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TikTok’s Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal – sources (reuters.com)
336 points by clashmeifyoucan 7 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 645 comments





As someone from the third world this leaves a very bad feeling if it happens. I do expect it runs into legal hurdles before that.

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.


> 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.

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."


Look over the US bills for 2020. The only ones passing both Democrat House and Republican Senate are either coronavirus or China. The level of concern is so big that the Democrats basically did a rather public 180 on China during an important election year.

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.


The rationale in your comment is unconvincing to me. If Tiktok is breaking the law, that should come to light and be actioned like any other company breaking the law; likewise TOS violations on respective app stores. I haven't seen any reports to suggest that Tiktok is breaking U.S. law, have you? And if the rationale is, as you suggested, a retaliation against 'bad behavior for decades', what precedent would banning Tiktok set for other non-U.S. owned apps and services?

My comment wasn't specific to TikTok, but rather OP's assertion that the U.S. is a hostile actor, whereas China is just being China.

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.


The US is not really better for those of us that are not US citizens though. Yes, in theory, US stands for freedom and democracy, but any protections are protections for US citizens, not for Australian or EU citizens.

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.


Apparently you are not aware of China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law, which 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.

US companies similarly have to comply with secret orders[1] from the US government, so I agree with the parent that it looks pretty much the same from the perspective of us foreigners.

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


What you have shown is in no way, by any stretch of the imagination, close or equivalent. It is not even close, by a country mile.

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."


That the company may eventually be allowed to tell us after they fact that they surrendered out data to the US government is not much of a comfort.

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.


> That the company may eventually be allowed to tell us after they fact that they surrendered out data to the US government is not much of a comfort.

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.


I did read your comment, where you pointed out that companies can challenge the nondisclosure provision. It doesn't say anything about challenging the order itself.

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"[1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program)


>Are you not aware that Apple has beaten the FBI several times in court and did not have to unlock an iPhone

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.


> The request can be fought in court

Only on the FISA court, a secret parallel court system.


An NSL often includes a prohibition against even telling a companies own counsel that the NSL was served and for many years the FBI didn’t tell people this was even possible to challenge (until a 2008 appellate court ruling). Even after that point, barely one in fifty thousand letters even get to the point of a court hearing. It’s de factor quite similar.

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.


That additional specious condition on threat to national security is what is problematic.

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.


[flagged]


The fact is that Apple/Google hasn't found them in serious infringement of anything.

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.."

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/09/tech/tiktok-security-threat/i...


I'm not sure a bunch of techies who have no clue about geopolitics and have zero interest in the welfare of the US or even European or non-Chinese populations to be the arbiter of what's okay or not okay. Apple/Google are turning a blind eye because they're in this to make money. They don't give a shit about our rights or our security.

>The fact is that Apple/Google hasn't found them in serious infringement of anything.

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.


[flagged]


So by this reasoning, if commenter responded with a emphatic "Am not!", that would somehow validate he's not a CCP agent?

His response was a link to support a contentious claim which is that the security threat is overstated. That's a reasonable position.


[flagged]


A flawed assumption: A new account does not mean it's a throwaway. The heretofore anonymous user may simply have found a topic worth commenting on. Secondly, my user is over 6 years old and I've not made any comments in favor or against the CCP in my entire history. I simply commented on what I find to be a logical fallacy. So I'm curious what you base your assumptions on.

Then why has every person questioning this account has been Silenced by flagging?

This is another fallacy as proven by the fact your comment, while downvoted, still exists. But even if it were true, I wouldn't know the reason and neither would you.

> The lack of response on being called a troll is pretty deafening. I think it is easy to see this account is a byte-dance or ccp paid troll.

You're not allowed to actually say that here.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

> 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 hn@ycombinator.com and we'll look at the data.


[flagged]


That's not anywhere near accurate, and you can't break HN's rules like this. We have those rules for the simple reason that people vastly overinterpret what they see and jump to wild and sinister conclusions, as indeed you're doing here.

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:

https://hn.algolia.com/?query=by:dang%20astroturf&sort=byDat...

https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...


https://thehill.com/opinion/cybersecurity/480251-the-tiktok-...

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.


> While there are no known cases yet of TikTok spreading propaganda to meddle in foreign elections

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.


Cannot believe the president has the power without legal battle to ban business activity. If it's national security, let out the cat. Otherwise how could people believe if this won't happen to SAP, Volkswagon, Sony next time.

It's not clear that he actually has this power. He's known to misstate things.

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.


There really is no guarantee these things won’t happen to those companies - just like how there is no guarantee that CCP won’t have HKers or Uighurs or Tibet. You just have to be mindful of the authority of nations and hope you don’t get unlucky.

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.


There actually is a guarantee by the Supreme Court that SAP, Volkswagen, and Sony are entitled to due process, because they are independent entities that don't operate as extensions of a foreign government.

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.


> Cannot believe the president has the power without legal battle to ban business activity.

I didn't think State Governor's could ban legitimate business activity until very recently either.


If your legitimate business activity undermines public health it is no longer legitimate until the threat has passed. We fought this out in 1918 as well.

The problem is determining what is a public health problem.

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.


Can your business take precautions to prevent the spread of an active pandemic? Good you get to stay open. Can your business take precautions, but isn't? You get to close. Does the nature of your business make it impossible to function with social distancing/masks? You get to close.

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.


I don’t know why you’re being downvoted. It’s absolutely a parallel to TikTok. I don’t know why TikTok is getting so much sympathy.

It’s not about laws, it’s geopolitics.

I haven't decided how I feel about the TikTok debate yet, but just to offer a better rationalization: foreign relations is the President's domain. Apps are one way that a country projects its soft power, and as such this might be applicable.

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 reading a lot of comment that assumes Free Trading on the Internet. ( And to an extend that may be true )

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.


The problem here isn't TikTok being banned. I couldn't care less about TikTok. The problem here is singling out an individual entity for punishment outside an established framework of laws just because we don't like it. You can be tough on China without becoming China.

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.


> The problem here isn't TikTok being banned. I couldn't care less about TikTok. The problem here is singling out an individual entity for punishment outside an established framework of laws just because we don't like it. You can be tough on China without becoming China.

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...


Trade retaliation is generally executed on commodities that are already unfairly subsidized by the opposing nation. I'm thinking of disputes over tires, steel, pork, beef, corn. Banning a service company that seems to have done nothing wrong as a means of tit-for-tat retaliation is different.

> You can be tough on China without becoming China.

Honest question. Do you know how this could be done? I'm not too familiar with foreign affairs.


The U.S. has many tactics at its disposal:

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.


these dont have any standard precedent for application in terms of tech and tech related fields , where geographic boundaries do not apply. china has had a free ride now i guess it has to pay , also the same could be said about china banning free speech and tech companies from other countries , i guess you will have no problem with that.

> You can be tough on China without becoming China.

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".


You are conflating rule of law and sovereignty.

China can do whatever it wants, US can do whatever it wants. Whatever a country wants to do has nothing to do with how it governed, law or not. Law is a set of communally mutually agreed upon rules, so a society can function. However, the key is the word "communal", as in - which community is agreeing upon this law. China can complain that the new laws in the US is illegitimate, but the laws are made by Americans for Americans. Of course the law is not going to extend outside US, for example, they do not dictate what some Canadian company operating in Canada can do. But, in the US, these laws are there for Americans, for American soil, under the territory that the US government formally rules over. Of course, the US makes these rules, because it is its sovereign right to do so. China has no authority over how or why this law is made. Just like the US has no authority to say how Chinese government creates laws.

But then again, China likes to say “Do not interfere in our internal matters”; the US can say the same thing.


The rule of law exists because of a country's sovereignty. Sometimes, the two must be conflated.

> 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."

That's not absurd at all. Just because your enemy behaves badly doesn't make it acceptable for you to behave badly.


It makes it acceptable to defend yourself. If you want claim the president shouldn't have sole authority to ban foreign companies or products, that's fair. And I don't know that he actually has that power, it could all be bluster. I mean, he also said he would make Mexico pay for a border wall.

This is geopolitics, not grade school.

I'm sorry, but "we're merely acting as bad as the Chinese government here" does not seem like a very convincing argument.

The US left the moral high ground some time ago. (About 4 years ago)

This line of thinking is absurd.

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.


> This line of thinking is absurd.

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.


The reasoning you display here, "we're not as bad as China", is exactly what I meant with the "USA has left the moral high ground". There was a time when they aimed to lead by example.


Are you really trying to compare Japanese Internment camps with what is going on in China in present day?

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.


Might be a bit longer ago than that.

Sounds exactly like how the US developed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Slater

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.


It's exactly how South Korea and many other countries developed (and continue to develop) as well.

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.


> America is under no obligation to help its rivals develop.

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.


It's not just the US at risk here. I feel like nobody here pays attention to what China does. Look at all the tensions between China and... Literally nearly every country around them. This isn't a US-only problem.

Central America, South America, and the Caribbean would like a word..

You think liberal democracy (however imperfect) vs. aggressive totalitarianism is merely a "petty squabble?"

That’s why India banned them too right? They just love Trump so much?

Not just broader support among elected officials, but it needs to be in line with the constitution too. Even with full on bi-partisan majority and popular support, unconstitutional measures cannot be executed by the Federal Government.

> Even with full on bi-partisan majority and popular support, unconstitutional measures cannot be executed by the Federal Government.

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn

Obviously that’s not what actually happened. Equally obviously the constitution constrains the government exactly as much as it wishes to be constrained.


Well Congress can definitely ban foreign owned companies from operating in the US under at least 2 sections of the constitution that I can think of.

And Congress has delegated part of that power to the President.


The Constitution applies to independent foreign enterprises and state-owned enterprises that aren't under direct control of the state.

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 ongoing deterrence hole when it comes to US-China relations in variety of domains has been acknowledged by China watchers consistently in the past 10 years.

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.


For all of the issues with Trump, he was right to point out the plight of post-manufacturing working class Americans, the rise of North Korea as a nuclear power, and problems with the US-China relationship.

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.


While I agree with you a little, we have to admit the failure of american and "developed" nations industries isn't just due to generosity from their parts towards China.

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.


Not that it justifies our behavior, but I can’t help but cringe a bit when considering how China locks American companies out of its market but expects better access for Chinese companies in the American market. America-Chinese relations started going downhill in 2009 when China thought it prudent to start blocking most Americans services, America just took a decade to follow up with similar bad behavior.

Agreed completely. The degree of pressure that China applies outside of software is also very unsettling. The latest episode with the NBA allowing players to promote social causes on their uniforms for example...unless you’re supporting Hong Kong or Taiwan. It’s appalling.

America applies diplomatic pressure too, for the things it finds important. This is how international politics work.
sidlls 6 days ago [flagged]

There’s diplomatic pressure and then there’s egregious crackdowns in service of totalitarianism.

[flagged]

sidlls 6 days ago [flagged]

The US, for all its flaws, is not yet a dictatorship that oppresses any opposition to the government with harsh penalties including imprisonment end execution.

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.


Really this move seems nothing related at all to US companies not having sufficient access to China. If then why this 10 year gap from action to reaction. Many here seems to take this particular view of this move being a retaliation of some sort, but I feel that is a naive view of what US is doing here and how it will be perceived around the world.

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.


> If then why this 10 year gap from action to reaction.

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 was never part of the TPP. But any treaty or international norm has and will be disregarded if it has any downside to them. Their own domestic laws are only selectively enforced.

TPP was created to counterweight China’s influence by increasing commercial ties between other Southeast and East Asian nations and the USA/Canada.

Politics moves slowly. 10 years is barely more than 1 presidency.

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.


> The ban is unambiguously due to strategic concerns over a foreign company having access to user data

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.


If Europe is concerned that the US is a threat to its collective security they might want to start with getting rid of all our military bases and alliances before worrying about comparatively trivial matters like apps.

These media platforms are unaccountable, they sway electrions, enabled breaches of electoral law in UK referendum, spread popularity of Nazism, etc.

On the other hand i am not aware of any major damage caused by 10K or so troops stationed here or there.


> So Europe/India/everyone else should ban US apps? It becomes a slippery slope.

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.


>> "Zuckerberg even offering Xi to name his child"

Seems like this idiotic move did not win him any favours. Maybe for once they made the right call.


I don't think FB agree to comply the China's Internet data law.

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...


China can do whatever it wants, US can do whatever it wants. Whatever a country wants to do has nothing to do with how it governed, law or not. Law is a set of communally mutually agreed upon rules, so a society can function. However, the key is the word "communal", as in - which community is agreeing upon this law. China can complain that the new laws in the US is illegitimate, but the laws are made by Americans for Americans. Of course the law is not going to extend outside US, for example, they do not dictate what some Canadian company operating in Canada can do. But, in the US, these laws are there for Americans, for American soil, under the territory that the US government formally rules over. Of course, the US makes these rules, because it is its sovereign right to do so. China has no authority over how or why this law is made. Just like the US has no authority to say how Chinese government creates laws.

But then again, China likes to say “Do not interfere in our internal matters”; the US can say the same thing.

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.


Us corps have access to Chinese market. Otherwise they wouldn't have been so courteous to Chinese pressure and sentiment. For example, Apple draw > 10% from mainland China.

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...


How else would you negotiate with a bully like China? America is a bully too, but without Uighur concentration camps, fleets of fishing vessels farming the sea to extinction, outrageous claims over the South China Sea, etc.

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.

mcji 6 days ago [flagged]

> America is a bully too, but without Uighur concentration camps, fleets of fishing vessels farming the sea to extinction, outrageous claims over the South China Sea, etc.

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.


Better not look into Chinese history then

dang, apologies this was flagged for your attention, I don’t understand why it was flagged but I’m actively seeking alternative forums [1] where this sort of discussion is welcome.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24028512


[flagged]


https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/14/china-us-cou...

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.


Which means that they emit much less per person. Or should countries be compared with no refrerence to their population, in which case Saudi Arabia is doing great?

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.


Looking at it per population is kind of ridiculous when it's very obviously corporations and manufacturing responsible for most green house gasses. The average person barely makes a difference both in regards to pollution, resource consumption and plastics.

You have a point, but population is still the key metric. Corporatuons are, after all, made up of people. Whether those people produce emissions in their private life, or in their jobs.

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.


Does comparing the total always make sense? How about we take the average? Twice the amount means each Chinese person emit about 1/5 greenhouse of an American does. Man are created equal and Chinese people have the equal right to emit for their own prosperity

Reminds me of some downplay of China’s progress by looking at averages


Prosperity is not a right. Past emissions by some do not create future emissions allowances for others. We should all be held accountable for future emissions, as the climate cares little for equality concerns.

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.


Past emissions allowed countries to build wealth, and if wealthy countriss are failing to clean uo their act, why do you wxpect poorer countries like India or Vietbam to make a sacrafice?

> prosperity is not right

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


Trump's top advisor on China is a complete nutjob who knows nothing about China: Peter Navarro, author of "Death by China."

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.


It's not related to anything China has done over the past years. It's the fact that TikTok users embarrassed Trump, so sympathetic conservatives are looking for any and every Trump-free reason to support the president unilaterally banning something. Mind you, these are the same people that scream about "free speech" when YouTube or Twitter deplatforms Nazis and other right-wing white supremacists.

China's actions are actually legal under 1. WTO rules which allow developing nations to have some sort of protectionism to foster their own industries, and 2. Their own laws, which companies can choose to abide by.

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.


Google trying to re enter China has no bearing on whether or not they were banned or are banned.

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.


You just ignored what I said and straw-manned the specific nature of being banned.

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.


Again, China doesn’t officially ban Facebook or google, they won’t tell them what laws they aren’t following and anyways, China doesn’t really do rule of law. Google can’t go to a judge and say, ”hey, I want to prove I’m doing things right, see this Chinese constitution guarantees freedom of speech!” Nope, China doesn’t work like that, officials make opaque arbitrary decisions on what to allow or not.

Why are you purposely being unfaithful in your argument here? I can easily search up multiple cases where foreign companies have applied the rule of law and won in China. The rules are clear to Google and they simply chose not to follow it. They tried to follow to follow the rules with Project Dragonfly until their own employees scuttled the project, but that’s on Google.

The existence of Bing proves that it’s possible to operate a foreign search engine in China.


Hey wumao, weren't you going to show me some evidence of foreign companies winning legal cases in the CCP legal system? It would be really convincing if you found some evidence of foreign companies winning against chinese companies.

Lmao, your posts read like they are straight out of r/sino. You stick out like a sore thumb and need to do better if your trying to influence minds here.

"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.


A bit like Trump banning TikTok and Huawei on a whim, without providing any evidence.

At what point is China no longer considered a developing country? I think the argument is since they're now at least the second largest economy in the world, they no longer deserve all the special protections.

On a per capita basis, China is still very much a developing / middle income country. I agree that special amendments should be made because a country of 50,000 people with Chinas gdp per capita faces a very different economic situation than China, though.

Because we believe in the free market and they believe in a controlled market?

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.


> Because we believe in the free market and they believe in a controlled market?

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.


Just randomly thinking out loud: Is it possible to stop privately owned markets without the state having more control? I suppose the concern is with large private corporations, as opposed to smaller to medium sized businesses. I think that's what a lot of Democrats want to do, but I often associate them with bigger government. I know very little about politics though.

Sure, by enacting strict laws that forbid individual competitors from exceeding some amount of market share or forming conglomerates. Corporate breakups are self-executing. No compliance bureaucracy required, just investigators and lawyers. The government doesn't acquire the power to pick winners and losers, they indifferently breakup any player who gets big enough to distort the market or centralize too much power.

Of course it is. Private property in general is only possible because of enforcement by the state. Relaxing IP laws and other measures that limit the power of the state to enforce negative liberty would fit the bill.

While US corps predominate,free market is better. Otherwise, controlled market is better. /s

They also offer the US access to cheap workforce, which is kept unbeatably cheap via the action of the chinese state. I thought it was a tit-for-tat relationship.

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?


If tiktop were Russian and accused of spying and or pushing propaganda, I believe the response would be the same

If tiktop were German and accused of spying and or pushing propaganda, I believe the response would not be the same

Because Germany is a free democracy, it could not happen. I think the comparison is illogical and whataboutist.

Which companies are locked out? Last I looked China is packed full of American companies, far moreso than the other way around. Apple, Walmart, Nike, Coke(61% marketshare), P&G, KFC, McDonald's, GE, GM, Boeing (50% marketshare), MS (99% marketshare) all make billions each year on the mainland, many make more there than in the US.

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.


More specifically to TikTok, all American social networks are locked out. (Facebook, twitter, YouTube, etc.)

Nope, LinkedIn is allowed. Please do some homework first

...

Your comment boils down to they did it so why can't we?

That flies in the face of the supposed moral leadership (of the world) of our country.


America's morality has always come down to "might makes right" and it's quite clear that many people believe that's a perfectly satisfactory state of affairs.

Why fund your own demise? You can’t take the moral high ground with an immoral enemy. This isn’t a movie.

That's not the issue. The issue is then to claim the moral high ground to compel other people to sacrifice something.

I find it difficult to recall the last time America took the moral high ground that wasn't based solely in looking good for anti-communist purposes in the last 75 years. The only exceptions were when domestic unrest forced the ruling class to give protestors civil rights.

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.


UN, lul

Thank you for illustrating my point.

I started my comment out with “ Not that it justifies our behavior” and referred to similar actions by both China and America as bad behavior. Bad doesn’t justify bad, and only provides a measure of irony.

Rules are only good if most countries follow them.

If you let someone get away with breaking the rule, without retaliating in kind, then you put yourself at a severe disadvantage to them.


if the user is the product, the situation is better described as "blocking a foreign company from mining it's resources"

> China locks American companies out of its market

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: [1]

* 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.

1. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trade-war-watch-these-are-...


This is apples and oranges. You listed hard good sales - imports (even if actually manufactured in China in the case of Apple).

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.


> This is apples and oranges. You listed hard good sales - imports (even if actually manufactured in China in the case of Apple).

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.


> IIRC, Foreign companies need to have majority-owner Chinese partner entities to "own" business operations in China.

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.


Tesla's factory was the very first foreign-owned car plant, without a domestic partner. This certainly has not been the norm in China in the past 30 years:

https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2154674/tesl...

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.

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/16/797098404/u-s-financial-servi...


There are a lot of foreign-owned companies long before Tesla. In my home town Changzhou there was a famous US company called METTLER TOLEDO which exists since 1992. I lived there 20+ years ago. I had a lot of friends worked for the company. All the town knew it was a wholly owned(独资)US company. Here's the only source I can find but in Chinese. http://www.bioon.com.cn/show/index.asp?id=11583

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.

http://www.bioon.com.cn/show/index.asp?id=11583


China has been sequentially reducing JV restrictions on different sectors. The last restrictions on car manufacturing have been phased out over the last three years. As I said, Tesla is an example of this.

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.


> American companies have much greater penetration into the Chinese market than vice versa. It's blindingly obvious if you've been in both countries.

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.


I worked for a company that provides web and app tracking (kinda like google analytics, but more granular data and user metrics). Any Chinese prospect that engaged with us had to use a myriad of proxies because the Chinese govt blocked our American servers. Also no Chinese prospect ever paid a dime. They would beg for extended trials and bring engineers in to ask questions about the software, requesting server side code, all the while they attempted rip off our product, after a year I became ‘too engaged’ with other projects to pursue opportunities with Chinese companies.

McDonald’s China is now wholly owned by Chinese investors. Starbucks has been trying to get rid of their state mandated JV partners for more than 15 years now.

McDonald's decided to sell most of its stake in 2017. It wasn't forced to. After the sale, McDonald's China was 52% Chinese-owned, and 48% American-owned. The latest news is that the Chinese group is trying to divest itself from McDonald's.

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.


Why is Google search not available in China?

As much as I agree and being from a "third world" country myself, I can still remember China banning Facebook and Google in 2009/2010. Everyone has had to bend over backwards to gain access to the Chinese market while giving them free reign to the rest of the world.

No they didn't, both Facebook and Google decided to quit themselves. Remember Dragonfly? Google just tried to get back into China THIS YEAR and was blocked by the US government. It's the US that's closing access to China not the other way around.

Wrong, Facebook was blocked in China following the July 2009 Ürümqi riots because Facebook refused to release information about Xinjiang independence activists.

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.)


[flagged]


The companies may have been unblocked if they'd handed over information potentially leading to death of the protestors AND allowed the Chinese state to continue hacking their systems.

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: https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/25/17612162/facebook-technol...)


Luckily we don't live in a cyberpunk world where corporations are above the state. TikTok is obedient to the state and is still getting banned, the US has no excuses.

> Remember Dragonfly? Google just tried to get back into China THIS YEAR and was blocked by the US government.

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-...


Oh please like we need a formal ban to shut things down, it's like America not banning tiktok right?

There were hearings and calls by US politicians to stop Dragonfly, after which it was stopped.


China bot

[flagged]


How facile to compare the situations of companies "when they follow [China's] rules" and "when they obey US laws" as if they are equivalent.

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!


The problem with the Chinese government/legal system is well known for long and most Chinese people wish it can improve over time. It is weird to see that some people in the US wants to celebrate and justify the deterioration of their designed-to-be-perfect system.

Who’s celebrating? In this thread? I’m just pointing out the hypocrites crying “hypocrisy!”

It would be hypocrisy if China wasn’t a heavily planned market economy that they are in fact claiming to be.

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.


> Banning something which hasn't broken US laws, on arbitrary grounds shouldn't be possible.

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.


This. I am from a mediocre country and had always admired how Americans defended freedom (specially freedom of speech and right to bear arms). But now they seem not to care anymore. Just throw all our freedoms out the window because China is spying on us.

Even in this forum, the general sentiment is that it should just be banned.


American withdrawal from the global stage. It does not start with Trump but Clinton. After Cold War, little by little American is retreating from the world stage and letting go of its "leader" position. Trump just speed up this process.

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.


Clinton established the WTO and signed NAFTA. He also saber rattled against China during the taiwan straits crisis, bombed plenty of foreign countries, went to war over Kosovo in violation of the UN charter, and various other actions. I don’t really see how that’s “withdrawal from the global stage”


What's your reason for dragging Clinton into this?

As a United States citizen, I don’t agree that we’re obligated to play fairly with someone who brazenly refuses to do so for us. That’s all I really have to say about this.

What is “fair”? We believe in a free market economy. There is no way to “game” it because by definition a free market has to be free and what arises from it is what is supposed to be.

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.


The U.S. doesn't have purely free market economy; it's regulated to prevent abuse from bad actors and it enters into trade deals to advance its strategic interests. This is true of all countries.

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.


As a believer in more free than planned market economies, I don't think it's necessary for the US to stick its fingers in places to ensure things fail, just as I don't believe it was necessary to sabotage the USSR to ensure their inevitable failure. I believe our system is superior to what China has, and frankly if we meddle with it it de-legitimizes our claims to our superior system.

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 being a free market and China tightly controlling it's markets is precisely what's unfair. Think if it like a tariff. When a country establishes a tariff, most other countries set up their own tariffs in response. This is fundamentally the same thing. China banning Facebook, Twitter, et al. is effectively a tariff on US tech companies. Now the US is setting up its own tariffs in response.

It wasn't fair to begin with. Countries by default have tariffs (EU, Japan). Crying unfair is just playing to the capitalists that want access to a disadvantaged market with little to no developed competition. If you've been to China you know how developmentally challenged they were, and with over a billion people developing a strong local economy will inevitably play into the "unfair" trade policy accusations.

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).


It would not be having our cake and eating it too to show the CCP the door. They don’t need to give us access to their market and we don’t need to give access to ours.

American companies need to go though Chinese entities to do business in China. Why not the reverse?


China “planned” its tech industry? You gonna be kidding me

China has its fingers deep in the pie of every tech company there, especially the ones with even minimal foreign ownership. It might not be planned in the quaint sense of the old Communist 5 year plans, but it’s certainly a modern iteration of the concept.

> The President shouldn't have authority to ban anything at all let alone an app available through privately operated app stores.

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.


TikTok is not a national security problem, no more than Whatsapp or Telegram or Skype is a national security problem.

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.


A straight forward argument that comes to my mind is TikTok being used in the manner Cambridge Analytica used Facebook. Except in this case, it is being done by a State sponsored entity with vast resources (monetarily and people-wise). Further, instead of it being used to help a candidate become elected, it's purpose would be to influence foreign opinions of China/the PRC.

That doesn't sound implausible to me.


My wife is on TikTok for at least an hour a night if not more - I've never once seen or heard anything pro-china or anything that would otherwise influence her opinion about China. Not once. It's all content from US social media whores.

Content doesn’t need to be overtly “pro China” to influence individuals towards goals ultimately desirable by the PRC. Information operations can have a variety of goals are a designed to be unnoticeable, unless otherwise intended to be visible (e.g., making it apparent to GRU cyber actors that we had access to their systems during the mid-term elections).

Edit: Here’s a link to the mid-terms operation by US Cyber Com: https://sofrep.com/news/cyber-warfare-us-cyber-command-strik...


You are focused on outputs what about inputs?

What inputs? You mean the fact that she follows cute dog videos? I'm sure China is going to use that against her somehow /s

Yes her data, meta data about your network, devices etc. Just because you arent a target based on that data, doesnt mean someone isnt.

Her "data" is mostly liking cute dog videos. China can have that data for all I care. Meta data about my network, devices? If China really wants to know that I'm on Spectrum internet, and have a few other devices connected, sure, go ahead. I monitor my network and haven't seen any suspicious traffic that would worry me.

They dont want your data, but your data being worthless isnt an argument. You arent the target.

Other countries shold summarily ban Twitter and Facebook, out of fear of possible local elections influence by US government

I don’t think the point I made disagrees with what you’re suggesting. The US can absolutely use social media for information operations as well.

They should, actually.

If foreign speech is a threat to a free country's national security, then I think that the free speech experiment has ran its course, and its time to pack it up. /snark

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.


I think you are missing the point. There are many many goals that support the PRC’s strategic goals/interests other than persuading people to be pro-China. If you ever get a chance, look up some of the publicly available US military doctrine on information operations and what the possible uses of it are.

Here’s one to start with: https://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Doctrine/pubs/jp3_1...


That's pretty naive, in my opinion. TikTok has access to your microphone, even on an iOS device where it's far more limited than Android, which means that the Chinese government has access to ultrasonics. This means that China can create maps of infrastructure for hardware devices (Cisco IP cameras, for example) and create aggregated profiles of things like what products people shop for, what TV shows they watch, and even what commercials they've seen. Yes, Whatsapp and Telegram potentially have the same access to that information. The difference is that they are not owned by a state agency and especially not of a country that has shown, time and again, that they do not have to play by shared rules.

I said if it's a matter of national security.

> 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.


From an outsider view, all I see in this thread is the US constantly attacking china and accusing it of what they are doing to them.

#2 always wants to be #1, #1 wants to stay #1. This has played out many, many times throughout history. Pick your loyalty.

So you are giving uo on the whole concept of a justice system, evidence of wrongdoing and public hearing?

Might as well start putting random chinese people in jail just to hit back at CCP, "no apollogies neccesary"


My original post referred to national security coming first — and evaluating any actions taken via court, if it's questionable.

Grindr was a national security problem . The precedent is there.

That's a problem for people with security clearance. For the other 99% of Americans, how is it a national security issue?

Compromising the people with nuclear codes is a security problem for the rest of us.

I am just saying such apps having Chinese ownership being considered national security has a precedent


> TikTok is not a national security problem, no more than Whatsapp or Telegram or Skype is a national security problem.

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.


> 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.

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.


> In what universe?

I don't know, maybe the one where the U.S. constantly suprises the world in the last few years.


> Not to mention they have literal concentration camps where they are harvesting organs, hair, using them as slave labor and stealing their possessions.

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.


> 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.

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?


"Muslim Pakistan says outcry over China detention camps ‘sensationalized’"

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1423536/world

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.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/07/which-countries-are-for-or-a...

FWIW, the number of countries in support of Xinjiang have increased to 46 at the time of this comment.


I don't know how to tell you this, but a lot of Muslim groups don't like other types of Muslims, and China pumps so much money into those states that they likely wouldn't bat any eye anyhow, especially with Qatar and Saudi Arabia having their own slavery problems.

Explain to me why Sunni Muslim (same as Uighur) countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, and the UAE signed the letter in support of China, all of whom obtain more funding, arms, and security from the US than China?

Because (oversimplifying, but still) on one side Pakistan, and on the other Israel.

Can you elaborate? You essentially just hand waved over my points and said "because Pakistan, Israel."

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I'll bite. Cite your sources and I'll address them.

> 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.


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You can't attack other users like this, and you've broken other guidelines as well.

Please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and stick to the rules when posting to HN.


This is an alt account for personal safety and privacy reasons. People have tried to dig through my account (as you have done) and interfere with my personal life. In the past, I have received messages that have been a cause for concern while using my personal account.

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.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


It would be great if you can share source/links to these claims you’re making.

If only we had some sort of system where we could easily search for such information (unless you live in China, where such results are hidden or monitored)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYyUqrMuQ

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-puts-uighurs-uyghyrs-musl...

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hair-weaves-chinese-prison-camp...

https://www.npr.org/2020/07/04/887239225/china-suppression-o...

https://www.businessinsider.com/china-harvesting-organs-of-u...

Not to mention the UN even acknowledges the existence of the camps and kidnappings.


1. Where is the hard evidence? I saw a lot of B-roll footage with he-said-she-said, but no hard evidence of the organ harvesting or hair harvesting you claimed in your original post. We cannot rely on testimonials because as history shows [4], testimonials are easily fabricated.

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayirah_testimony https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curveball_(informant)

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) [5]

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rushan_Abbas

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 [6], and the US embassy staff conducted an investigation in 2006 and found no such occurances [7]

[6] https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/08/20/transplant...

[7] https://web.archive.org/web/20090620050738/http:/www.america...


I honestly feel the ban may well be a direct result of Tiktok users helping boycott a political rally in Tulsa.

They were expecting hundreds of thousands to turn up, but only a few thousand turned up, leaving the organisers utterly embarrassed.


I guess I'm even more cynical. I don't think it's an accident that Zuck is playing much more friendly to Trump than people may have expected. This would be the perfect quid pro quo. I hate to think it could be happening like that, and it sits purely in conspiracy theory land. However it is completely consistent with the level of corruption from the administration in other areas and amoral approach by Facebook to its business.

Well, Tiktok has taken all the younger crowd away from Facebook and Instagram. Your suggestion is not beyond the realms of possibility for a guy like Zuck (I always think back to the dumb f comment he made a few years ago to remind myself of how he views his users).

“A few years ago” was 17 years ago, for reference, when he was a 19 year old college student.

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.


Facebook already alters what people see, mainly to make sure people spend as much time on Facebook as possible. Or if you pay them to put "Ad" next to an item in a timeline somewhere.

Totally agree with you. We all know Trump takes things personally so this is a great way for him to get back at tiktok.

I hardly think he cares about the "security" aspect of it.


Yes, I think a guy that compromises his own country's security by inadvertently sharing secret info on social media doesn't care/know much about security in the first place.

Why did India already ban it with Japan and Australia about to then?

Unlikely. The rally was in June, but they've been talking about banning it since February.

> 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.

Years of concentrated industrial espionage from China against US companies says otherwise.


They are technically correct the hostile policy hasnt changed in the last 5 years.

We'll see when the EU uses that playbook against the US.

Actually that is exactly how it's playing out these days.

The "circular firing squad" has now been taken to the international stage.


Not yet I assume, currently FAANG will need to pay a digital tax, taking the TikTok example Google or Microsoft would be forced to sell business to a competitor in the EU.

Google and Apple have not delisted tiktok because China is a huge market for the companies. They are playing the part of Switzerland.

Apple, maybe, but Google services don't operate in China.

> They are playing the part of Switzerland.

What does that even mean?


I would interpret that analogy as them not taking sides, i.e. remain neutral.

> Chinese policy seems to have not significantly changed in the last 5 years towards the US

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.


I blame China having over 1,000,000 of it's citizens in concentration "re-education" camps for the deteriorating relationship. What kind of leadership allows that type of behavior? Not a competent one. It's shameful that this is being allowed to happen. I support measures to limit the propaganda being spread by China's government.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xinjiang_re-education_camps



This comment isn’t based on facts. I suggest you read this (https://www.lawfareblog.com/tiktok-and-law-primer-case-you-n...) to get the legal basis right. You are free to disagree or call out US in an emotional tirade, but have the facts right on why the President can make these decisions.

Additionally, painting China as a mere victim here ignores the complexity of the geopolitical tensions we are currently facing.


>>Neither Apple nor Google have found TikTok problematic enough

Security researchers have found it grossly problematic though.

1. https://www.proofpoint.com/us/blog/threat-protection/underst...

2. https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/tiktok-flaws-...


Did you read the articles?

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?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/qz.com/374892/google-fixed-a-vu...


National security issues override your freedom to use a spying app by a country's primary geopolitical opponent. That's just how it is. You paint China as this innocent party and the US as the sole aggressor, which is utter hogwash. I'm not sure whether you're intentionally or just ignorantly ignoring all the things China has done and continues to do in the past 20 years such as stealing IP, price dumping, etc. They're not the good guy here and anybody outside China should be wary of them.

Looks like the bullet list of things we might complain about, almost randomly presented.

Since there's no reasoning presented, I guess there's no point engaging?


> The President shouldn't have authority to ban anything at all let alone an app available through privately operated app stores.

China routinely ban anything they don't like. How do you feel about that? Do you make appeal to fair competition to them?


My belief is absent some specific illegal behavior, he can't really 'suspend' an app or a company. He can say he will, he can make it difficult for them, but it's probably going to be stopped by a court.

Well then China should not actively be sabotaging western businesses and governments through various means. You get what you sow. About time somebody took a hard stance towards the Chinese govt.

Good bye Tesla Shanghai factory, then

Maybe. It’s not like the Chinese aren’t rationale actors either. The US does something and China is no doubt brainstorming what they could do, without hurting themselves or jeopardizing their long term economic plan.

Could retaliation include kicking out Tesla? Sure. Would they? Who knows.


As someone from a country that has seen the first hand effects of Chinese influence on critical levels of government and social influence:

This leaves a very good feeling if it happens.


China doesn't allow western companies to operate freely in their country, so why should US shoulder the blame here?

There is another possibility: The U.S. government (or Trump) has dirt already on TikTok which might explain why their pressure did work. It's up to speculation why they chose to go this route instead of imploding the whole thing. A possible explanation is preserve Tiktok jobs/app in the U.S. but it became U.S. run and controlled.

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I'm old enough to remember how in 2017 people were un-ironically talking about putting Zuck in jail because Russia allegedly ("allegedly" because it was never proven this was state sponsored) spent $100K to organize some pro- and anti-Trump protests on Facebook, and Facebook allowed Cambridge Analytica do essentially the same data harvesting as Obama's campaign in 2012.

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.


I think what OP is arguing is fairly straightforward: if TikTok violated actual laws, take them to court, if they didn't, leave them alone. Is the USA supposed to be country that respects the rule of law, or a banana republic directed by the whims of some supreme leader?

The wheels of justice turn too slowly for election interference, which a state controlled company like ByteDance is almost certain to perpetrate. There's even plausible deniability - you could blame it on "algorithms".

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 wheels of justice turn too slowly for election interference

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,[8] and one meeting was held online, due to the coronavirus pandemic, on June 18, 2020.[9] A week later, however, Caroline Hunter resigned, with the result that the FEC once again lacked a quorum.[10]”


So I take it you'd be fine if, e.g. Yandex (the "Russian Google") entered the market then? Good to know. Or is that different somehow, in your mind?

Yes, as the other person said, Yandex is available in the USA right now. I’ve seen Yandex bots crawling the USA-based websites I manage at my job. And that’s totally fine.

We don’t have a great firewall here in the USA. At least not yet.


Entered which market? Yandex works (and has always worked) fine in the US as far as I can tell. I'm not getting your point.

Social media (AKA "election interference") market. You're only pretending to "not get" my point.

It seems that you're presuming that I would have some sort if issue if Yandex were to try to start a FB competitor in the US, which I don't. So I really don't get your point.

FWIW, vk.com already freely operates in the US, and I don't see any problems with that either.


From world policeman to world bully, in 4 short years

As we've seen recently, policemen are often also bullies. This applies to essentially all monopolies on violence, including the one of the US.

In this specific case we are dealing with an app that gives a company beholden to our enemy the power to snoop on the behavior of tens of millions of our citizens.

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.


I think it's just treating China to their own bad behavior in order for them to "shape up". If they want access to Western markets they need to provide similar openness. There's no obligation to treat China fairly if they do not treat the rest of the world with fairness.

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