>> The reality is that Chinese firms and government operates together intimately. Nearly all sizable firms have a party secretary that is involved in board level decisions, and steps in when things get political. You can ponder who has the final say.
> No, I get this, but here's the thing: YouTube and, more specifically, it's advertisers do everything that you're accusing China of. There are material consequences if YouTube doesn't keep in line. What this means is that a status quo that pleases advertisers will be maintained.
You're basically saying: "YouTube has to please group X, TikTok has please group Y. Since they both have to 'please groups,' they're doing the same things!" That's a flawed comparison, because the the devil is in the details: the relevant differences between group X (YouTube advertisers) and Group Y (the Communist Party of China) get obscured when you're reasoning about such high level abstractions.