last demoday (17 Nov)
Do you have a link?
P.S. You can reach me in twitter for more questions https://twitter.com/kidrulit
YC did the right thing here, the comments should reflect that.
Equivalent to an advertiser in China going through a local ad broker that works with the NY Times, to place an ad in the NY Times in a paper sold in NYC.
It's at an awkward time per se, nobody wants to get serious business started now at current climate, which could be the beginning of a sea change policy from what has been here for the last 3 decades between US and China.
Techstars etc have lots of offices in US and Europe, how about YC expanding to NY, Boston, Austin first? That will help US economy and foster some local startup ecosystem as well.
I understand this is a very difficult decision. I'm not sure if its right or wrong. From the perspective of Human Rights its probably right, but from the perspective of investment its difficult considering China's growth prospects.
I'm torn on the China issue and I personally hope our two countries can work out their differences in a constructive way.
Everyone made this assumption in the '90s, that prosperity necessarily lead to freedom. 20 years later that assumption doesn't look so good.
China has already started on a shift called industrialization: a massive demographic shift from poverty-class subsistence farmers, to middle-class industrial workers (e.g. construction workers.)
The next shift after industrialization is a mass promotion out of the working-class and into the middle-class (a.k.a. the bourgeoisie: small-business owners/entrepreneurs), where industrial jobs dry up, people mostly live in cities, and everyone goes into business for themselves to serve a specialized role in a city. Accompanying this is, also inevitably, a massive rise in political consciousness, because you need to study the political climate to effectively run a business.
Now, that second shift is far from happening in China yet. Their industrialization phase only just started 10 years ago, with a construction boom analogous to the one that the US went through in the late 1800s. It'll likely be decades more before there are no more Chinese public-infrastructure projects; before the average Chinese citizen is rich enough that everyone turns their nose up at working in the trades; before the average Chinese citizen's life-goal is to be a vlogger or whatever kids in developed countries want to do now.
But, despite that phase being a ways away, it's also seemingly inevitable. We've never seen a country get stuck in the industrialization phase once it's truly begun. It's finite by definition—the same forces that create this phase of growth, push a country through and past it.
The only deciding factor on how long it takes a state to become democratized, in this theory, is how long it takes to reach the industrialization phase. It took China a long, long time (probably because Communism put them at a standstill in accruing the necessary resources and talent to begin having a working class at all; they had to relent and do some top-down state capitalism just to get anywhere at all.)
And many states are stuck lower down the development path, where they'll likely never reach industrialization without outside help. That "help" usually coming in the form of the world deciding to target them as the newest cheap labor outsourcer. (Luckily, once China is post-industrial, it too will be a labor outsourcer, not a labor supplier.)
No, no, no, each and every country that deindustrialised, did so for their own, individual reasons.
And you have Japan, Germany, and Switzerland — all developed countries with substantial industry.
Most countries that did deindustrialise, did so because they lost industrial competition. Their industries were too uncompetitive to stick around for anything else, but cost. This is how US lost its steel, in which it once was a global leader.
But China are still making construction workers into nuveau-riche at a prodigious rate. They're creating the proto-Rockefellers and proto-Carnegies of China, right now. Those people, and especially their children (who would become the actual Rockefellers and Carnegies of China), are going to have some impact. China might "manage" (i.e. suppress) that impact, but a large bourgeoisie class is uniquely powerful in terms of its ability to throw money around to influence foreign politics as a knife against the throat of the local state.
Consider: the Napoleonic Wars weren't a consequence of the French Revolution; they were the second phase of the French Revolution. Sometimes the best thing to do to get your government in better shape, is to convince every other major power that your state is the bad guy and needs its ass kicked.
Right now, China is (barely) keeping a lid on global unrest against them—but a big part of that is that right now, Chinese citizens are still mostly positive and patriotic about their homeland, as you'd expect of people who just went through an industrialization boom. Take that coefficient and flip the sign the other way, though...
If you see a glaring case where the rules weren't enforced, the likeliest explanation is that we didn't see it. We don't come close to seeing everything that gets posted here. You are welcome to alert us to such cases, by flagging them (see https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html for how to flag comments), or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org about egregious ones.
And it is an easy business decision, why politicizing it? See what Google had politicized its image and the harms that action had brought to it?
It will be stupid to claim this is done to any political reasons, e.g. human rights. And frankly speaking, they don't care.
150% debt : gdp... gonna hinder the growth in medium term
But how does
>I'm torn on the China issue
Do your morals and conscience have a price tag?
You can't convince a paperclip-maximizer to preserve human life because "it's right"; you have to convince it that doing so will somehow get it more paperclips. You can't convince an investment firm to stay out of China because "it's right"; you have to convince it that doing so will somehow make it more money.
Read his comment again. It's pretty clear that's the case.
>I understand this is a very difficult decision. I'm not sure if its right or wrong. From the perspective of Human Rights its probably right, but from the perspective of investment its difficult considering China's growth prospects.
I can't believe a human being would actually write this. The level of cognitive dissonance would be off the charts.
But lets address your comment directly: "The level of cognitive dissonance would be off the charts." Is it?
One book I recommend is Graham Allison "Destined for War".
One question that specifically stands out from his book - is that the West believes in Universal Human Rights. China obviously does not. This is a point of conflict and we have some very difficult questions to address in the future. Suppose China attacks Taiwan. What if China has a second Tiananmen in Hong Kong? Do we sanction China? What if China responds with more violence? What do we do? Do we go to war? This is an obvious point of conflict. And these are questions that we will have to work out in the future.
From the perspective of an investor, these are also difficult decisions. We can see this in how the NBA has responded, and how South Park has responded - each differently. Is it really wise to Balkanize the world if our goal is to encourage China to adopt Human Rights? How would a second cold war help?
Obviously I don't have the answers. But I can recognize the conflict from the perspective of a VC whose goal is to make money.
This is probably a case where more precision is warranted. The CCP and the nearly synonymous PRC government obviously do not believe in Universal Human Rights . However "China" can be interpreted as the Chinese nation/people, and many of them do believe in human rights [see Hong Kong] or have been deliberately kept ignorant of the concepts. It's not like rejection of human rights is part of the national character, or anything.
> Is it really wise to Balkanize the world if our goal is to encourage China to adopt Human Rights? How would a second cold war help?
The Cold War was basically about containment, and it's an acknowledgment that no good options are available. Recent history has shown that trade and investment don't necessarily lead to liberalization, and military attacks are out of the question. Besides containment, the only option left is acceptance/appeasement.
We don't need to go to war with them but we also don't need to invest in their suppression.
So we have to tolerate human rights violations so that in the future _maybe_ there are no more human rights violations?
None of those potentials are sacrificed, they just as much both exist and do not exist as they did before a hypothetical intervention based on human rights abuses.
At least I quite the Open source founder has used the chinese way of colonialism to describe open source. Look at how the top leader talk in international forum on things like internet.
China will impose its view. And if you are not civilised per china view you are barbarian to be crushed. It is in our gene.
They will play nice then when not colonised you will be see.
Still I believe it does not make commerical senses. China does not allow others to make money unless they can’t replace you. Learning and turn ... The nasty part will come.
Our whole place is an example. And we are chinese according to them. Still ... hence good luck.
I think most people would be sold on decoupling from China or at least entertaining the idea of enacting punitive actions on China the moment they realize that more than 1 million Chinese citizens are being detained against their will and having their organs ripped out from them while still being half-conscious. All the while, their family gravesites are bulldozed  and the CCP sends Chinese men to sleep with their wives . Unfortunately, the insane amount of influence through bribery, censorship, and propaganda exported from China has made people completely unaware of Holocaust-level atrocities.