Neither Apple nor Google have found TikTok problematic enough to delist them from their app stores. Neither is there charges that TikTok may have broken US laws.
Banning something which hasn't broken US laws, on arbitrary grounds shouldn't be possible.
The President shouldn't have authority to ban anything at all let alone an app available through privately operated app stores.
Also dictating which apps an individual can install/not install shouldn't be the job of the Federal Government.
All indication is that the president does not have authority to execute an outright ban of the thing.
Also what alarms me the veil of secrecy on the procedings. The proceeding of the CFIUS should be made public in this regard.
At this point US is seemingly acting like a dictatorship with very less transparency.
Policies and decisions should be debated and argued before they are executed, not merely justified after the fact. That's what US and a few oher democracies have turned to doing in recent years.
Ultimately I feel that it is US who has been more to blame (contrary to much of Western media coverage) for the deteriorating US-China relationship, and drumming up the chorus for a new coldwar. Chinese policy seems to have not significantly changed in the last 5 years towards the US, but on the other hand US seemed ever more keen and eger to pursue a hostile attitude towards China.
With the pandemic and with genral economic malice affecting much of the world, I don't think a path of increasing hostility and conflict is what the world needs.
For decades, China has blocked U.S. companies from fair competition, reneged on trade deals when it suits them, backed out of industrial partnerships after extracting the IP it deems useful, and generally been a bad trade partner.
I agree that the president shouldn't have authority to arbitrarily block a product or company (and ultimately he doesn't, he'll need broader support among elected officials), but it's absurd to suggest that the U.S. should blindly accept hostile behavior for decades on end without reacting, or else itself be labeled "hostile."
As far as the company, the President seems fully allowed to place restrictions on companies as foreign policy. If you're talking about the "American" part, it is owned by foreign entities, so the case still seems pretty good. Chinese spying on US citizens on US soil is definitely a foreign policy issue.
Obama's administration was known to walk up to companies with a rubber-stamped order to do whatever (usually spying on US citizens) and the place a gag order on the company so they couldn't even tell their users what was happening to them. If that was never challenged, I doubt this would be as preventing spying is certainly more moral than doing the spying.
Regarding TikTok, foreign-owned companies must follow U.S. laws, which are subject to due process. Additionally, they must not pose an imminent threat to national security. For better or worse, the government tends to be tight-lipped about matters of national security and isn't compelled to divulge details to the public. Normally, this is acceptable because we trust our government to act responsibility and in our best interest. Is TikTok a legitimate threat to security? I don't know, and with Trump's tendency to make everything look like a publicity stunt, my trust in the government to use its power responsibly is not very high.
So from a purely rights and spying perspective having the app be a US app vs a China app makes little difference to me (not that I'm young enough to be a TikTok user anyway).
As soon as you add 'national security' clauses and hide everything away, you don't really have due process any more. You have two paths. The public one, and the one where it's possible to assert (possibly falsely) that it's a matter of national security.
Taken from the article you shared:
"By law, NSLs can request only non-content information, for example, transactional records and phone numbers dialed, but never the content of telephone calls or e-mails."
"Moreover, a recipient of the NSL may still challenge the nondisclosure provision in federal court."
In any case, I'm not sure that any of the protections apply to foreigners (the criticism is all about how they might accidentally target Americans) so for those who are neither Chinese nor American citizens, it makes no difference. I would be happy to be completely wrong about this if you have information about how foreign citizens' rights are protected from US intelligence gathering.
The NSLs were merely meant as an example to show how US companies can also be compelled to assist in their government's intelligence gathering. You're right that they can (in theory?) challenge the secrecy part specifically.
Did you read my comment?
The request can be fought in court, and the request does not give them access to actual contents. For example, they can NOT get the contents of an email.
Are you not aware that Apple has beaten the FBI several times in court and did not have to unlock an iPhone?
> In any case, I'm not sure that any of the protections apply to foreigners
This has nothing to do with citizens or foreigners. This is about companies. US Companies do not need to comply with US Government requests for information, Chinese companies MUST comply with ALL government requests to ALL information.
Edit: Also, regarding companies/citizens/foreigners, this is the NSA program under which it collects data from American companies and promises to only use it to spy on foreigners: "PRISM is a code name for a program under which the United States National Security Agency (NSA) collects internet communications from various U.S. internet companies ... U.S. government officials have ... defended the program, asserting that it cannot be used on domestic targets without a warrant"
This is not quite what happened. In the most famous cases, the FBI wanted (effectively) for Apple to build them a back donor that they could use as they wished. Apple argued that while it was legal for the government to demand information with a warrant, it was not legal to force programmers to write code for the FBI under threat of legal action.
Moreover the case was dismissed after the FBI admitted they could already access the phone in question, having purchased an exploit for it from a vendor.
Only on the FISA court, a secret parallel court system.
In addition, the legal challenge usually happens AFTER the letter is complied with, which makes it moot.
These letters can, and do, end up causing companies to fold (e.g. lavabit) if they refuse to comply.
Like many other national security issues (such as FISA court rubber stamps) there are theoretical checks and balances that do not tend to do much checking or balancing in practice.
1. Expert opinion seems to be that the perceived threats indicated in the case of TikTok are vague and over hyped, and there is no concrete evidence produced.
2.Federal Government may not have sufficient authority to promulgate such a ban, even on grounds of national security. May be possible to squeeze out the cash flow of the company through trade restrictions, may be able to mandate that this app cannot be used by federal employees while on duty, may be even possible to disallow their usage on federal government premises, but it cannot ask Apple and Google to take an app down from the app stores.
3. If that is the case then we are moving into a government-licencing regime in the US, effectively. That is, you can have your app distributed only if you have the necessary license/authorization from fed government which can be revoked at any moment. I don't think that is the right direction. So to have such special powers for ostensibly national security purposes is undesirable and detrimental to the very system that US is claiming to champion.
The whole episode is wrapped up in a frenzy of reactionary whipped up paranoia that is reaching an alarming cacophony considering the commentary here.
This is obviously a nuanced matter, and needs to be approached as such, not with a coldwar-era Hollywood Manichaeian dualism.
The article from CNN seems to echo the view in point 1:
"Although leaders like Pompeo have described TikTok as a clear and present danger, many in the cybersecurity community say the reality is more complex. While TikTok could become a clear threat to US security under certain scenarios, they say, the danger is currently largely hypothetical.."
The fact is also that Apple in particular has an enormous interest in avoiding the CCP being angry with them and Google has also been trying to re-enter China recently.
His response was a link to support a contentious claim which is that the security threat is overstated. That's a reasonable position.
You're not allowed to actually say that here.
> Please don't post insinuations about astroturfing, shilling, brigading, foreign agents and the like. It degrades discussion and is usually mistaken. If you're worried about abuse, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll look at the data.
I don't know if other sites work the same way that HN does. I just know that I've spent countless hours studying the HN data on this, and the conclusions are extremely clear: the vast majority of comments like what you're posting here, insinuating astroturfing or brigading etc., are entirely made up based on what people imagine they see. Therefore we ask users not to post them unless they have some evidence to point to (see
https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html). Running into views that you disagree with does not count as evidence. This is a widespread community with millions of members from all sorts of places and backgrounds. It's inevitable that opposing views show up here, including about China. That's entirely natural.
If you need more explanation, there's tons at these links:
China has an extensive track record of influence operations and election meddling in other countries and has used social media trolls to target political protests in Hong Kong. Last August, Twitter disclosed a significant Chinese “state-backed information operation” aimed at the protests, dismantling a network of 200,000 accounts that aimed to sow political discord. Facebook also detected similar activity and took action.
China also showed its hand during Taiwan’s 2018 election, employing its “50-cent army” of online trolls to sow propaganda and weaken the ruling party. Having tasted success in Taiwan, China conducted another disinformation campaign in the run-up to this month’s presidential election, trying unsuccessfully to undermine Taiwan’s incumbent president, Tsai Ing-wen, who China abhors. China also reportedly hacked into Australia’s parliament and political parties just three months before elections there last year.
While there are no known cases yet of TikTok spreading propaganda to meddle in foreign elections, the national security risks are inherent. As long as the app is controlled by a Chinese company, its data and capabilities will always be within reach of China’s government.
After all, TikTok and ByteDance would only be complying with Chinese law. China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law requires that “Any organization or citizen shall support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work in accordance with the law.” Unlike American companies who receive requests from the U.S. government, ByteDance simply has no recourse when faced with orders from China’s authoritarian government.
It's odd how so few people seem to see (and by the dimness of your comment, even downvote it) the potential for TikTok to be used for propaganda purposes.
Also, according to the Supreme Court, SAP, Volkswagen, and Sony are entitled to due process under our Constitution. Courts make a distinction between (1) public or privately-owned enterprises, (2) state-owned enterprises that function independently of the state, and (3) state-owned enterprises that function as the alter ego of the foreign state.
Companies in the first two categories are entitled to due process under the U.S. Constitution. When it comes to China, there is a blurry line between companies and the CCP, so it's not clear where they fall here.
This one of the better/saner things this administration has done, if anything, these should have been accelerated to avoid another USSR style Cold War with China.
The same is might be true of ByteDance as well. It's not actually clear that Trump has the authority to ban TikTok. It could just be more bluster.
I didn't think State Governor's could ban legitimate business activity until very recently either.
Ice cream parlors? Are they necessary? No, but they're allowed to be open.
Hair cutting? Closed. Restaurants to-go food and alcohol? Open. Bars? Closed. Hiking trails? Open. Camping? Closed.
Very little makes sense, and almost all of it is political.
If the Government wants to prevent you from operating your otherwise legal and legitimate business, they should have to pay you for lost revenue.
That's how it's been done in my state, and we've done very well compared to the rest of the nation. If we (nationwide) had actually shut down in the beginning instead of half-assing it we wouldn't be where we are now.
If TikTok was not a foreign-owned app, I don't think that Trump would have a leg to stand on, but because it is, I'm not entirely certain he doesn't.
I am guessing everyone working in the Software and Internet Industry are so used to Absolute Free Trading, where you could have someone using your SaaS from any parts of the world, with Discovery And Distribution Channel infrastructure in the whole world half sorted out. No one realise Importing and Exporting of real products and services have gazillions of restrictions.
US can stop the import and export of certain products or services from certain countries on any grounds, due to protection ideal ( These deals has always been in place ) Whether that is Food, Steel, Raw Materials or even Services. Using either Standards, Safety Policy, Tariff or other means necessary, or in other words, excuses. The same is true to EU, and especially China, who has been playing this game may be better than anyone.
That would be akin to US ( or in fact any countries ) working in China are required set up a Chinese JV. ( You can read up on what is happening to ARM China CEO ). So this is a policy change not a change of law. And even that is not entirely true, because under the current policy there are different rules to State Companies, and Chinese company can no longer prove they are not a state company. ( May be that is the part they break the law )
And in case someone ask why you have one specific set of policy for China? I would have answered would you expect to have the same policy for everyone including North Korea?
I view this as a trade issues, and China are no longer welcome to trade with US in many front, including its internet services. And in all fairness no one should be blaming US about it.
Nobody is suggesting that China's trade policy go unchallenged. What I do want is a policy including evidence, recourse, and the possibility of compliance. I have seen no explanation whatsoever of why TikTok is so urgently terrible that we can't deal with whatever it is that the company is doing using rules --- and this strange silence is coming from people ordinarily keen on that old "government of laws, not men" principle. Everything is weird these days.
Even without talking about morality or Chinese laws, TikTok could just be banned as trade retaliation. It's very common outside of tech, if a country closes down their market, they generally face retaliation on their foreign markets.
But yes I do agree with you on that, it should be done using an official retaliation policy, not just tweeted by the US president...
Honest question. Do you know how this could be done? I'm not too familiar with foreign affairs.
1. Sanctioning bad actors: Placing wide ranging economic sanctions on bad actors is a potent tool but it can backfire. U.S can penalize any company that does business with sanctioned individuals. In the case of China, applying sanctions on party members would make it virtually impossible for them to transfer their wealth overseas via global banks, property markets, investment vehicles, etc. This ratchets up the pressure on the Chinese government as it immediately and adversely affects the interests of China’s powerful elite. The downside of this approach is that China is likely to retaliate against U.S. economic interests within China. It’s a large market coveted by many U.S. companies, so there is likely to be political blowback, which makes this unlikely to happen.
2. Diplomatic pressure to isolate China: China cares deeply about how it’s perceived on the world stage. We rarely hear strong international condemnation of China’s social, political or economic policies. This is partly due to the China’s success in using their economic power to strengthen their global standing. Much has been written about China’s debt diplomacy, for example. China now plays an outsized role in organizations like the WHO and various UN bodies. It’s even a member of the UN human rights council. The U.S. on the other hand has been withdrawing from these bodies, effectively ceding the stage to China. The U.S could apply pressure on China by once again assuming its leadership position within these bodies, and working with allies to counter Chinese influence and condemn China’s internal and external policies. China has no effective response to this tactic and it’s therefore one that they are particularly concerned about IMO.
3. Stronger military and economic alliances with Taiwan, India, Japan and Australia would create a counter balance to rising Chinese dominance in the region.
4. The U.S can also take steps to prevent knowledge transfer to China by limiting foreign student intake, or preventing research collaboration with Chinese universities.
Sovereign nations have always reserved the right to decide what is allowed on their shores. That they disallow an entity from operating on their shores does not mean that they have "become China".
But then again, China likes to say “Do not interfere in our internal matters”; the US can say the same thing.
That's not absurd at all. Just because your enemy behaves badly doesn't make it acceptable for you to behave badly.
Where are the US's death and labor camps? Global IP theft apparatus? Religious persecutions? Actual territorial expansion?
Oh, but we have a leader that says mean things. Totally on par with China.
It seems there is a kind of "conceptualization mode" that different people operate in when evaluating a scenario. If you consider this situation as a binary rather than a spectrum, then the respective behaviours do seem the same. Similarly, the same thing can even happen when two people are both looking from a spectrum-based perspective, but have differing levels of detail (number of included variables) in their spectrum.
If something like this is indeed in play, then it's not surprising how two different people can come to diametrically opposed conclusions, yet both have extremely high certainty that their conclusion is objectively correct...because they are (or at least plausibly can be) both "right", from the specific perspective each person is operating in.
Forced Sterilizations, Death Camps, Labor Camps, Political Persecution, Religious Persecution, and so much worse.
Literally millions die every year in China at the hands of the CCP.
There is no reasonable, sane comparison.
Otherwise we would be trading beaver pelts and providing cheap labor.
Trump is banning TikTok because a bunch of teens pranked his rally using the platform.
The difference here is that China is positioning itself as a political rival to the United States. America is under no obligation to help its rivals develop.
Prior to Xi Jinping's belligerent foreign poljcy America was considerably more welcoming to Chinese companies. You reap what you sow.
Right. As long as we acknowledge that this is what's going on, so the rest of the world can feel free to just laugh at the US the next time they claim some grandiose moral high ground in their petty squabble to keep their rival down.
And the fact that the US Constitution only allows the Federal Government to regulate interstate commerce is why Wickard v. Filburn was decided for Filburn. Growing wheat to feed your own pigs is obviously not interstate commerce so the Feds can’t tell you what to do.
Obviously that’s not what actually happened. Equally obviously the constitution constrains the government exactly as much as it wishes to be constrained.
And Congress has delegated part of that power to the President.
The Constitution does not apply if a foreign government "exerts sufficient control over [the enterprise] to make it an agent of the State." I don't know if it can be argued that ByteDance falls in this category, but there have been many allegations that the company works closely with the CCP to provide surveillance and disseminate propaganda on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
The issue is whether current admins' China-hawks tough on China approach is smart and good for long-term US interests or merely counterproductive electioneering / domestic distraction which is... characteristic of behavior when it comes to managing other foreign relations so far. Nvm US has been quietly undermining China with Asia pivot for 10 years - many people are consumed by Trump/Pompeo and previously Bolton/Banning grievance politics because publicly clapping back feels good. Same ppl have no problem recognizing US foreign policy everywhere has been catastrophic for US interests in the last 4 years, but go full smooth brain cheering leading mode because it's China. Like holy shit, it's Pompeo. Folks can pretend/hope broken clock is right twice a day or realize people with bad history of foreign policy is maybe just bad at foreign policy. These are individuals who have no problem shaping America into the enemy it wants to fight.
He just handled all these issues poorly. He really only helped the rust belt by getting a handful of token factories to not close. Nothing really came of his meeting with Kim, and tensions have even escalated slightly. On the China front, he started a trade war with China and worked on some technology bans (both questionably helpful), and at the same time withdrew from the TPP, started trade disputes with strong allies, and weakened NATO. Coordinated response and strong western alliances would have been far more effective, but he did neither.
China competed, made the sacrifices necessary to get it running at low cost and acceptable quality, and not us. Our factory workers can't compete at that price, can't bear the same struggle and can't do it on the scale of the chinese workers. We like to picture them as powerless ants in a crushing machine, but it's not so black and white for sure.
Get the factories back and you lose competitiveness and it's higher level Chinese service companies who will start designing products and replacing americans. It's a trap, and it's already showing signs it's working. I love my Huawei phone and it got me used not to have a google account. Something I could not imagine a year ago.
We’ve got serious problems and are well down the path of a fascist police state, but we aren’t there yet. Compared to China we very much can take the moral high ground.
Put in specific data protection/privacy laws and regulations applicable to all players, not hound a single company without being able to prove any wrong doing in their part, or offering them a fair, due process.. it seems all arbitrary, discriminatory.. wrong in principle.. yet seems to cheered on by some, merely because it gives a semblance of going one up over a perceived adversary.
Retaliation or not, it is essentially arbitrary act, insufficiently justified in an open society.
International politics being driven with the ethos of a school playground.
Perhaps due to a change in administration to one that is willing to engage in retaliation because globalisation is less popular with its voter base.
> Put in specific data protection/privacy laws and regulations applicable to all players, not hound a single company without being able to prove any wrong doing in their part,
The argument here is that china's protectionist trade practices should normally be addressed through the WTO but that was seen as ineffective because any compliance efforts were in name only.
TPP might have addressed some of this, but that was also dropped due to public opinion.
China bans Facebook despite the company offering to comply with censorship/propaganda rules (and Zuckerberg even offering Xi to name his child). The ban is unambiguously due to strategic concerns over a foreign company having access to user data. The change in US policy towards Chinese apps is not retaliation, it's just the US coming to the same conclusion as China that letting rivals foreign powers control media companies is unwise.
So Europe/India/everyone else should ban US apps? It becomes a slippery slope.
> the US coming to the same conclusion as China that letting rivals foreign powers control media companies is unwise.
If you’re worried about a foreign company manipulating media then put in laws and regulations. That way American companies can be hold accountable to the same standards by other countries as non-American companies and creating a level playing field.
On the other hand i am not aware of any major damage caused by 10K or so troops stationed here or there.
Are Europe and India concerned by a US company controls popular social media companies? Evidently not enough to ban them, and if in the future if they are then that's their prerogative.
> If you’re worried about a foreign company manipulating media then put in laws and regulations.
They did: The US put laws in place that allows the executive to block commerce when it is deemed a strategic threat. And now those laws are being exercised against a media company controlled by a geopolitical rival.
Seems like this idiotic move did not win him any favours. Maybe for once they made the right call.
There were negotiation and Zuck showed the flexibility of a seasoned political acting genius (I am sure he will regret this segment in his life eventually). But there were never fully public conformation that FB intends to bend over the law in China.
Please provide a link.
If GB indeed plan to comply the law, then I can assure anyone that Zuck intends to use it's business empire to advance his political ambition. That probably would be worse than Hitler's ascension...
I am not American by the way, so have no beef in this.
So hey, I am all popcorns on this at the moment. The next few years are going to be interesting.
There is a common misconception that corps like Google Facebook were banned without legitimate reason. The truth is that China has outrageous internet law that Google Facebook would violate their meal standard in order to operate inside China. Google claims Chinese government hacked their corporation data centers.
Nuances ate everywhere...
You can only turn a blind eye so long to a competitor’s unreasonable actions (in this scope, IP/trade secrets and the like). As a US citizen, I endorse any actions intended to remove or subdue CCP influence, power, and control (domestically or internationally).
None of this comment should be construed as a sleight against the Chinese people in aggregate.
but with Guantanamo Bay detention camp, bombming Iraq with fabricated evidence and killing hundreds of thousands innocent Iraqi people.
Oh, let's not forget how Uncle Sam extended their territory by slaughtering Native Americans since 15th century. You even have a festival to celeberate the genocide and conquest of Native Americans by colonists.
Easily fact checked. China doubles the US on both Co2 and Methane emissions.
Edit: Got downvoted, but it's still true the above post is outright incorrect information.
Additionally, USA has had decades of relative prosperity to clean up its emissions, but did nothing.
Meanwhile China has more electric busses than the rest of the world combined, more hifgh-speed raio than the rest of the world combined, lead the world in investment in renewables and nuclear and are on track to meet their Paris accord commitment, unlike US.
Furthermore this is a production based accounting of CO2, if you instead do consumption-based accounting of CO2 then you will see a dramativally more savage picture.
Reminds me of some downplay of China’s progress by looking at averages
With that said, it’s entirely feasible to transition faster to not needing to emit carbon to raise or maintain quality of life. As I mention above, everyone should be accountable for that.
If we directly translate this to Chinese, the statement doesn’t make any sense. Is “pursuing prosperity” a right?
Looks like between the two cultures there might be quite a diverge Of the definition of “right”
Otherwise though I agree with what you said and China probably has been making a good progress already. Believe it or not, low Carbon life style is promoted by the official media
Navarro doesn't speak Chinese, and before he joined the Trump administration, he had hardly even been to China. In recent months, he's been promoting anti-Chinese conspiracy theories about CoVID-19. He's an ideologue who believes that the US is in a death struggle with China.
So if you're wondering why US policy has changed, looking at who's in office is a start. The scary thing is how successful the Trump administration has been in promoting its views on China among the public.
Google and Facebook were never wholesale banned by China. You can see this with the fact that Google tried to re-enter China with project Dragonfly (a China-law compliant search engine), until it internally became politically unfeasible. Note that Microsoft operates Bing in China, and Yahoo as well.
And actually, I was living in China when Facebook stopped working, and I was living in China when google.com stopped working, and when google.cn stopped working. And you are right, they were never officially banned, China would never admit to that, they just used the GFW to make them stop working and commenced a lot of work to make VPNs troublesome to use as well.
Yes, Microsoft operates Bing. But you can’t access gmail through it.
As I said in my previous post, both can operate in China if they choose to comply with Chinese laws. Hotmail and iCloud do, and both works fine in China.
Google and Facebook being banned is no different than if they'd been banned for not complying with GDPR in EU.
The existence of Bing proves that it’s possible to operate a foreign search engine in China.
"I can easily search up multiple cases where foreign companies have applied the rule of law and won in China."
I'd love it if you did this. I sincerely hope these references are better than the ones you produced trying to deny the Uighur genocide in Xinjiang in the other thread. Also, you'll need to provide me some proof these companies didn't pay for the results they got.
I mean, are you suggesting we also move the planned economy model because China is right? It’s not like we adopted a free market model for the benefit of foreign interests... it’s simply a better model (in our belief) for creating a healthy economy.
We pay lip service to the free market, but in practice we believe in controlled, privately owned markets and China believes in controlled, state owned markets.
The argument is also used a-la-carte: It's decades since the first time google pulled out of china, yet there was no relatiation then. And it does not apply to other countries which are often blocking google/facebook/youtube like russia or turkey?
It's frankly quite disturbing how something so completely wrong constantly ends up the top of HN comments on these tiktok threads lately. 2 of the top 3 comments say this and it's not true whatsoever. It's just plain jingoism.
Since you've raised the issue can I as an Australian, sell my lamb to US consumers unhindered? We have a free trade agreement, take a guess about our market access in certain farming sectors? Even with shipping I can sell for far better prices than domestic farmers so your government sets up tariffs and sanctions to stop that happening. Ask some South American corn farmers about their market access too while this topic is hot :)
The US is so blatantly hypocritical and that's the real "cringe" here. The ultra-nationalist sentiment in this place is laughable.
Tiktok was a risk and I don't really have much of a problem with the choices made but the online justifications are unreal to listen to.
That flies in the face of the supposed moral leadership (of the world) of our country.
In particular, US foreign policy has been a long unending horror show of bombing, invasions, and starvation via sanctions. At the UN our record is dismal at best, with the US often standing entirely alone with regressive countries we've bought off like Saudia Arabia on a litany of issues.
If you let someone get away with breaking the rule, without retaliating in kind, then you put yourself at a severe disadvantage to them.
This is something that is often claimed, but it doesn't reflect reality.
China does not generally lock American companies out of its market. In fact, American companies have a far greater presence in the Chinese market than vice versa.
For example, take a look at the 2017 China sales figures for a few American companies: 
* Apple: $44.7 billion
* Intel: $14.8 billion
* Qualcomm: $14.6 billion
* Boeing: $11.9 billion
* Micron: $10.4 billion
If you walk into any mall in China, you'll see American brands everywhere. Starbucks, KFC, McDonald's, tons of fashion brands, and on and on. The basic fact underlying all of this is that for decades, foreign direct investment flowed essentially in one direction: from the US to China. That reflected the fact that the US had capital, while China had labor. It's only recently that Chinese companies have begun expanding abroad, and FDI has started to go in the opposite direction.
IIRC, Foreign companies need to have majority-owner Chinese partner entities to "own" business operations in China. So a non-Chinese car company that wants to have ownership over it's Chinese assembly line operations and sales in China needs to partner with a Chinese company (typically another automaker) that actually owns >50% of the joint subsidiary that actually makes and or sells the cars. The alternative is Apple, which owns no manufacturing and had everything produced on contract from independent manufacturers. And again, none of this involves user data. Also, both the play store and Apple iOS store's content are at the mercy of the CCP gatekeepers, so even if a person in China can buy an apple product, they experience a different app ecosystem.
I don't think there's a non-Chinese-owned company that has access to and stores user data streams, like a foreign-owned weibo or something, but I'd be curious if someone had an example.
How much do you think China makes on an iPhone? Most of the pricey parts are imported into China and just because the assembly happens in China doesn’t truth make it “made” in China.
Even if you take lower margin brands like KFC, the US interests essentially rent-seek on that brand usage.
You have to also understand that China is the economic underdog. In order to rise out of poverty they have to have some form of protectionist policies (which are not unique to China, as Japan also has heavy protectionist policies despite an already strong economy) or they’d be trampled by established foreign multinational giants.
One country is a well to-do suburban college educated kid and the other is a poor high school dropout from the inner city. Their competition in the market would not be “fair” as their starting points would be unequal.
That being said protectionist policies aren’t all good. They are a tradeoff that they chose to make and why they ended up with defective domestically produced infant baby formula, crappier internet search engines (which lead to wechat dominance), etc, whole local companies played slow catch up.
You recall incorrectly. You're describing the situation about 30 years ago, in the early stages of China's opening up. In the intervening time, restrictions have been dropped from most sectors (including the automotive sector - Tesla's Shanghai factory is a demonstration of this).
The Chinese market is open both to direct investment (FDI, which I mentioned above), and to imports of foreign goods. American companies have much greater penetration into the Chinese market than vice versa. It's blindingly obvious if you've been in both countries.
China may be open to goods (ignoring the capricious enforcement of customs laws). But even politically benign services (banking, finance, insurance) cannot easily be "exported" to China. It's obviously protectionism.
It mentioned 独资。There are other companies had Chinese partners called 合资 which means joined-adventure. They are different but 独资 exist as opposed to MSM claimed.
Now I know you don't believe it. There are many people know the other side of story but they have been eventually down-voted out of HN to tell the truth. This one seems not quite offense to many HNer's beliefs so I'd like to provide some information.
It's silly to complain that the American market was open to Chinese investment, while the Chinese market used to have JV requirements. China had no capital to invest. Investment flowed entirely in one direction. It didn't matter to China that the US was theoretically open for direct investment. US companies made huge profits by investing in China, but not vice versa. Around 2014-15, Chinese investment abroad began to pick up, but the Trump administration has essentially closed the US market to Chinese investment, and Chinese FDI in the US has gone basically to zero.
Complaining about how the poor old US is getting exploited by China - with its former JV requirements - is completely out of touch with reality. American companies made enormous profits off of investment in China.
As China has developed, it has removed JV restrictions from most sectors of the economy. Whether some level of protectionism is good for developing economies is a debated topic, but the WTO allows greater leeway to developing countries. Developed countries would obviously benefit more if every developing country removed all conditions on foreign investment, but developing countries would probably suffer.
It's utterly bizarre to see people completely unaware of this clear fact. US companies are absolutely everywhere in China and make bucketload of cash in the country.
Starbucks entered the Chinese market in 1999, when there were still JV requirements in its sector. Those requirements have been removed, and Starbucks bought out its Chinese JV partner in 2017.
In March 2009, China blocked access to Google's YouTube due to footage showing Chinese security forces beating Tibetans. Access to other Google online services was denied to users arbitrarily.
The search engine remained operational under the condition that the government could filter the search results. In January 2010, Google announced that, in response to a Chinese-originated hacking attack on them and other US tech companies, they were no longer willing to censor searches in China and would pull out of the country completely.
Also, the government didn't "block" Dragonfly. Google terminated the project after its own employees protested it and politicians criticized it.
(All the above from Wikipedia either as direct quotes or paraphrased for brevity.)
If we're not being disingenuous, that's like telling your coworker: "If you come into work today, I'll kill this bystander and rob your house," and then saying: "Hmm, I guess they decided by themselves to not to come into work today."
(And apparently, Facebook has tried multiple times since to re-enter China in one form or another, and China has either refused or quickly re-banned them:
Could you substantiate this claim? Regarding China and Dragonfly, I only remember there being employee and governmental criticism, but no outright ban from doing business in China: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/11/27/google-...
There were hearings and calls by US politicians to stop Dragonfly, after which it was stopped.
America is being arbitrary, capricious, and unfair, in contradiction to the neutral and generally applicable law in America. But China's legal system has been arbitrary and capricious for decades, and is rotten to the core, consistently elevating the whims of the ruling party over rights and due process.
To use nonsense numbers: the US is designed to be 0% arbitrary but is being 20% arbitrary here. China is designed to be 90% arbitrary all the time. Clearly means China can keep out all the firms and be virtuous, but when the US keeps out any firms for any reason they're unfair and wicked!
You have two systems, and one of them is having doubts about the efficacy of its own system.
In theory at least, China’s planning either results in less competitive alternatives, or eventually it would have to open up its economy (when the playground is more fair) to foster its own innovation. If it never allows competition then innovation would languish.
If we take action in contradiction to this natural series of economic events, we would be hypocrites as we’d be losing faith in our core economic beliefs.
Of course it should. They control their store fronts. This is an extremist position you are taking.
> Also dictating which apps an individual can install/not install shouldn't be the job of the Federal Government.
They aren't doing that. Install the app from an APK if you care so much.
Protecting their citizens from hostile state actors is very much in their purview and mandate.
> At this point US is seemingly acting like a dictatorship with very less transparency.
Nonsense. TikTok isn't a US citizen. And they need to obey regulations. Ensuring US infrastructure and the private data of their citizens is protected is the sort of thing a democracy does.
> Chinese policy seems to have not significantly changed in the last 5 years towards the US,
I agree actually. They've been pulling this shit for more than a decade now. War on all fronts except military. I'm glad the world is starting to wake up to it.
Even in this forum, the general sentiment is that it should just be banned.
You can see it in WHO. Every president before Trump have neglect it. It will be an interesting time when American completely exit the world stage.
China has a planned economy. They pick and choose what happens economically and they have a heavy hand in manipulating it.
It honestly sounds like we want to have our cake and eat it too. The free market is the best way to develop a healthy economy, and it does not require the generosity of foreign players to function.
Fundamentally we’re just being rattled by the economic rise of China which is shaking the beliefs of some free market capitalists.
I have mixed feelings about TikTok, but the claim that the U.S. can't protect itself from a hostile trade partner or a security threat because it "believes in a free market economy" is utterly baseless.
We do in fact have a more free market economy, and we definitely do not do retaliatory trade policies to other countries with unequal trade imbalances like we are doing to China. In fact, in a free market, which is the default, there is no such thing as a trade imbalance. We buy cheap labor from China, but they are paying the price on the higher margin parts (IP, technology, brands). They buy the silicon that merely gets assembled in China, they make the iPhone for maybe $100-$150 in labor, and then pay Apple the remainder just to ship the item back to itself (that's why luxury goods are heavily taxed in China). If you ask me China's getting the crappy end of the deal. The reason why we've been getting push back is because the lower-skilled workers in America are in fact losing out, but the information and technology jobs have been gaining against China. But frankly, cheap Chinese workers are just a temporary stop gap to automation (if you didn't lose your job to cheap foreign labor, you'd be losing it to a cheap domestic robot).
The US chooses to open its markets up to foreign players, and generally does not demand reciprocal market access for it unless there's a political motive, which, in this case with China there is (the US wants to curb the rise of a competing world power).
American companies need to go though Chinese entities to do business in China. Why not the reverse?
If it's a matter of national security, yes, he should. Whether it's ultimately seen as an abuse of power can be decided later in courts or via election.
The last time I asked folks here to explain to me why they think its a national security problem, I got a list of arguments that were just a little bit less plausible then those for the existence of Santa Claus.
Just because Trump says something (while providing no proof) does not make it true.
That doesn't sound implausible to me.
Edit: Here’s a link to the mid-terms operation by US Cyber Com: https://sofrep.com/news/cyber-warfare-us-cyber-command-strik...
Just imagine what would happen if the foreigners say the wrong things at us. How is our freedom so brittle that it cannot handle speech?
This whole avenue of argument sounds an awful lot like one that authoritarian regimes use to block Google, Facebook, the NYT, etc.
Here’s one to start with: https://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Doctrine/pubs/jp3_1...
> TikTok is not a national security problem, no more than Whatsapp or Telegram or Skype is a national security problem.
Yeah, you don't actually know that. What we don't know is the most consequential for us. China is ambitious and is clearly engaged in a long game against the US.
We should watch our backs, no apologies necessary.
Might as well start putting random chinese people in jail just to hit back at CCP, "no apollogies neccesary"
I am just saying such apps having Chinese ownership being considered national security has a precedent
Yes, TikTok is potentially a national security problem. Sending a lot of citizens' personal info to an opposing super power is a national security problem. This is especially true when we are in disputes on many fronts like Taiwan, Hong Kong, islands in South China Sea
Telegram, maybe, but the founder makes it clear that he escaped from Russia, and Russia wants to imprison him(?).
Whatsapp and Skype are US companies, so they send info to US. There's not much security risk here. Their founders are US citizen or in a country that is aligned with US.
> Just because Trump says something (while providing no proof) does not make it true.
There's never proof in any geopolitical issue/scandal. At best, you have expert hearsay. Maybe CIA's opinion from wikileaks.
If we had to wait for proof for any geopolitical issue, US would probably already collapse for being incompetent long ago.
Now are you trying to say TikTok will never ever send personal info to Chinese government (if China requests)? I hope you're not. We know this isn't true.
Saying US and China having no tension against each other is just very strange; The tension is blatantly obvious for decades. I'm not sure if you aren't truly aware or you just pretend you don't know.
In what universe? The Chinese global stance has changed drastically over the past 5 years, and they have continued to deteriorate western companies and forced companies to appease their government, or the CCP will ban those companies, steal their IP and clone then. So far not a single soul has stood up to them, for fear of losing out. They've expanded their power in the South China Sea, laying claim to land and passages that aren't theirs at all and never have been. They fund North Korea as a satellite state to antagonize its neighbors, and turn in people that escape back to NK so they can be put in slave camps. The new security law gives them reach beyond their own borders to crack down on people that criticize the CCP. Not to mention they have literal concentration camps where they are harvesting organs, hair, using them as slave labor and stealing their possessions. Ask other Asian countries how they feel about China's slow and steady encroachment of their authoritarian regime that is anti-freedom.
I don't know, maybe the one where the U.S. constantly suprises the world in the last few years.
If you dig into this deeper, this is literally fake news. The sources for these claims are either the World Uighur Congress, a NED funded organization, or Adrian Zenz, a Christian fundamentalist who believes in the rapture, is Anti-LGBT, and praised the Nazis.
If you are so inclined, you can actually visit Xinjiang yourself and ask Uighurs there about the situation. China has been actively been encouraging foreign inspectors to visit Xinjiang to see the situation.
Given that America was wrong (or blatantly lied) about WMDs, Iraqis stealing incubators, Iraqis murdering babies in Kuwait, and is a geopolitical rival to China, Im doubtful about some of these claims.
Oh that sounds news to me. I was under the impression that no foreign media was allowed to freely roam and report in Xinjiang.
Can you please share your sources and any instances of foreign to China (and perhaps non US like say EU/India/Australia/Arabic etc.) media coverage in Xinjiang?
37 countries have also signed a UNHRC letter in support of China's Xinjiang policies, the majority of whom are Muslim countries, and these countries include traditional US allies such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
FWIW, the number of countries in support of Xinjiang have increased to 46 at the time of this comment.
> After reading your bio, I'm not surprised that it's full of comments defending the CCP.
Maybe it's because some of us grew up watching the horrors of the Iraq war, and the immense duplicity, chaos, and waste of human potential? Those who opposed the Iraq war were overwhelmingly silenced back then and I refuse to let the same happen now.
Please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and stick to the rules when posting to HN.
For future reference, insinuating someone is a shill or a foreign agent is explicitly against HN guidelines, as it degrades the quality of the discussion.
Not to mention the UN even acknowledges the existence of the camps and kidnappings.
2. Actually cites the exact same Vice documentary you linked in (1).
3. Cites Rushan Abbas, who worked in Guantanamo and for Radio Free Asia (a literal US propaganda outlet) 
4. Quotes Adrian Zenz, which as I said in my original reply, cannot be considered a quality source. He doesn't speak, read, or write Chinese, and AFAIK hasn't spent anytime in China. His methodology for calculating the population of imprisoned Quighurs consists of interviewing a dozen people for estimations, and then extrapolating these figures across the entire population of Xinjiang. He produces figures, that on the face of it make no sense (1.8 million people imprisoned, three times the size of San Francisco). Is also NPR, which is US funded and cannot be considered an impartial source, given the geopolitical rivalry between China and the US.
As I said earlier, these claims all originate from the same sources (Adrian Zenz, World Uighur Congress), but if you dig into their methodologies or funding sources, you quickly see how murky the details get.
5. Cites Falun Gong, which is a literal cult, akin to Scientology. Experts at the WHO have called into question these claims , and the US embassy staff conducted an investigation in 2006 and found no such occurances 
They were expecting hundreds of thousands to turn up, but only a few thousand turned up, leaving the organisers utterly embarrassed.
Facebook is working on Reels to compete with TikTok, but I’m sure Zuck would be happy if Trump takes out the competition for him.
There may not be an explicit quid-pro-quo but he’s obviously trying to navigate the political situation to avoid either Democrats or Republicans taking real steps to harm his company, since both are demanding Facebook start altering what users see to promote their political causes.
I hardly think he cares about the "security" aspect of it.
Years of concentrated industrial espionage from China against US companies says otherwise.
The "circular firing squad" has now been taken to the international stage.
What does that even mean?
Chinese policy "towards the US" may be too narrow a view.
Within the past 5 years, Xi Jinping has eliminated the scheduled 10-year leadership transition which served to alternate power between various elite factions in China. This has put him in a position to maintain leadership for life. After Xi achieved this, China has seen numerous significant domestic and foreign policy shifts.
As China has become more of a near-peer global power with the US, Chinese domestic politics have become more relevant to everyone.
Additionally, painting China as a mere victim here ignores the complexity of the geopolitical tensions we are currently facing.
Security researchers have found it grossly problematic though.
From the first link:
> All in all, TikTok should be treated like any social media app: one that can be used with relative safety if you’re aware of the information it gathers and what it does with the data.
The second one seems like a security vulnerability found in TikTok - what separates that vulnerability from say, this one that allowed any user to delete any YouTube video?
Since there's no reasoning presented, I guess there's no point engaging?
China routinely ban anything they don't like. How do you feel about that? Do you make appeal to fair competition to them?
Could retaliation include kicking out Tesla? Sure. Would they? Who knows.
This leaves a very good feeling if it happens.
If you need explanation about why, see https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20astroturf&sort=byDat....
But a Chinese communist party controlled media company with tens of millions of subscribers in the US which was _caught spying_ by both Apple _and_ Google is totally fine.
Is election interference and spying done by China good somehow? I don't get what you're arguing here.
For a litmus test, consider whether you'd hypothetically be fine with a massive social network operating on US soil that's run by e.g. USSR, Taliban, ISIS, or North Korea, ahead of what many think is one of the most consequential elections in our lifetimes.
Succinctly, here's why TikTok will get banned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSTHgoaVtSw
This is also why Google, Twitter and Facebook will get their asses reamed at some point if they continue doing what they're doing.
The logical solution would to start spinning the wheels faster, not take authoritarian action.
Of course, the FEC right now doesn’t even have a quorum and has only had one for about a month in the last year, due to negligence by the President and Congress. It’s obvious the politicians aren’t that concerned about the “wheels of justice” when it comes to election ethics.
“ Donald Trump nominated James E. Trainor III on September 14, 2017. After he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 19, 2020, the commission's quorum was briefly restored, and one meeting was held online, due to the coronavirus pandemic, on June 18, 2020. A week later, however, Caroline Hunter resigned, with the result that the FEC once again lacked a quorum.”
We don’t have a great firewall here in the USA. At least not yet.
FWIW, vk.com already freely operates in the US, and I don't see any problems with that either.
In the real world, when you must take into account the realities of power politics sometimes extraordinary steps have to be taken.
China has been engaging in cyber espionage against the US for decades. Like it or not, we are engaged in a struggle with them because we have fundamentally different political worldviews.
These two worldviews cannot coexist.