Wednesday, April 24, 2024

TikTok Ban

Demetri Sevastopulo and James Fontanella-Khan (2020, Hacker News, CNBC):

TikTok will be removed from US app stores from midnight on Sunday as Washington implements executive orders from President Donald Trump that also target WeChat, a Chinese social media app.


Oracle and ByteDance have submitted a proposal that would spin out TikTok’s global business into a new US company that would have an all-American board and a security committee headed by someone with government security clearances. The new company would initially be majority owned by ByteDance, but would seek to list publicly in the US.

John Gruber:

Be careful of headlines along the lines of “U.S. bans TikTok” — right now it’s just new downloads that will be banned, not use of the app if already downloaded.

Nick Heer:

The theoretical security risks of apps involved in what Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross calls “China’s civil-military fusion” are hazy but plausible. These restrictions only apply to TikTok and WeChat, not all apps with Chinese origin. Furthermore, WeChat is effectively the default digital layer for many in China, so it is an essential app for Americans staying in touch.


I get why China’s state-connected businesses are worrying for some Americans, but this order does almost nothing to alleviate those concerns.


“ByteDance says it will not transfer algorithm and technology to Oracle as part of TikTok deal” (So it truly is just a cloud hosting deal... so much for national security)

Nick Heer:

At any rate, the TikTok partial sale of unknown structure is still being vetted as of Monday, contrary to the president’s position on Saturday, but it has all of the trappings of a Potemkin arrangement.

Edvard Pettersson (via Hacker News, 3, BBC):

The Trump administration’s curbs on WeChat were put on hold by a judge, upending an effort to halt use of the Chinese-owned app in the U.S.

Tim Hardwick:

U.S. President Joe Biden has withdrawn a series of executive orders from his predecessor Donald Trump banning Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat in the United States.

Casey Newton (Slashdot):

At a hearing in front of the US Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas faced stern questioning from lawmakers. They had pointed questions about the company’s relationship with its parent, with the Chinese government, and the potential for Americans’ data to be misused. And while on one level it was simply the latest chance for our Senate to grandstand about the tech industry while doing nothing to regulate it, the hearing also showcased the growing momentum to take more definitive action against the company.


TikTok’s task is impossible because to earn the senators’ trust fully, it must prove a negative: that China has never sought to use the app for influence operations or surveillance purposes, never will, and never could even if it tried. The company swears up and down that nothing of the sort could ever take place.

Nick Heer:

The main thing I am left wondering after reading this New York Times story about a forthcoming deal to resolve U.S. national security concerns is whether anything will be enough to satisfy the biggest TikTok hawks. I can already see the complaints of any agreement not being enough, speculation of the existence of a back door, and general distrust of TikTok.

Brandon Vigliarolo (2022, Hacker News):

TikTok has been accused of preparing to keep covert tabs on the physical whereabouts of certain US citizens using its app.

Bruce Schneier (2023):

Congress is currently debating bills that would ban TikTok in the United States. We are here as technologists to tell you that this is a terrible idea and the side effects would be intolerable. Details matter. There are several ways Congress might ban TikTok, each with different efficacies and side effects. In the end, all the effective ones would destroy the free Internet as we know it.

There’s no doubt that TikTok and ByteDance, the company that owns it, are shady. They, like most large corporations in China, operate at the pleasure of the Chinese government. They collect extreme levels of information about users. But they’re not alone: Many apps you use do the same, including Facebook and Instagram, along with seemingly innocuous apps that have no need for the data. Your data is bought and sold by data brokers you’ve never heard of who have few scruples about where the data ends up. They have digital dossiers on most people in the United States.

If we want to address the real problem, we need to enact serious privacy laws, not security theater, to stop our data from being collected, analyzed, and sold—by anyone. Such laws would protect us in the long term, and not just from the app of the week.

Mike Masnick:

The end result of this might well be that ByteDance divests of TikTok, but we should be clear: the threat, and any potential block, would be a clear, blatant, dangerous violation of the 1st Amendment.

We already know this, from back when former President Trump tried the same damn thing and (rather sloppily) tried to ban both TikTok and WeChat in the US. We called it unconstitutional at the time, and the courts agreed. There were a bunch of lawsuits, and none of them went well.


Banning TikTok won’t solve the issue of any potential privacy violations. As we’ve noted over and over and over again, the supposed data that TikTok is “collecting” on its users is available from basically anywhere to basically anyone with a few bucks. Want to fix that? Pass a real privacy law.

Paul Matzko:

FB hired a consulting megafirm to astroturf letters to the editor at 100s of newspapers to hype up a TikTok moral panic. The goal? “Dream would be to get stories with headlines like ‘From dances to danger.’” It’s targeted misinformation on a massive scale.

Nick Heer:

It was very clear, from the outset, that most committee members were not much interested in investigating, but were instead trying to justify a forthcoming likely vote to ban TikTok from the United States.

Yoel Roth (Mastodon):

The basic gist of Project Texas, Lawfare reported earlier this year, is that TikTok will stand up a new US-based subsidiary named TikTok US Data Security (USDS) to house business functions that touch US user data, or which could be sensitive from a national security perspective (like content moderation functions impacting Americans). Along with giving the government the right to conduct background checks on potential USDS hires (and block those hires from happening!), TikTok committed as part of Project Texas to host all US-based traffic on Oracle-managed servers, with strict and audited limits on how US data could travel to non-US-based parts of the company’s infrastructure. Needless to say, Oracle stands to make a considerable amount of money from the whole arrangement.

Yesterday’s appearance by TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew before the House Energy and Commerce Committee shows that even those steps, and the $1.5 billion TikTok are reported to have spent standing up USDS, may prove to be inadequate to stave off the pitchfork mob calling for TikTok’s expulsion from the US. The chair of the committee, Representative Cathy Rodgers of Washington, didn’t mince words in her opening statement, telling Chew, “Your platform should be banned.”

Even as I believe at least some of the single-minded focus on TikTok is a moral panic driven by xenophobia, not hard evidence, I share many of the national security concerns raised about the app.


The problem is that solutions like Project Texas, and a single-minded focus on China, may end up having the counterproductive result of making the app less resilient to malign influence campaigns targeting the service’s 1.5 billion users around the world.

Michael Love:

One of the big problems with the argument that TikTok can’t be trusted because its executives have to take orders from the CCP is that it naively assumes that Tim Cook does not also have to take orders from the CCP.

Jenny Feng (via Hacker News):

Although Beijing’s opposition to a forced sale of TikTok hasn’t gone beyond words, Chinese internet users seem to have plenty of suggestions as to how China can interfere. “Can we ban iPhone in retaliation?” a Douyin user commented, while another one remarked, “Don’t forget a bunch of American companies like Apple, Tesla, and Microsoft all have businesses in China. We haven’t shown all the cards in our hand yet.”

Adi Robertson (via Hacker News):

It’s hard to describe how strange it feels to sit in New York City in 2023 watching American politicians propose fighting Chinese authoritarianism with their own social media ban.


Banning TikTok is not, as lawmakers claimed in the hearing, a sign that we’re about to get real tech reform. It will almost certainly be a PR move that lets some of the same politicians who profess outrage at TikTok get back to letting everyone from Comcast to the DMV sell your personal information, looking the other way while cops buy records of your movements or arrest you using faulty facial recognition and getting mad you’re allowed to have encryption that prevents the FBI (and probably also foreign governments) from hacking your phone. And it will be a PR move that betrays America’s supposed commitment to free expression in the face of an increasingly splintered internet — born out of a failure to think bigger than one disfavored app.

It’s almost impossible to tell how grounded the national security concerns about TikTok are in solid evidence.

Breaking Points (via Hacker News):

TikTok Ban Bill Is PATRIOT ACT 2.0 Trojan Horse

David Pogue:

TikTok is the most popular app in the United States. 150 million Americans – almost half the population – use it every month. The app offers an endless, scrolling wonderland of humor, music, dancing, tips, opinion and information – short videos posted by fellow TikTok fans, and all delivered to you according to your interests. And for about five million businesses, TikTok is also a marketing tool.


Milton Mueller, a professor of cybersecurity and public policy at Georgia Tech, studied the theory that TikTok’s algorithms attempt to influence ideology. He said, “There’s absolutely no indication that this is in some way manipulated or controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. We just found that to be a complete fabrication. You can find information about Uyghur repression, you can find information that ridicules Xi Jinping. It’s all there.”


So, sell TikTok, or ban it? Selling it might be impossible – though worth a lot, the Chinese Communist Party may object to a sale. As for banning TikTok, Mueller said, “There’s probably a 90% chance that that would be ruled unconstitutional [because of] the First Amendment. You’re banning an information source, you’re banning a publication. I have to emphasize this: if you ban TikTok, it’s not the Chinese Government that would be silenced; it’s the 150 million American users of the app. Those are the ones whose free speech rights would be violated by a ban.”

David Shepardson (via Hacker News):

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte on Wednesday signed legislation to ban Chinese-owned TikTok from operating in the state to protect residents from alleged intelligence gathering by China, making it the first U.S. state to ban the popular short video app.

Montana will make it unlawful for Google and Apple’s app stores to offer TikTok within the state, but will not impose any penalties on individuals using the app.

John Gruber:

Putting aside the fact that Montana is a small state (44th in population, 1.1 million people), it just doesn’t seem feasible to ban TikTok at the state level. Even if this goes into law and Apple and Google comply, Montanans can just cross state lines to download it.


I do think the U.S. should ban TikTok nationwide. But it seems futile — silly even — for states to do it piecemeal.

Dan Whateley and Ashley Rodriguez (via Hacker News):

An explosive new lawsuit claims TikTok’s owner built a ‘backdoor’ the CCP could exploit

Alexandra S. Levine (via John Gruber):

TikTok has stored the most sensitive financial data of its biggest stars — including those in its “Creator Fund” — on servers in China. Earlier this year, CEO Shou Chew told Congress “American data has always been stored in Virginia and Singapore.”

Makena Kelly:

New York City is banning TikTok from city-owned devices and requiring agencies to remove the app within the next 30 days.

Dan Milmo (via Hacker News):

TikTok has been fined €345m (£296m) for breaking EU data law in its handling of children’s accounts, including failing to shield underage users’ content from public view.

The Irish data watchdog, which regulates TikTok across the EU, said the Chinese-owned video app had committed multiple breaches of GDPR rules.

Gavin Bade (via Hacker News):

Fast forward to the fall and little has changed. Biden’s national security review of the app is still frozen by legal concerns and Congress’ headline TikTok bill — the RESTRICT Act — is stuck in the mud despite backing from senior members of both parties. In an effort to break the logjam, the administration is now throwing its support behind alternative legislation that has yet to be released.

Alexandra Sternlicht (2024, via John Gruber):

Some ex-TikTok employees say the social media service worked closely with its China-based parent despite claims of independence

Sahil Kapur and Kyle Stewart (via Hacker News):

The House also voted Saturday to force TikTok’s parent company to sell it or be banned in the U.S. According to the bill, China-based ByteDance would have to sell TikTok within nine months — which the president could extend to a year — or face a nationwide ban. The policy, which would lengthen the time frame for a sale from an earlier House bill, has Senate buy-in along with Biden’s support, putting TikTok closer than ever to being banned in the U.S.

Cristiano Lima-Strong (via John Gruber):

Congress late Tuesday passed legislation to ban or force a sale of TikTok, delivering a historic rebuke of the video-sharing platform’s Chinese ownership after years of failed attempts to tackle the app’s alleged national security risks.

The Senate approved the measure 79 to 18 as part of a sprawling package offering aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan[…]

Lauren Feiner (Hacker News, MacRumors):

It now heads to President Joe Biden, who already committed to signing the TikTok legislation should it make it through both chambers of Congress.


Warner added that TikTok’s earlier proposed solution to concerns around its data governance, Project Texas, were inadequate. “Project Texas would still allow TikTok’s algorithm, source code, and development activities to remain in China,” Warner said. “They would remain so under ByteDance control and subject to Chinese government exploitation.”

But he also addressed the concerns of many young Americans who use TikTok and fear this legislation means it will go away. “I want to make clear to all Americans, this is not an effort to take your voice away,” Warner said. “Many Americans, particularly young Americans, are rightfully skeptical. At the end of the day, they’ve not seen what Congress has seen. They’ve not been in the classified briefings that Congress has held, which have delved more deeply into some of the threats posed by foreign control of TikTok.”

Eric Schwarz:

This is a dangerous precedent—the nursing home government hasn’t provided clear-cut data for this, only vibes and fear-mongering. While I’m personally not against aiding our allies, how about we work on fixing ourselves first?


I’m not so much as giving TikTok a pass as asking why this is the most pressing thing and why we aren’t addressing poor behavior by domestic social media companies?

Pieter Arntz:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an international non-profit digital rights group based in the US, says it opposes this bill, mainly because it is afraid that TikTok will not be the last app to face this type of ban.


Update (2024-04-26): See also: TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew’s response.

Rob Jonson:

US Government: TikTok must be banned because the Chinese Government could demand that the owners hand over data on users.

Also US Government: Everyone must hand over data on their users to US. (FISA 702)

Lauren Feiner (Hacker News, Slashdot):

President Joe Biden signed a foreign aid package that includes a bill that would ban TikTok if China-based parent company ByteDance fails to divest the app within a year.

Louise Matsakis:

The version of TikTok impacted by the legislation is not the same platform that then-president Donald Trump first tried to abolish back in 2020, citing national security concerns about its links to China. TikTok, its user base, and the ecosystem of creators making a living from the platform have grown, transformed, and matured since then. And the potential consequences of the app disappearing have become more significant.

Mike Masnick:

We’ve discussed this a few times before, but the move to ban TikTok is particularly stupid. It demonstrates American hypocrisy regarding its advocacy for an open internet. It goes against basic First Amendment principles. It overreacts to a basic moral panic. And it does fuck all to stop the actual threats that people justifying the ban talk about (surveillance and manipulation/propaganda).

It’s particularly stupid to do this now, just as Congress was finally willing to explore a comprehensive privacy bill.


This leaves out some fairly important elements, including powerful lobbying by companies like Meta (who were clearly threatened by TikTok) to spread a moral panic about the app. It also leaves out the massive financial conflicts of many of the lawmakers who pushed for this bill.

Kane Wu and Julie Zhu (Slashdot):

TikTok owner ByteDance would prefer to shut down its loss-making app rather than sell it if the Chinese company exhausts all legal options to fight legislation to ban the platform from app stores in the U.S., four sources said.

The algorithms TikTok relies on for its operations are deemed core to ByteDance’s overall operations, which would make a sale of the app with algorithms highly unlikely, said the sources close to the parent.

Update (2024-05-08): Rebecca Kern:

TikTok and its parent company ByteDance sued Tuesday to challenge a law President Joe Biden signed to force the sale or ban of the video sharing app.


The companies argued that the law would amount to a Bill of Attainder, or a determination of guilt and punishment by law without trial, which the Constitution prohibits.

Via Nick Heer:

TikTok frames a jettisoning from ByteDance as something which would treat the United States as its own distinct company but, surely, an alternative interpretation of the U.S.’ intent is for the entire TikTok enterprise worldwide to be distinct from ByteDance.

Emma Roth (MacRumors:

TikTok argues that a ban in the US wouldn’t be feasible, as it would force TikTok to move “millions of lines” of software code from ByteDance to a new owner. It adds that limitations from the Chinese government would not allow the sale of TikTok with its algorithm. TikTok claims the ban would make the US version of its app an “island” that gives Americans a “detached experience” from the rest of its users while undermining its business.

Update (2024-05-28): Nick Heer:

This law is very bad. It is an ineffective and illiberal position that abandons democratic values over, effectively, a single app. Unfortunately, TikTok panic is a very popular position in the U.S. and, also, here in Canada.


A mistake I have made in the past — and which I have seen some continue to make — is assuming those who are in favour of legislating against TikTok are opposed to the kinds of dirty tricks it is accused of on principle. This is false. Many of these same people would be all too happy to allow U.S. tech companies to do exactly the same. I think the most generous version of this argument is one in which it is framed as a dispute between the U.S. and its democratic allies, and anxieties about the government of China — ByteDance is necessarily connected to the autocratic state — spreading messaging that does not align with democratic government interests. This is why you see few attempts to reconcile common objections over TikTok with the quite similar behaviours of U.S. corporations, government arms, and intelligence agencies. To wit: U.S.-based social networks also suggest posts with opaque math which could, by the same logic, influence elections in other countries. They also collect enormous amounts of personal data that is routinely wiretapped, and are required to secretly cooperate with intelligence agencies. The U.S. is not authoritarian as China is, but the behaviours in question are not unique to authoritarians. Those specific actions are unfortunately not what the U.S. government is objecting to. What it is disputing, in a most generous reading, is a specifically antidemocratic government gaining any kind of influence.


Similarly, this U.S. TikTok law does not actually solve potential espionage or influence for a few reasons.

26 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Today's pair of articles are testaments to how bipartisanship is still possible, when it's in service of the stupid and the horrible.

Yep. Shockingly similar sometimes.

Can someone confirm that the allegations presented by Congress (and not so secretly by American competitors to TikTok) have actually been proven?

@Nathan My understanding is that the proof was presented to Congress, and that the public doesn’t have access to it.

Old Unix Geek

This is BS. It's about the idiots in power who just expanded FISA, violating the 4th amendment, having their panties in a twist because they can't censor TikTok as much as they'd like and the young'uns are not swallowing their kool-aid that Israel can do no wrong. If TikTok were American owned they'd have more leverage. These are the same people who were elected to represent their constituents, but instead "think they did the right thing having prayed and asked God and the CIA". They are the hypocrites who defend their own right to say whatever they want, but then advocate punishment for others when they speak.

If the US can force TikTok to divest inside the US, then others can force Google, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Netflix, etc to divest from US ownership in their countries. It's not as if everyone on the planet appreciates being force-fed Western "values". But I can already hear the screams of outrage in Washington if that were to happen.

And these people care so much about election interference, that they worry about __potential__ influence by some, but not about demonstrated election influence by others (AIPAC, censorship, military adjacent psy-ops like Cambridge Analytica or

I guess I'm really spitting fire today, to quote Nathan, but if there's one thing I truly despise, it is hypocrisy.

I think this is great news. I hope the US set a precedent and that the EU will start banning all social media apps that report back to their governments.

Begin with the big names, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook.

chris brandow

I don't understand why this is so much more of a travesty than existing FCC regulations we have regarding foreign ownership of broadcast tv, radio, common carriers, etc. Just because TikTok wasn't already covered by that, it certainly fits the intent of those rules.

Old Unix Geek


It isn't competing for a limited resource (radio waves or wires). Also, the rule you cite isn't being enforced:

chris brandow

Good catch. I'm not sure it's still that inconsistent with our current policy in this area, but this is useful context for me.

Old Unix Geek

In case anyone is under the misapprehension that banning TikTok was purely a matter of principle without any other motives:

"the government hasn’t provided clear-cut data for this, only vibes and fear-mongering"

I think this is a huge cultural misunderstanding, where Westerners think "oh, it's a private company, it has nothing to do with the Chinese government", whereas anyone living in China knows that there is no such thing as a private company in China, particularly not one that makes money, is used by Chinese people for communication, or has any sort of foreign soft power.

I think this ban is a terrible precedent, and I think going after data brokers and after algorithm-driven social media would be a better approach, but if you think for one second that the Chinese government has no influence on what kinds of things Tik Tok recommends because you saw a critical clip about Xinjiang on the app, you're misinformed.

@Plume I think it’s more that westerners are inclined believe it’s true but wonder why if it’s so obvious no one can be bothered to actually demonstrate it.

@OUG Yes, basically. Really can't add much to that. Particularly the last paragraph, bang on. Hypocrisy stinks to high heaven.

@Plume No, I don't think that's the problem—or at least, not the whole problem.

The issue here is that "Liberal Democracy" really is increasingly indistinguishable, in many respects, from authoritarian autocracy. While it might be a great aspiration (and, FTR, one I generally feel inclined toward), the fact that there is a huge power imbalance between the governed and the governing, and that there is a close and symbiotic financial interest between government and capital, means that it's just not possible to look at this as anything other than protectionism, undergirded by hypocrisy. (Protectionism, to be clear, is not necessarily the problem, in itself. Honestly, a little more interventionism, particularly in the arenas of public research and development, would be awesome, as would favouring those who respected universal rights where realistically feasible.) Human rights include the fundamental right to privacy; they also, of course, include the right to life, including for the people of Gaza. Westerners (and those they support with aid) should enjoy them regardless of the entities (and their geopolitical allies) that they interact with, and that should be the basis of domestic regulation. In that case, it's obvious that the US and other western powers, but especially the laissez-faire Anglosphere, don't qualify. And, frankly, I think it's very difficult to argue that the US (or UK ...) government isn't directly involved in the affairs of companies, anyway: national security letters, (dis)info psy-ops and "consensus"-making, cooperative mass surveillance operations, government reliance on data brokers, large friendly contracts for government purposes, ... at what point is it reasonable to argue that it is a conspiracy of government, versus the very natural consequence of a triumphant private market? And, indeed, if capitalism is so very wonderful, why aren't we jumping for joy at the success of Byte Dance, which is drinking mightily from the well of prosperity afforded by the private market outside its home jurisdiction? Sigh.

> “But what they have seen, beyond even this bill, is Congress’ failure to enact meaningful consumer protections on big tech, and may cynically view this as a diversion, or worse, a concession to U.S. social media platforms,” Warner continued.

Well, no shit, Senator. And do you think it's just possible that they might be right? Because, honestly, that's what it looks like to me. And it's no use your waving the "National Security" banner if you can't provide clear evidence of why. Otherwise it just looks like what it is, blatant protectionism. If there is a legitimate basis for concern, then it's a basis for regulating big tech, which is the industry that TikTok most closely resembles. So unless you're worried that the intelligence community knows something you'd rather they didn't, start regulating!

"I think it’s more that westerners are inclined believe it’s true but wonder why if it’s so obvious no one can be bothered to actually demonstrate it."

There is at least one ByteDance executive who claimed that the Chinese government had access to TikTok's data, but I'm not actually sure what exactly people expect to see. The way this usually works isn't that the government sends ByteDance an official letter telling them to sow distrust in the US and promote divisive content, and to send them a hard drive with all of the data from all of their US users.

It's that they message what they want to happen in the media, and then people do it, because if they don't, they get the Jack Ma treatment if they're lucky, and the Xu Ming treatment if they're not.

That's how it works in China, every shop has its laoban who knows a guy from the government, and if they're on good terms, everything goes well, and if they're not, things don't go so well.

"The issue here is that "Liberal Democracy" really is increasingly indistinguishable, in many respects, from authoritarian autocracy"

Honestly, I have a lot of sympathy for your general points, but if you say stuff like that, you just look like somebody who has lost the plot. We can criticize Western democracies without pretending that they're indistinguishable from China, North Korea, or Russia.

The idea that these countries really aren't all that different from a free democracy is exactly the message they are trying to push. So let's not be apologists for murderous dictatorships that enslave their own people.

Old Unix Geek

Same people also want to ban DJI for "security" reasons:

Let's see who China could retaliate against because they are involved in "critical" Chinese infrastructure... Tesla, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, ARM, Google, Cisco, Oracle, Boeing... oh well.

Pissing off most of the US population is a very odd strategy for staying in power if the population's votes count.

"Let's see who China could retaliate against because they are involved in "critical" Chinese infrastructure... Tesla, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, AMD, ARM, Google, Cisco, Oracle, Boeing... oh well."

China is already doing all of that.

They're actively agitating against Western companies in national media, which is a primary reason why Apple's market share in China is falling quickly. They've banned all the Western social media already. There is effectively no Google in China anymore. They're actively helping Huawei get their chip design and production up so they can get rid of Intel and AMD. They stole trade secrets from Boing subcontractors, and the Comac C919 is now flying.

Old Unix Geek

@Plume: We fuck around, and then when it's time to find out, we blame someone else.

Who outsourced to China to save a cent here and there?
Oh, yes, our "best and brightest" did.
Who's upset the Chinese learned from us and are now competing against us?
Oh, yes, that's also our "best and brightest".

As the Chinese used to say, a capitalist will sell you the rope you're buying to hang him.

As to Comac, not really. It's only a regional aircraft and it still has many Western components (made by companies like Nexcelle, Thales, Honeywell, Rockwell Collins, Pratt & Whitney, GE). Air China still uses Boeings and Airbuses. Comac only hopes to get 1/5 of the Chinese market by 2035.

My understanding is that the only people who eliminated all Western components from their aircraft are the Russians, but they've always had a big aircraft industry. Sanctions provided a them with spur to finish the job.

A similar story applies to our electronics -- it's a lot easier to want to get rid of x86/Nvidia than it is to actually do it. Still, if we provide the impetus, they will do so, and that will be our loss. Once bitten, twice shy, so they would be unlikely to reopen their market afterwards.

China is still a big market for us, but only if our politicians don't continue fucking it up. Indeed, it was even a pretty big market for our agricultural products, but now China is diversifying by boosting imports from Russia (27 fold).

Our "best and brightest" should remember that "Pride cometh before a fall".

It's still true that China is already doing all of that. Retaliation is not much of a threat if they're anyway doing it already. As you said, all of this was set into motion a long time ago.

There's an important difference. China doesn't explicitly single out apps and bdsm them.

Much like the DMA there are rules that companies can follow or not.

The US singles out Huawei and TikTok. Both at times when they've become world leading in their fields.

Then the US or international bans on selling advanced chips to China.

Then the US strong arms The Netherlands into creating a new law that bans export on chip making equipment to China, a law that hurts their own companies.

"They're actively agitating against Western companies in national media"
The US is actively agitating against China as a whole in western media. Not long ago there was a piece about how the US blamed China if Ukraine can't win the war. China, not Russia.

There was the weather balloon that the entire west was sure was a spy balloon. Few mentioned Pentagons retraction.

Then there's the countless times the US has gone out and said "China MAY sell weapons to Russia"

"... which is a primary reason why Apple's market share in China is falling quickly."
It may very well contribute, just as the US bad mouthing has turned the opinion of China in the west. But I think it's more complicated, the fact that WeChat is allowed as a super app in China makes it easier to switch. Chinese phones have long since caught up quality wise.

" They've banned all the Western social media already."
They have a set of rules companies must follow. It's not a ban on specific companies.

" There is effectively no Google in China anymore."
Google left in protest of the rules, they weren't banned per se. As opposed to Apple and microsoft.

" They're actively helping Huawei get their chip design and production up so they can get rid of Intel and AMD. "
I fail to see how this is a bad thing. Governement sponsoring development sounds good to me. But they are also not allowed to buy chips from intel and AMD, so there's is no other choice. PLUS, the US is doing the exact same thing

"They stole trade secrets from Boing subcontractors, and the Comac C919 is now flying."
Industrial espionage is bad but hardly a Chinese invention. So are Boeing planes btw.

I'm tired of people calling my children "fucking chink" in school because of this open hostility towards China.

Especially when not seeing the wooden beam in the US eye. Say what you want about Chinese governance, and treatment of Uighurs, but they didn't spend two decades bombing civilians in a faraway country, only pull out with a parting gift of billions of dollars in arms to the new regime.

"There's an important difference. China doesn't explicitly single out apps and bdsm them."

You say that as if living in a society that censors everything that doesn't fit the government's narrative was a good thing.

"The US is actively agitating against China as a whole in western media"

It's nowhere near close to what China is doing. You can't turn on the TV in China without happening upon some jingoistic movie about how the Chinese army will vanquish the evil Americans. If this open hostility and racism against foreigners happened in the US, the person doing it would be cancelled, but in China, it's the official government position.

"I'm tired of people calling my children "fucking chink" in school because of this open hostility towards China."

I'm sorry this is happening to you, but claiming that there is no difference between a Western democracy and a dictatorship like China doesn't help your kids at all, and more importantly, it's an insult to the Chinese people who have to live under that government.

@Plume Yeah, I appreciate that it's inconvenient and shocking, even to me, but I think the first step to getting better is realising you're sick and, sadly, I couldn't in good conscience change what I said, and frankly the rise of the far right in democratic countries worries me. Obviously people would choose to live in a democracy where at least the principle of tolerance and pluralism is alive, because the law means you can't just get rubbed out--in theory. No good person would deny the struggles of people living under such regimes to be heard. But that doesn't mean that we have much better than a duopoly of parties of the powerful, which is particularly bad news for people whose freedoms and rights can be conveniently set aside for political advantage, and for whom there really is no distinction. A dictatorship with Western characteristics, if you like, having flavours of democracy, and the narratives of pluralism that give it legitimacy. I do not believe you have to apologise for autocrats in order to say this, but again, I realise that it's difficult to accept and appreciate that people who hate democracy will be keen to point it out, too. See also a recent rant by Caiplin Johnstone, which makes the same general point. Again, look past the rhetoric.

Now if you don't mind, I'll just go off and vote for the London mayor, using an electoral system clearly intended to benefit the powerful ...

Pretending that there is barely a difference between China and the US doesn't help defend democracy, it harms democracy. That's why China is getting its foreign mouthpieces to make exactly this point.

Does the American political system suck? Hell yeah. Can we make it better? Yes. Can we make it better by pretending we're basically China? No, that's both a lie and a defeatist approach to the problem.

Old Unix Geek

@Plume: You might want to compare the definition of democracy with actual observable outcomes... The reason people see very little difference has to do with that. You don't need to blame any other person or country for that.

@Plume I'm sorry, I can't agree. There is no defence for the abridgement of human rights, the imprisonment of journalists, and the violation of international law in free democracies. None. It should not be controversial to say that, nor to acknowledge the ugly truth when it is pointed out by others that we just happen to share those traits with autocracies. And, again, if gives me no happiness to say that, because I think we agree that democracy *is* the only way, and that it *can* be made to be the force for good that it promises to be. But it's not that right now, shows every sign of getting worse, and the alarm is well past sounding. The fact that I can say this openly is about the best endorsement I can make for "The mother of democracies" (England); in every other aspect, it's effete. Even the promise of a written constitution, that the US have, is not enough, by itself, to withstand the ravages of the powerful, important as that would be for us. Democracy is not just a liberal talking point, it's a principle of governance that we have to be vigilant about defending, even when it's uncomfortable.

And because I respect our host sufficiently, I won't comment further on this. Just take my word for it that I am no less interested in seeing the freedom of Russians and Chinese citizens than I am of the citizens of democratic countries, and no, this absolutely need not take the form of violent revolution.

Old Unix Geek

I think the following is quite relevant to the discussion:

“Just got off [an] hour long call with [Senior Advisor to President Biden] Andy Slavitt. . . . [H]e was outraged –not too strong of a word to describe his reaction –that we did not remove this post. ... I countered that removing content like that would represent a significant incursion into traditional boundaries of free expression in the US but he replied that the post was directly comparing Covid vaccines to asbestos poisoning in a way which demonstrably inhibits confidence in Covid vaccines amongst those the Biden Administration is trying to reach.”

–Sir Nick Clegg, Meta’s President of Global Affairs, former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, describing his efforts to explain the boundaries of the First Amendment to the Biden White House in April 2021

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