Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 17, 2019

Propaganda Intensifies Trade War With China

The dwindling empires' main propaganda outlet, the New York Times, continues its anti-China campaign. It is now by blaming China's president for the failure of trade negotiations with the United States.

    How Xi’s Last-Minute Switch on U.S.-China Trade Deal Upended It:

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, seemed confident three weeks ago that a yearlong trade war with the United States could soon subside, handing him a potent political victory.

He even made a speech saying China would protect intellectual property, encourage foreign investment, and buy more goods and services from abroad — all changes the United States had been demanding as the countries tried to negotiate a deal.

But just a week after that speech, Chinese negotiators sent the Americans a substantially rewritten draft agreement, prompting President Trump to accuse Beijing of reneging on terms that had been settled.

As typical for U.S. propaganda the piece goes on to personifying the decision China made when confronted with overreaching U.S. demands. It is Xi personally, says the Times, who is to blame:

In China’s top-down political system, where President Xi has amassed formidable power, ...

... it is clear that Mr. Xi misjudged ...

Now Mr. Xi risks being backed into a corner, ...

For Mr. Xi, such a move could be seen ...

Mr. Xi’s frenetic schedule and highly centralized style of policymaking ...

“No doubt Xi has tightened the overall policy atmosphere ...

U.S. propaganda is always pointing to one person that solely cases everything and therefore deserves all the hate. It once was Saddam, Saddam , Saddam. Then Ghadaffi, Ghadaffi, Ghadaffi, Assad, Assad, Assad, Putin, Putin, Putin. Now it is Xi, Xi, Xi.

In the real word hardly any person leading a state has as much power as such villainizing propaganda tries to make one believe. Countries have interests that define their policies through processes that are often incomprehensible to the cursory observer. Whatever face is at the top is only representing the layers below. It should be the task of the press to untangle and explain the processes instead of demonizing their representing face. 

So what really happened?

The U.S. started a trade war with China by suddenly putting up high tariffs on Chinese products. China countered with tariffs on U.S. products, but was ready to negotiate  a fair deal. The negotiations about an agreement were held in English in the United States. The U.S. provided a written draft.

When that draft reached China and was translated to Chinese the relevant party and government institutions were aghast. The U.S. demanded that China changes several of its domestics laws. It essentially demanded a complete change of China's trade policies and, most infuriating, was unwilling to go back to the old tariff rates, even if China would comply. It wasn't Xi who rejected the uneven deal, it was the whole Chinese government.

The draft agreement was corrected and sent back to the United States. Trump responded to China's unwillingness to his capitulation demand by further increasing tariffs and by threatening to increase them even more. The trade war will escalate from here and metastasize in other relations.

Deep into the NYT piece, where the propaganda weakens and journalism sneaks in, we can learn all of this:

Several sources said the changes were discussed with other Communist Party leaders, which brought into focus worries that the proposed deal could make Mr. Xi and the party look as if they were bowing to pressure.
...
Mr. Xi may have belatedly concluded that changes to Chinese laws demanded by the United States would be an affront to national honor. Some said Mr. Xi might have felt he had to act after the clauses drew criticism from party leaders who had not been briefed earlier.
...
[T]he administration sought changes to cybersecurity laws that China’s national security establishment saw as interference.

These changes would require authorization from China’s national legislature.

“These conditions that the Americans raised for an agreement, at least from the political point of view, are extremely difficult to accept,” said Cui Liru, a former president of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a prominent state research group. “It is almost asking the change of China’s political system.
...
“It is very hard to think China will cave in or surrender to these pressures,” said Wang Yong, the director of the Center for International Political Economy at Peking University. “Public opinion definitely matters.”

So it is not Xi, Xi, Xi. China is not a "top-down political system" and Xi has not "amassed formidable power". China's president Xi is not an absolute king. It isn't he who can make such far-reaching decisions. There is the party, the security establishment and the government apparatus. There are industry interests that need to be taken care of. There is last not least the national public opinion the system has to take into account.

China does not want a trade war with the United States. But, unlike Trump and the NYT assume, it is likely China that will lose less from it than the U.S. will.

As Ambassador Chas Freeman lays out at length, Trump's (anti-)China policy has no strategy. It is one of chaos and will have echos in many other fields:

President Trump’s trade war with China has quickly metastasized into every other domain of Sino-American relations. Washington is now trying to dismantle China’s interdependence with the American economy, curb its role in global governance, counter its foreign investments, cripple its companies, block its technological advance, punish its many deviations from liberal ideology, contest its borders, map its defenses, and sustain the ability to penetrate those defenses at will.

The message of hostility to China these efforts send is consistent and apparently comprehensive. Most Chinese believe it reflects an integrated U.S. view or strategy. It does not.

There is no longer an orderly policy process in Washington to coordinate, moderate, or control policy formulation or implementation. Instead, a populist president has effectively declared open season on China.

Currently each and every arm of U.S. policy is beating up China in any field it can. This hostility will soon become irreversible. China will response in kind and asymmetrically. It now restarts to buy oil from Iran. Ambassador Freeman sees no way how the U.S. could win the game.

China has long prepared for this conflict. Consider Trump's recent move against the Chinese manufacturer Huawei:

The White House issued an executive order Wednesday apparently aimed at banning Huawei’s equipment from U.S. telecom networks and information infrastructure. It then announced a more potent and immediate sanction that subjects the Chinese company to strict export controls.

The order took effect Thursday and requires U.S. government approval for all purchases of U.S. microchips, software and other components globally by Huawei and 68 affiliated businesses. Huawei says that amounted to $11 billion in goods last year.

Huawei currently uses U.S. made chips in many of its smartphones and networking products. But it has long expected the U.S. move and diligently prepared for it:

Huawei's chipset subsidiary HiSilicon said on Friday it will use backup chips it has independently developed for years to cope with the ban from the United States.

He Tingbo, president of HiSilicon, said in an internal letter to staff that Huawei has been preparing for a scenario of survival in extreme conditions when all the advanced chips and technology from the United States become unobtainable.
...
"Today, a historic choice has to be made. Our backup plan will be put into official use," according to the letter.

Soon U.S. chip companies will have lost all their sales to the second largest smartphone producer of the world. That loss will not be just temporarily, it will become permanent. At the same time Trump's tariffs on products from China will further hurt the U.S. economy. The voters already fear that:

By an 11-point margin, voters think increased tariffs on Chinese imports will do more to hurt the economy than help it.

The voters' hunch will soon be confirmed as Walmart and others announce that they will have to increase their prices. Economists also expect that the U.S. consumers will feel significant pain:

“[T]he cost to an American family of three would be about $2,200 if Trump’s full package of 25% tariffs on $500 billion of merchandise imports from China is implemented.

“In the case of the latest 15% additional tariffs on $200 billion, from 10% to 25%, that go into effect by the end of May … the direct cost is $30 billion and the likely indirect cost, through higher US producer prices, will be another $30 billion. Together, that’s $60 billion … about $550 per family.” China will absorb “no more than 5%” of the tariffs.

Few other countries will join Trump's anti-China campaign. It will further isolate the United States. That is quite an achievement for the MAGA man.

Some aspects of China's trade behavior can and should be criticized. But overall China sticks to the rules of the game, while the U.S. is now breaking these. It was not China that moved U.S. factories to its country. U.S. managers did that because the U.S. economic system is based on greed and not on the welfare of its citizens.

There are much better ways to get China to change its trade behavior than by bullying and ever increasing tariffs and sanctions. Ambassador Freeman's recommendable essay provides some of these.

Posted by b on May 17, 2019 at 18:30 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

@99 noirette.. thanks for saying all that..

denk - thanks for your comments... they put all this in proper perspective....united snakes of america.. yeah..

Posted by: james | May 18 2019 16:01 utc | 101

Well, i was about to post my public IP, but that is of no use, as i run a hardend Linux host with BSD firewall, Fail2Ban and Virtualized Linux guest as my my main OS.

But i do you one better:
I am located in western Germany, to be clear, the formally beautlful city of Krefeld, zip code 47803, Inrather Street 321.
Come visit me. As i always did, i discuss with anybody. And as always, i am also able to defend myself.
Not quite the sinister shill some folks here want me to be (those who are trapt in their rabbit hole).

;)

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | May 18 2019 16:18 utc | 102

james 101

The former Alstom CEO has written a book ,
THE MERIKKAN TRAP.

Here's an excerpt...

'Without proving it, this documentary exposes the many incriminating elements, throughout a documented narrative conducted in the style of a police investigation. We see how American law allowed the country's justice system to open investigations into events that took place in Indonesia or Taiwan.

For Alain Juillet, former head of economic intelligence at Matignon, this sale was " a manipulated operation "GE and the US Department of Justice have walked hand in hand; as they had already done to buy out a British competitor under similar conditions.'

https://www.archyworldys.com/alstom-in-the-american-trap/

Posted by: denk | May 18 2019 16:22 utc | 103

Okay, B just deleted the post where i doxed myself. I guess for the better. As someone who regulary clashes with ISIS propaganda accounts, maybe thats for the better.. ;)
Maybe those trapped in their rabbit whole now understand that neither I nor other people with a different opinion must be bots.
But funny how people who claim to be critiques of the emipre label those with a more nuanced opinion as bots, just like the NATO trolls do.. Like i say, same coin, only different side.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | May 18 2019 16:27 utc | 104

@103 denk.. this seems to happen a lot... i view the sanctions on iran in much the same way.. it is unfair trade practice where one country has undue power over many others to dictate who a country can or can't trade with... what is up with this? no other explanation then corruption of the highest order.. that the law courts are a part of it goes without saying.. one only has to look at how assange and manning are treated by the courts to know what a sham the court system is today too..

Posted by: james | May 18 2019 16:32 utc | 105

donkeytale says:

I agree with your contention that Obama was not pushy enough, for sure, possibly as a result of his not want to be viewed as "uppity" as the first black POTUS, he may have vitimised himself

gosh, how picturesque. poor Barry, such a modest guy, and so constrained by the contortions of the political process...

...a process he had no problem completely perverting to bring to full fruition his Disposition Matrix, a major step toward complete tyrannical political power…

...just kinda paving the way for years of war crimes and the probable commission of treason in Benghazi.

Posted by: john | May 18 2019 16:39 utc | 106

On a side note...

After forced to sell its core energy business to
rival GE, aLSTOM was left with its rail way biz.
Its increasingly feeling the heat of competition
from the mammoth Chinese rail Corp.
Recently it sought a merger with Siemens of Germany , its blocked by the EU anti monopoly
commission...so far.

Posted by: denk | May 18 2019 17:18 utc | 107

Since dpep appears only in donkey's presence,
why dont these two get a gawd damned room all
to themselves ?

Posted by: denk | May 18 2019 17:20 utc | 108

Ambassador Freeman's linked article reeks of ideological funk.

He starts with China's problem being a lack of acceptance of knowledge as property.

The Chinese have been slow to accept the capitalist idea that knowledge is property that can be owned on an exclusive basis. This is, after all, contrary to a millennial Chinese tradition that regards copying as flattery, not a violation of genius.

How myopic.

If you can go back in time ask Christians of 50, 60, 70 years ago what they think of Christians today, I'd bet many would say today's Christians are not Christians at all!

The thing is ideas evolve. We like to say Capitalism is Western ... because it touts the individuals while Communism is not ... as it resonates with more community first societies. But "Capitalism" and "communism" - in the form we commonly refer them - are both ideas that formed in the West.

Intellectual Property started as a "monopoly grant" the monarchs in England started to lure craftsman from Europe. It was a special government subsidy ... special government favor - to spur certain "technologies" activities within its borders.

Now it is seen as a natural right.

B.S.

The natural right of things is that all man are free to practice knowledge - however acquired ... through self study, diligence, luck, tutelage of others, reverse engineering, etc.. To say I stole an idea is like saying I stole a look at you. How absurd is it to say I stole notions of Capitalism, or Democracy, or Science... ?

We have policitized things to obfuscate.

In the natural order of things, IP is a special grant to promote certain activities. We have become beholden to industrial interests who want us to grant them every little "innovation" they make ...

And they want us to extend that across the globe.

Knowledge is valuable. Everyone - and yes, including the Chinese - can see that. IP is a special subsidy ... a tax on society granted to a few individuals. That economically is true. Just as a nation may raise or lower interest rates, or increase or decrease regulations, or increase or decrease a nation's money supply, so should a nation be able to adjust the strength and breadth of its IP. It is part of a nation's sovereign right - which means it is part of basic human rights.

Ambassador Freeman may be better than Trump, who may be better than deep state, but he is still FULL OF IT.

Posted by: Allen | May 18 2019 18:48 utc | 109

I read a while back that Huawei was refusing to provide the NSA was demanding. I suspect that's the root of a lot of this.

Posted by: Anti_republocrat | May 18 2019 18:52 utc | 110

frances @ 36…

"…require you to spend money you won't have"

No country that creates its own currency (a monopoly) can "run out of money".

Money is the only resource a country CAN'T run out of.

What a country can run out of is things to buy. Real resources. Food and other necessities.

Posted by: paulmeli | May 18 2019 23:05 utc | 111

I think this article really hit the spot considering how many trolls came out and posting nonsense here , including the one who played sock puppetry by posting under different ID praising his own posts.

looks like Trump trolls already active on the net pushing the old narrative that Trump trade war easy to win , China will suffer horribly , US will bring back manufacturing to CONUS , America will be great again..

The more the trolls work overtime , the more they are losing it in real world , all they can do now is pushing their narrative to portray them as winner.. this is Shaping the Narrative 101 strategy.. classic hasbara trolling now passed on to other Western trolling agencies

Posted by: milomilo | May 19 2019 0:10 utc | 112

The Chinese Communist Party and the government of Xi Jingping are such wonderful people. And the People's Daily sets the benchmark for factual & objective news.

They only have 2.5 million terrorist Muslim Uighurs in concentration camps and they have systematically eliminated the deviant Tibetan culture. And their social credit system with mass surveillance is only to create harmony.

Posted by: ab initio | May 19 2019 2:42 utc | 113

More from ...
THE MERIKKAN TRAP.

'

archy worldys
Home Business "The American trap", Frédéric Pierucci d'Alstom at the prison
"The American trap", Frédéric Pierucci d'Alstom at the prison
By archyworld
January 28, 2019

CRITICISM OF BOOK. The former head of a division of Alstom tells how he spent two years in prison in the United States, while the negotiations between the French group and the American General Electric took place.

• "The American trap", by Frédéric Pierucci, with Matthieu Aron, JC Lattès editions, 400 pages, 22 €

" Suddenly I became a beast. I put on the orange uniform of the prisoners. Chains surround my torso. The first few sentences of this story are reminiscent of those creeps in which an ordinary person sees his life turned upside down by justice when he is convinced that he has nothing to reproach himself with. On April 14, 2013, Frédéric Pierucci became the leader of Alstom's boiler division and a federal prisoner when he landed in New York. Accused of corruption for the conquest of a contract in Indonesia.

The arrest of Frédéric Pierucci took place one year before the announcement of the acquisition of the energy branch of the French group by the American General Electric (GE). He will remain held nearly two years in the United States, including 14 months in a prison of very high security.

The bottom of Alstom's sale to General Electric
Gendarmes of the world, for their profit

More than a thriller, this story is a war book. A " underground economic war ", Led by the United States to weaken the competitors of American companies, explains the author who will learn in prison his dismissal by Alstom after pleading guilty.

According to the book, co-authored with Matthieu Aron, journalist at The Obs, American justice continues Frédéric Pierucci, like other Alstom executives, to put pressure on the group, until his boss at the time, Patrick Kron. And it was because of these lawsuits that surrounded him that Alstom would have sold his energy branch to GE. A version of the facts that Patrick Kron has always denied.

Both legal and political chronicle, this book is in fact an indictment against the way the United States proclaimed itself gendarmes of the world thanks to the extraterritoriality of their anti-corruption law. For the benefit of their own companies.

https://www.archyworldys.com/the-american-trap-frederic-pierucci-dalstom-at-the-prison/

Posted by: denk | May 19 2019 3:52 utc | 114

A French citizen doing biz in Indonesia is subject
to MERIKKAN anti corruption law !

More like law of the jungle !

Such a cozy setup.
NO wonder the 5liars are fighting tooth and nail
to preserve this 'rule based international order'.

hehhehehehhe

Posted by: denk | May 19 2019 4:00 utc | 115

In case you missed this...

'For business rivals, the worrisome ascent of Huawei has fortuitously coincided with growing fears of China’s economic clout, some analysts say.

“What happens is you get competitors who are able to gin up lawmakers who are already wound up about China,” said one Hill staffer who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. “What they do is pull the string and see where the top spins.”

But some experts say these concerns are exaggerated. These experts note that much of Cisco’s own technology is manufactured in China.

Doug Guthrie, dean of the George Washington University Business School, said the reaction to Huawei harks back to the fear in the 1980s of Japanese companies that were overtaking the U.S. auto industry and buying up iconic pieces of real estate, such as the Rockefeller building in New York.

The decline of U.S. automakers and the rise of foreign competition hit a nerve for Americans.

It was long thought that we were the number-one economy and China just supplied cheap labor,” Guthrie said. “Now it is clear that China has a lot to offer in terms of innovation and industrial policy and state investment, and now people are scared.”

https://wapo.st/2Ju9oeG

Posted by: denk | May 19 2019 4:13 utc | 116

You might want to look into the fact that as early as 30 Jun 19 Europe will go online with an alternative to the dollar for bank reserve currency. That means the US will no longer be able to track who is trading with Iran because the trade will no longer be in dollars or cleared through US computers. This is a last ditch attempt to start a war without Europe completely turning their back on the US over Iran and Israel.

Posted by: Freed Guess | May 19 2019 6:00 utc | 117

In my opinion, the "trade war" is a promising idea, but ONLY if it is a part of a consistent economic policy that increases the proportion of "good jobs" and decreases the trade deficit. However, I did not see it, and what I have read this week suggests that the policy is the bad old policy with whimsical touches of incoherent Trump and seriously deranged Bolton (whom Trump admired for years).

The bad old policy of "free trade" was to increase the freedom to move goods between the countries while decreasing the freedom to use inventions of other people, in other words, promoting monopolies and oligopolies, preferably American or de facto American. This increased profits of companies (shareholders and insiders) and demolished American countryside that relied on industrial jobs.

One has to note that property rights is like fiat currency: there is nothing objective about it. Historically, inventors could get royal patents that were valid for some number of years, I guess that copyrights were similar. In the case of copyrights, the venerated American constitutions mentions them "for limited period", and in the last decades, periodically their duration is extended for 10 years, making them de facto perpetual. It seems that similar abusive evolution exists with patents.

News nugget no 1: the head of Gilead answers a congresswoman why Gilead charges few thousands per month for their AIDs preventing drug in USA and 8 dollars in Australia: "we do not have patent protection in Australia anymore". That tells me that patent protections are unproductively inflated in USA (homework for Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez who asked the question) and our trade negotiating apparatus strives to impose them on other countries. How dare Australians pay only 8 dollars when we, Americans, pay thousands! And Chinese are apparently even worse that Australians.

News nugget no 2: allegedly USA (Trump) is ready to drop tariffs in exchange for Chinese agreeing to perennial demands on "intellectual property" and probably other items like allowing our financial companies wreck havoc in China. That would mean that the whole hoolabaloo has NOTHING to do with a policy of re-industrialization.

Importantly, re-industrialization is a slow process, companies have to evaluate if domestic production is more profitable than foreign, then invest in factories etc., and then have 5-10-15 years to have a profit. Tariffs that can be dropped at a tip of the hat will not suffice. Existing factories may delay layoffs because of temporary profitability of domestic factories, or hire another shift here and there, but an actual industrial expansion requires a stable environment.

Lastly, if there is a coherent policy for the benefit of the majority of working population, American politicians may simply say that while it may upset China or Canada (why the hell fighting with Canada?), this tariff is in the interest of American public that they represent. No need to vilify Chinese or Canadian politicians trying (ineptly in Canadian case) to work in the interest of their people. In that case negotiations are merely to stop retaliatory tariff spiral at some compromise point.

Not to mention that our trade negotiating apparatus is seriously deranged for decades. Boons and poxes are given according to agreeing that USA is not a subject of ICC or for treating Israel in a more friendly manner and Venezuela in a less friedly manner, and of course for the better profits of American patent holders and financial companies, but American jobs never seem to be a consideration, at best, a literal trading chip.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19 2019 6:03 utc | 118

What is your interpretation of this image? Is Bolton pondering which Chinese Communist he would kill first, or he is upset because Trump told him to shut up?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19 2019 6:20 utc | 119

You might want to look into the fact that as early as 30 Jun 19 Europe will go online with an alternative to the dollar for bank reserve currency. That means the US will no longer be able to track who is trading with Iran because the trade will no longer be in dollars or cleared through US computers. This is a last ditch attempt to start a war without Europe completely turning their back on the US over Iran and Israel.

Posted by: Freed Guess | May 19, 2019 2:00:16 AM | 117

My understanding is that there is no "obligatory reserve currency", obligatory bank reserves are deposits in the respective central bank, in Europe in most cases this is the central bank of Euro zones, and deposits are obviously in Euros. In turn central banks have some foreign reserves, but that does not imply any knowledge by Americans about transactions in Euros. In any case, foreign reserves were always some mix of financial paper from different countries (UK, USA, Japan, perhaps China too, and perhaps more).

That knowledge stems from an agreement between Euro clearing system, SWIFT, and Federal Reserve, and Euro-idiots (or Euro-traitors a.k.a Atlanticists) did not deem it worthwhile to alter that agreement.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19 2019 6:29 utc | 120

John @ 106

Well, you may be surprised that I agree with you here and this is an excellent example of Obama's conventionality or his fear to buck the conventions of the police state.

Whether because as the first black president he felt compelled to toe the establishment line or because he agreed with it scarcely matters.

In the end the result amounted to the same.

Posted by: donkeytale | May 19 2019 9:18 utc | 121


Really nice summary piece, proving insights on propaganda and mainline journalism as well as the American-China trade dispute.

You make it easy, too, to see what someone might think reading only The New York Times.

But that is its job, having been well characterized accurately in the past as the American establishment's internal house organ.

Really well done.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | May 19 2019 10:47 utc | 122

I'm not entirely convinced that the dis-balance of money flows inside/outside the glorious US of A is entirely the fault of the PRC.

Didn't certain US-owned companies eagerly transfer their manufacturing to 'Tiger Asian economies'?

This is essentially double-plus-goodspeak for paying less for labour. And this is a reason to start a trade war?

Posted by: Ant. | May 19 2019 11:13 utc | 123

Re: Ant. | May 19, 2019 7:13:54 AM
Businesses maximize profits, the government, in a better world, regulates in such a way that profits are consistent with the common good. In a world where communication and transportation became very advanced, there is a competition between countries to provide the most profitable combination of "worker discipline", wages etc. E.g. workers assembling Apple products in China live in barracks, have tightly regulated contacts with outsiders, etc. while having decent high school education. Making stitching apparel does not require decent high school education so here the advantage belongs to Bangladesh that offers more shabby treatment of workers than India. Economic calculus may justify cheaper factory buildings if they burn down together with workers rarely enough, say, one in thousands of sweatshops in a given year.

This "even playing field" is not good for workers in North America and Europe. However, since "liberal economics" became anti-worker in USA and other developed countries, it is hard to create a sensible tariff system, e.g. tariffs for deficient worker rights -- we bust unions at home, don't we?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19 2019 11:31 utc | 124

Huawei may be #2 smartphones producer, but not for long.
Under Trump's order Google would probably cease Huawei's access to mainstream Android infrastructure like Google Play Market and GMS low-power notification system.

While niche alternatives exist, they are exactly that: niche and often inferior (for example privacy champions long advertise removing GMS with de-centralized poll-mode notifications. While it might work, it does at expense of increased background battery drain.

So, chances are, new H's phones would be banned from Android mainstream thus reducing H's share on new phone sales to single-digit percents at best.

Would take a year or two of course.

Posted by: Arioch | May 19 2019 11:35 utc | 125

My understanding is that the Yankees were typically bullying.

One of their demands was that the PRC stop financing state industries. That was never going to fly. Not allowed to be communist.

It's kind of like saying the USA isn't allowed throw trillions of tax-payers money at Boeing or McDonnell-Douglass...

Posted by: Ant. | May 19 2019 11:36 utc | 126

Android infrastructure?

Google Play Market has approximately nothing to do with Android. It's simply an app on that platform.

You seem to think that the Chinese losing access to some 340-million customers in the US somehow makes up for the US losing over one billion customers in the PRC.

Guess you are good at arithmetic.

Posted by: Ant. | May 19 2019 11:51 utc | 127

Piotr @124

With respect, my friend, I do not consider competition to be equivalent to efficiency. Haven't we all already learned that?

Is there much point in making multiple versions of the same thing?

Posted by: Ant. | May 19 2019 12:33 utc | 128

Ant @ 128

I know what you mean. However, one must face the following facts:
* free trade is more efficient that regulated trade
* efficiency is not the only objective

For example, after getting independence, Haiti experienced sharp drop in GDP, but while before the population (mostly slaves) was declining (if we do not consider the import of new slaves), afterwards it was growing. The drop was in exportable good that provided no benefit to (then) slaves, instead the peasants (before, slaves) worked less and produced more food that was consumed by their families.

I heard about a calculation that American slavery was also more efficient that what followed.

I agree that normally people think that "efficiency is good", and using most popular measures of "efficiency" gives counter-intuitive outcomes, like "slavery is good" we need to work out a better measure. I think it is convoluted, instead we can have several measures of "good" for societies and face the fact that there are tradeoffs. Is it ok if GDP and employment grow "nicely" and we have also increase in mortality in drug overdoses and suicides, plus other "stress" indicators?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19 2019 12:52 utc | 129

Thanks for this informative post, b. I can't say the same about most of the comments, but it is true that the world doesn't know a lot about how things are done in China, and by 'the world' I mean of course my world, so your points are well taken when it comes to the focus upon one leader as not telling the whole story. Unfortunately many here seem to have taken that as a platform for bashing the US citizenry because of the leadership it apparently has, which wasn't the subject of your post.

"We only get the leaders who reflect us" might be something to debate on a separate thread - I am hoping it doesn't become a topic on your next one, as it is far too distracting a half-truth. The ramifications of the trade war with China could be as focussed as the question of what happens to those huge ship deliveries of goods when the US becomes persona non grata to China? It is already a huge question now that China doesn't want our flotsam and jetsam ending up in their recyclables projects. Are those container ships simply going back empty or did we find a compliant other country - in South America for instance - to receive the stuff?

I now look at soft drink commercials with huge scepticism - those plastic straws, are they now destined to gyrate in the Pacific Ocean? (Grey skies this May Sunday in sunny New Mexico, must be a measure of my rant mood.)

Posted by: juliania | May 19 2019 14:10 utc | 130

@119 Bolton is in FMM (Full Moustache Mode). He is defying the Chinese delegation to grow one.

Posted by: dh | May 19 2019 14:18 utc | 131

My, how "exceptional" we Americans are! What is a truism for other peoples cannot possibly apply to Americans because Americans are just so... exceptional! Watch as we "exceptional" Americans virtue signal about plastic straws in commercials while the multinational corporations behind those commercials, with our permission and our tax dollars, murder union organizers in other countries who are trying to uplift their own societies. Observe how we "exceptional" Americans pat ourselves on the backs for enjoying the vestigial remnants of the achievements of deceased generations' Labor Movements that gave us a higher standard of living than the peoples we "virtuously" pretend not to look down upon. See how easily we "exceptional" Americans feign ignorance about what our empire does to others in the world to keep the fuel for our sport utility vehicles cheap and plentiful.

And please, Americans, do not try to deny that you look down upon those whom your empire brutalizes. Don't criticize Trump for calling those places "shitholes", which is precisely what you believe those places to be while "virtuously" pretending that they shouldn't be called that.

If you wish to put lie to my claim then send your children to those "shithole" countries without guns and bombs and drones! Give them a backpack, a few hundred dollars, and an airplane ticket to Caracas or Bogota or Manila or Sao Paulo or Havana or Bangkok and tell them to not call or return for a several months or a year. Tell your kids to explore those "shithole" countries solo and not as part of an armed gang and prove that you are not the brainwashed imperial hypocrite that I claim Americans to be.

This challenge, should you choose to accept it, will make your children better human beings than you are. That should be every parent's goal, right?

Posted by: William Gruff | May 19 2019 15:32 utc | 132

Android infrastructure? Google Play Market has approximately nothing to do with Android. It's simply an app on that platform.

Posted by: Ant. | May 19, 2019 7:51:45 AM | 127

Techno-snobism.
Of course Android is just a java application running on top of Linux.
And Market is just an application running on top of another application.

By this very logic, this B's blog is just yet another server running Linux and nginx, and it is the same as thousands of other Linux servers over there, like Facebook and others.

However for consumers it is Play Market that matters, and Linux-shminux does not.

Where is Symbian? Where is meer-maemo? Where is FirefoxOS ? Where is Palm's WebOS? Where is Freerunner? Do they have 10% of smartphones market or not?

As soon as Huawei would be denied access to Google infrastructure - from #2 vendor it would turn into geek toy for "three anonymouses and a half". Outside of China. With PRC they perhaps would have their market, but not outside.


> Chinese losing access to some 340-million customers in the US

plus a billion customers more in all countries but China and DPRK, but Huawei can afford it for the sake of your technosnobism.


> for the US losing over one billion customers in the PRC.

I did not say a thing about US losses though.

However i thank you for your amuzing claim that USA sells "over one billion" of phones to China. It was terrific.

Posted by: Arioch | May 19 2019 17:53 utc | 133

Arioch @133

I think you are mistaking the mouse for the elephant here. It is Google that will suffer the most... well, actually Microsoft will suffer more, but who cares about them these days?

As you noted Android is just a shell for Linux. It is a fairly trivial amount of work to build another shell to run on top of Linux, particularly for an organization like Huawei. The concern then is about applications, but since the OS is still essentially Linux then all Android apps will easily port over to whatever Huawei comes up with.

Nobody really cares anymore if the OS is iOS or Android. They only care about what the phone or tablet can do. Can they post to Facebook? WeChat? Sina Weibo? Twitter? Can they order from Amazon? Alibaba? Can they pay for stuff at restaurants and convenience stores? Can they take pictures and share them on popular social media? Whatever the OS looks like that Huawei comes up with the answer will be "Yes!" to all of these.

These changes are going to reduce Microsoft to nothing more than a game console maker, and they are going to knock Google down to #3 in global market share, if not lower (Huawei may not be the only Chinese company to create a competing tablet OS).

But the Chinese don't even have to develop a new OS. They can just fork Android however they wish since it is Open Source software. As ant pointed out there is just a couple Google apps that are proprietary, and nobody in China uses those apps anyway. If Google wants an income stream from Huawei tablets and phones then they will port their proprietary apps over to whatever Huawei uses.

The only reason a competitor to Android other than iOS has never been developed is because there is no need. Android is free, so why bother? If a need develops then a competitor will fill that need. This will not hurt Huawei or China in the slightest, but it will hurt Google and that is a good thing.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 19 2019 19:08 utc | 134

it's to be expected from a culture that's been propagandized from birth by hollywood-style narratives and their "leading men". one side is "reagan reagan reagan" and the other is "obama obama obama". the people who fall for this cult of personality know as much about their "rulers" as the latter do about them.

here in canadia it's "trudeau trudeau trudeau" and that supposed "leftist" has decided to take a maple-scented dump on china by arresting not just a huawei executive but the founder's effing daughter. all for supposed violations of the basically illegal and completely unilateral sanctions imposed by his supposed opposite down south. good idea to piss off the exact class of the exact country that's keeping your real estate bubble inflated.

see also: https://globalnews.ca/news/5220324/china-death-penalty-laws-canadian-execution/

Posted by: the pair | May 19 2019 19:37 utc | 135

@ Anti-Spin #125

Anti-Spin: “Surely you can find a more respectable source than Mullins, a virulent anti-Semite, hate-mongering racist, supporter of Nazi causes and organizations, etc

Eustace Mullins here: After spending nine years in a hideous madhouse in hell, I can assure you that I’m a changed man

Only four more years to go!

I regret falling under the influence of the evil Nazi poet Ezra Pound. Some poets still admire Pound’s Cantos, but his passages On Usura are clearly anti-semitic, and I regret reading that epic poem. I also regret reading Martin Heidegger, T.S. Eliot, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Voltaire, and so many others

I see the error of my ways.

I love jews now! What the world needs is MORE Philip Roth, MORE Portnoy’s Complaint, MORE Seinfeld, MORE Harvey Weinstein, and LESS anti-semitic trash such as Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit, Céline’s Journey to the End of Night, or Ezra Pound's Cantos

in my urine-soaked prison cell (identical to the the one Ezra Pound was caged in for thirteen years as punishment for his own crime of anti-semitism) they let me read The Forward and The Times of Israel, and I have excellent news for you, and all (((Moon of A commenters)))!

“Florida is making it ILLEGAL to be anti-semitic, yes, specifically criminalizing any opposition to, or any disagreement with anything even a single jew says or does.

Yes!!! Way to go, Florida!!!

They’re even defining BDS as a terrorist movement, no different from the KKK or ISIS

Here's what the Florida Senate just passed:

“The Senate Monday may have given Gov. Ron DeSantis the perfect agenda-sweetener for his Florida Cabinet meeting next month in Jerusalem – a signing ceremony for a new Florida law requiring public schools to treat anti-Semitism as discrimination, and anti-Semitic speech and acts as racist speech and acts.

The Florida Senate unanimously approved House Bill 741 with all 39 members on the chamber floor Monday signing on as co-sponsors.
. . .

Under the bill, the BDS movement is defined as a terrorist group no different than the KKK or ISIS, which has prompted some to question if criticism of the J*wish state could be mischaracterized as being anti-Semitic criticism of the J*wish people.

HB 741 also amends Florida’s hate crime statute to specifically include anti-Semitism, which it defines “as a perception of the J*wish people, which may be expressed as hatred toward J*wish people,” through such acts as:

* “Calling for, aiding, or justifying violence against Jews.

* “Alleging myths about a world J*wish conspiracy or that J*ws control the media, economy, government, or other institutions.

* “Accusing J*wish people as a whole of being responsible for real or imaginary wrongdoing by a single J*wish person, group, or the state of Israel, or for acts of non-Jews.

* “Accusing the J*wish people of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

* “Accusing J*wish citizens of countries other than Israel of being more loyal to Israel than their own nations.

* “Demonizing, applying a double standard to, or delegitimizing Israel.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgNDA_Z2H0U

Posted by: Eustace Mullins | May 19 2019 20:03 utc | 136

@Arioch #125: If Google denies Huawei access to Google Messaging System, China will build its own messaging system and require all Chinese smartphone makers to use it in their custom Android distributions. Application developers will want to stay compatible with the huge installed base of Chinese smartphones and will send notifications both to GMS and the new Chinese messaging system. Problem solved. Which is the reason Google won't do it.

Posted by: S | May 19 2019 20:58 utc | 137

@Arioch | May 19, 2019 1:53:31 PM | 133

Of course Android is just a java application running on top of Linux.

You probably know the following, but for those who are only casually informed, Android -- or at least the fundamental layers of it -- is open source, which means that anyone can download and install it. (Google had little choice about open sourcing Android, as this Linux variant would have been thoroughly ignored if Google had chosen to keep it proprietary.)


And Market is just an application running on top of another application.

Do you mean Google Play Store? Yes, it's just an app for Android. I don't think that app is open source, so Google can prevent Huawei from using it.

But I think the point that Ant was making is that the Play Store can be replaced quite easily. In fact, its replacement is probably necessary anyway: a Chinese app store must of course have apps that talk in Chinese. At least in China, Huawei could not care less whether it had access to Play Store.

Witholding Play Store might hurt Hwawei in the U.S. However, according to this page, 555.27 million smartphones were sold in 2018, but another page says clearly that only 78 million of those sales were in the US. Thus the United States is only 14% of the global smartphone market. Huawei has a negligible market share in the US, which means it risks losing a small fraction of an already little 14%. Losing that would hurt Huawei a tiny bit, but not much.

Posted by: Cyril | May 19 2019 23:34 utc | 138

@Cyril #138:

But I think the point that Ant was making is that the Play Store can be replaced quite easily.

China already has hundreds of alternative Android app stores. AppInChina Chinese App Store Rankings lists 31 most popular Chinese Android app stores. Huawei App Market holds second place with 12.76% market share.

Google Play and Apple’s App Store take a 30% cut of app sales. Chinese app stores take a 0% cut for non-game apps and a 50–70% cut for games. One way for Huawei to respond to this latest U.S. attack is to aggressively push its Huawei App Market internationally, offering a very low cut of, let’s say, 10%.

Posted by: S | May 20 2019 0:37 utc | 139

Bellow is a link to a posting at Xinhuanet about what China thinks about the trade dispute

Commentary: U.S. bullying cannot stop China from achieving rejuvenation

The take away quote
"
The Chinese economy is a sea, not a small pond. The impact of the trade bullying measures of the United States will be overcome.

In the meantime, the Chinese public has also become more mature. When the news broke that Washington was hiking tariffs again, Chinese netizens overwhelmingly agreed on the stance: "If you want to talk, the door is open; if you want to fight, we will fight to the end."
"
China is starting to speak up in the global arena because it has "matured" enough to do so. I keep thinking of the James Taylor blues love song called the Steamroller but maybe it needs new lyrics.......james in Canada, are you reading? grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 20 2019 2:21 utc | 140

@S | May 19, 2019 8:37:36 PM | 139

China already has hundreds of alternative Android app stores. AppInChina Chinese App Store Rankings lists 31 most popular Chinese Android app stores. Huawei App Market holds second place with 12.76% market share.

I knew some app stores in China were completely independent of Google, but I had no idea there were so many.


Google Play and Apple’s App Store take a 30% cut of app sales. Chinese app stores take a 0% cut for non-game apps and a 50–70% cut for games. One way for Huawei to respond to this latest U.S. attack is to aggressively push its Huawei App Market internationally, offering a very low cut of, let’s say, 10%.

That's what I understand is happening too.

Posted by: Cyril | May 20 2019 2:59 utc | 141


The latest attacks by Huawei really show what a threat Trump really is. He NSA, Google and other companies that just cannot wait to spy some more on westerners (and chinese for that matter!) now doing everything to hurt one of China's biggest brand.
This sickening mentality makes me want to buy a Huawei phone.

Posted by: Zanon | May 20 2019 10:25 utc | 142

So, as expected, Google terminates Huawei's license for Gmail, Chrome, Play Store, YouTube, Google Maps, Calendar, Hangouts, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Jamboard, App Maker, Vault.

Even no-name Chinese phones would be more user-friendly than Huawei brand phones.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-huawei-tech-alphabet-exclusive/exclusive-google-suspends-some-business-with-huawei-after-trump-blacklist-source-idUSKCN1SP0NB

Of course, Huawei is stronger than ZTE, but would Huawei phone's branch be content with ODM/OEM-only niche ?

Posted by: Arioch | May 20 2019 10:52 utc | 143

Arioch @143

Do you happen to even know anyone using those Google apps other than Chrome? And the meat of Chrome is Open Source and available free as Chromium anyway.

YouTube is an online service that you can use with any web browser. Is Google going to try to block access to it from Huawei devices? Perhaps you think Google isn't capitalist and doesn't like revenue streams from people using their online services!

Google Maps coverage of China is pathetic. Nobody in China uses it anyway. China already has a better alternative: Baidu Maps.

Honest question: Do you know anyone who uses the other apps you listed? Second honest question: You do know that those apps are accessible through any standards compliant web browser, don't you?

Stop panicking. Huawei isn't going to end up relegated to a niche just because Google is under the command of the US government.

Posted by: William Gruff | May 20 2019 11:11 utc | 144

@Arioch #125: If Google denies Huawei access to Google Messaging System...

Posted by: S | May 19, 2019 4:58:02 PM | 137

It will have to, unless Alphabet would rebel against American laws (US gov't orders).

Given that Mueller hoax seems to be fading thus Clinton-Soros-Google position is weakened, novadays openly ignoring US laws would hardly be a good strategy for Alphabet.

> China will build its own messaging system

Subsided, free to use, power-efficient system? Maybe.
There were open-source re-implementations of GMS. They avoided use any servers. But, just like mesh-nets instead of internet (Umbrella's "revolution", etc) are to be much more power-hungry.

> require all Chinese smartphone makers to use it in their custom Android distributions.

Inside China or outside?

If inside - West does not care.
Outside, however, it will be "To arms, citizens!!! Chinese government is reading all your mails!!!", ranging from bad (and this time facts-based) PR to immediate ban.

> Application developers will want to stay compatible with the huge installed base of Chinese smartphones

Maybe that is what Huawei is gambling upon. But as of now, no one succeeded yet.

Also, if China would make a drop-in GMS replacement, then app makers would not have to do a thing, they would be just using Android-provided GMS, be it authentic Google's GMS or 3rd-party one.

However, as with any emulator it would subject to API races, as Google may start changing API, then making non-Google GMS vendors to catch-up. If you used ICQ messenger back then - you may remember there were weeks and months when 3rd-paty ICQ clients were unable to work, until they reverse-engineered new protocols and implemented them. You may also remember Skype, who'se 3-rd party reverse-engineered clients were once removed form the network.

Granted, since client-side GMS API is used in 3rd-party apps Google would not be able to move API fast, so probably would not bother to make GMS drop-in replacements impossible.
But with such services as YouTube, Documents - where Google can roll-out both online sites and new applications versions at once, it may do so, rendering alternatives like NewPipe app mostly unusable.

> and will send notifications both to GMS and the new Chinese messaging system.

Point of GMS is not sending data from phone to outer network from a certain application.

Point of GMS is getting all kinds of notifications and updates from outer network to all the application in the phone, without running those applications and almost without network traffic, thus saving greatly on battery discharge.

Basically that would mean the application vendors would have to make two different versions of their applications.
One version would be hosted on Play Market, F-droid and other international Android repositories.

It would use Google's GMS servers to get updates from the vendors' network services channeled into phones.

Another version of application would be made to host on inside-China Android repositories, so to say on Huawei Market, and would somehow (China would yet have to design and implement it) gain notifications from China-hosted China-paid ChGMS servers. And the said app vendors would have to use those ChGMS servers (for free? for payment?) to channel updates to those for-Huawei applications from for-Huawei markets.


How many of them would bother to do it? How many of them would provide same levels of user supports and version updates to both international and China-Huawei markets?

Time will tell.
But up to the day no one managed to win this uphill battle of creating non-Google Android global consumer-oriented infrastructure.

Sony, Samsung, Nokia, Palm-LG-Oracle, Intel-Nokia-Sailfish, Blackburry, and you can easily find more and more projects of non-Android or not-quite-Android tables and phones. Ultimately abandoned.
Starting with once very hoped and praised openmoko.org project and KDE phone project.

There is Google Android, there is Amazon Kindle (niche solution reaping from Amazon huge footprint in non-IT services), there is Apple iOS (for last years building upon Apple's renown PR and "million of all-so-different lemmings" religion) dwindling year to year. There MAYBE is Microsoft, building upon their "wintel" desktop/laptop footprint. Rest are gone from consumer markets. They can have niches like DIY toys, but they are removed from revenue-generating markets.

> Which is the reason Google won't do it.

Google would violate US laws? Are they suicide lemmings?

Posted by: Arioch | May 20 2019 11:24 utc | 145

William Gruff

It wasnt only Google but quite a few american companies that followed through on this ban.
Its not about chinese not being able to use Google apps but westerners not being able to use those apps in the west.
All this hurt Huawei tremendously - it is smearing and it destroys their reputation for westerners/buyers, I hope China respond with something similar trade ban against american companies.

Posted by: Zanon | May 20 2019 11:28 utc | 146

> Do you happen to even know anyone using those Google apps other than Chrome?

Sure.

If you want to download music from YouTube or to listen for it in background - NewPipe is way to go. When it works.
If you want to watch and comment (YouTube is social network, not merely video hosting), official app with all her gimmicks is way to go.

Using Chrome or Firefox is possible, but is flaky and it also eats more battery (because of all other tabs and extensions running in those browser).

You also can not, plating local video file in mxPlayer, press "Share" and upload it onto YouTube using Firefox alone. You do need an app for it.

Of course, it is possible, that Huawei would manage to develop and maintain their own client app for YouTube, year after year, but hardly so.

> YouTube is an online service that you can use with any web browser.

With user experience less comfort than with application.

So, an international consumer would choose a comfort phone rather than "rebellious" or "spying for dictators" Huawei phone.


And, as it goes for profit, for Qualcomm and Broadcom and Google - it is not a big different, to sell their services and chips to Huawei, or to non-Huawei phone-makers who would take Huawei's phone market niche.

> Google Maps coverage of China is pathetic.

Of course Huawei would retain in-China market. I already told it many times.

It would be non-China market where Huawei would be hit.
Like hit was ZTE.


> Honest question: Do you know anyone who uses the other apps you listed?

I use both YouTube app and Shreadsheets app.

> Second honest question: You do know that those apps are accessible through any standards compliant web browser, don't you?

Those services, not apps.
With much worse user experience.

Smartphones with their 3000 mAh batteries and 5" screens are VERY different from desktops with 30" screens and round-the-clock AC grid connection.

> Stop panicking.

I do not own Huawei stocks, not phones. I can not panic: this Huawei vs Trump battle has no direct impact upon me.

> Huawei isn't going to end up relegated to a niche just because Google is under the command of the US government.

Huawei would loose #2 position in international (non-China) phones market in 1-2 years, albeit this US law would be cancelled (for any reason - Chinese concessions or USA massive loose or Trump-vs-Clinton war or anything else).

Posted by: Arioch | May 20 2019 11:39 utc | 147

> or to non-Huawei phone-makers who would take Huawei's phone market niche.

Here: .....market share.

Posted by: Arioch | May 20 2019 11:41 utc | 148

SPB Shell - once a "must have" user interface for phones and tablets running Windows CE / Windows Mobile / Windows Mobile Phone

Once Android got steam - they tried to sell their user experience suite to Android phones, with much less success and much stronger competition from other launchers, free and commercials.

In the end they were bought off by Yandex, who announced a "Yandex Kit" - a non-Google Android-based suite, that had to be pre-installed on phones and tablets under Explay, Huawei, Smarto, DEXP brands. Yandex was supported by Russian anti-monopoly office, in this.

Here is the project's site: http://kit.yandex.ru/
As you can see, it is turned off permanently.

Yandex has it all: their Chrome-based browser, their maps and cars/taxi navigator (maybe #1 service in Russia), their e-mail + advertisements suite, their dropbox-like disk, their social network (now defunct, well, G+ is defunct too), their own applications market, their own search engine and speech recognition, etc.

With all that toolbox - Kit did not fare well and was abandoned. Google Suite still rules consumer market.

Posted by: Arioch | May 20 2019 11:57 utc | 149

From what I understand, the current move does not necessarily mean that the Huawei smartphone user have to do without google's apps. A quick browser search for "google apk installer" should probably solve the problem in about five minutes. ("Probably" because I haven't tested it on a Huawei or anything, but at least up to now, it's what people do if they are outside of China and have a domestic version of a Chinese Android phone.)

Of course, google's move will seriously harm Huawei's international cellphone market share, even if there is a workaround for the user. However, recall also that Huawei is actually not primarily a "cellphone company". It makes a number of other devices (routers, servers), and if I understand correctly, the biggest part of its business is in telecommunications infrastructure. The US's previous stage of attack has been trying to pressure its "allies" to shut Huawei out on this front, in which it hasn't been very successful so far.

Posted by: Chinese American | May 20 2019 13:01 utc | 150

This braindead move will still piss off the sizable Western marketshare which actually uses Huawei phones because they're competitive and not insanely expensive - and aren't US-based to boot. This definitely won't earn the US any friend, outside America's borders.
Besides, I'd love to see the fuckers at Google getting sued into oblivion by millions of upset users. Then of course, there's the whole WTO / free-trade angle; USA are totally bonkers to got his way.
Oh well, at this point, I can only hope that the trade war will actually devolve into a total trade war, and not just a mild trade war.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 20 2019 13:35 utc | 151

Rumors on the Chinese interwebs is Xi is currently preparing a rare earth export embargo of sorts.

Posted by: Jonathan | May 20 2019 13:51 utc | 152

@Arioch | May 20, 2019 6:52:57 AM | 143

So, as expected, Google terminates Huawei's license for Gmail, Chrome, Play Store, YouTube, Google Maps, Calendar, Hangouts, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Jamboard, App Maker, Vault.

These are just apps; most of them are easy to replace. The one large app, Chrome, is a web browser with many alternatives like Opera and Firefox.

Google has just shown itself untrustworthy. Which means that the global smartphone vendors will have strong incentive to replace Android, the American company's operating system. Samsung, the world's #1 smartphone vendor, has already developed Tizen, which like Android is also based on Linux. Huawei, the #2 vendor, will probably do something similar. In the long run, Android will fade, and Google's influence will fade with it.

Posted by: Cyril | May 20 2019 17:30 utc | 153


"The demagoguery of contemporary American populism ensures that in this country clamor about China needs no evidence at all to fuel it. Meanwhile, Chinese nationalism answers American rhetorical kicks in the teeth by swallowing the figurative blood in its mouth and refraining from responding in kind, while sullenly plotting revenge."

Freeman's screed is vile. He peddles the ATATT Fallacy - All Trump, All The Time - when the "pivot" against China had biparty 'stablishment backing from Obama and before. He attributes the anti-China moves of the US oligarchs as "populism". The racist imagery in the quote above is telling.

Other problematic aspects:

The Chinese approach to "intellectual property" might well be more productive than that of the US and EU - see Huang's "Hardware Hacker" for culture and consequences. Specifically, the fixation of rent-seeking "property" in the realm of ideas is already threatening the scientific method - backbone of any claim that "Western civilization" is more than just a good idea - and is, as pharma willingly demonstrates, already threatening life and liberty of US citizens. We need disrespect for corporate claims to ownership more than ever.

To pretend to discuss "debt-trap diplomacy" without discussing World Bank and IMF is intellectual malpractice at best, bad faith deceit at worst.

To sketch the current Global Moment Of Unipolar Disorder courtesy of US impunitivism and not mention Kosovo and Iraq 2003 as major breaking points with multi-ethnic Russia and China is ridiculously inept. The US as renounce the Peace of Westphalia, of course this is unacceptable to any other nation.

To credit the US - Nixon to Clinton, presumably - to have carried the Chinese as "white man's burden" into the 21st century is just more arrogant racism. It might be safe to assume that the Chinese themselves can take credit for the bulk of the decisions, and for all of the hard work taking the opportunities that came along "for geopolitical reasons".

The Demicratic Party has certainly not been right about "demography as destiny" when it comes to US elections, but on the global scale, this holds true: barring catastrophes - in which case there will be no winners - there will be 4 billion people in Asia and 4 billion people in Africa by the end of this century. There will be one billion across both Americas, and one billion in Eurasia. Everything else - research, development, industry, resources, capital, power - will eventually follow.

Freeman doesn't quite put it in these terms, but he is aware of the consequence. China's mere size makes its offenses intolerable? No, for a US set on impunitivism on a global scale, China's existence is to become intolerable - as is Iran's, as is Russia's, neither of which have much prospect of even local influence abutting their own territory.

What are the probable costs and consequences of attempting to do it?

Posted by: b. (the other) | May 20 2019 19:49 utc | 154

@Cyril | May 20, 2019 1:30:39 PM | 153

Google has just shown itself untrustworthy. Which means that the global smartphone vendors will have strong incentive to replace Android, the American company's operating system.

Now that U.S. companies like Google and (probably soon) Microsoft have proven untrustworthy, China's government should create a new operating system to replace both Android and Windows, and require all new computers sold in the country to be loaded with the operating system. Application vendors would either adapt their programs for the new OS, or lose a market of 1.4 billion people. I doubt they will want to lose the market.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that an operating system substitution effort has been quietly underway for years.

Posted by: Cyril | May 21 2019 1:38 utc | 155

@Arioch #145:

Point of GMS is not sending data from phone to outer network from a certain application.

Point of GMS is getting all kinds of notifications and updates from outer network to all the application in the phone, without running those applications and almost without network traffic, thus saving greatly on battery discharge.

I know that. That’s why I wrote:

Application developers will want to stay compatible with the huge installed base of Chinese smartphones and will send notifications both to GMS and the new Chinese messaging system.

I did not say apps are going to send notifications, I said application developers are going to send notifications to messaging systems.

Google is certainly not going to go out of their way and constantly tweak their messaging APIs to hurt compatibility of potential alternative Huawei API. Why would they do that? Google does not like this move by U.S. government, they understand it hurts them in the long run. Plus, there’s not that much to tweak in a messaging API in the first place, cause it’s tiny. So there will be no API changes by Google, and Huawei will be able to replace GMS library with their own messaging library in their custom Android distribution with no code changes required in the apps.

However, application developers will have to change their server-side code to send notifications to both GMS and Huawei’s messaging system, which in my opinion they will do as I expect not just Huawei, but other Chinese smartphone makers to move away from Google services. Application developers that support multiple platforms already have different branches in their server-side code to send notifications to GMS or Apple Push Notification Service. It’s not a big problem supporting a third system.

The fragmentation issue can be avoided if Chinese smartphone makers establish a consortium operating such an alternative messaging system.

It’s a completely ridiculous situation that all mobile messages in the world (except SMS/MMS) are currently being sent through the servers of just two companies, both headquartered in California.

Posted by: S | May 21 2019 15:02 utc | 156

@Arioch #147:

And, as it goes for profit, for Qualcomm and Broadcom and Google - it is not a big different, to sell their services and chips to Huawei, or to non-Huawei phone-makers who would take Huawei's phone market niche.

If what you describe is allowed to happen, Chinese smartphone makers will be bullied into submission one-by-one. Which is why China will not allow this to happen. They spent the last decade catching up on hardware quality — the next will be spent improving their software and pushing it on the international market.

Posted by: S | May 21 2019 17:46 utc | 157

@Arioch #149:

Yandex has it all: their Chrome-based browser, their maps and cars/taxi navigator (maybe #1 service in Russia), their e-mail + advertisements suite, their dropbox-like disk, their social network (now defunct, well, G+ is defunct too), their own applications market, their own search engine and speech recognition, etc.

With all that toolbox - Kit did not fare well and was abandoned. Google Suite still rules consumer market.

Yandex has it “all”, except for two things: a) a 1.4 billion users domestic market, b) a long-term vision. If Yandex had a long-term vision, they would spend their money not on employee stock options and fancy offices, but on aggressively pushing their services internationally. Why are they not expanding to Arabic countries (which Russia has a great relationship with as of late)? Why are they not expanding to Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand? If they started massive international expansion (not just former USSR/Eastern Europe/Turkey) a decade ago, by now they would have a much larger user base as well as international brand recognition which would give Yandex Kit a fighting chance.

Another mistake, better described as a blunder of epic proportions, was tying Yandex Kit to specific smartphone models instead of allowing everyone to install it. People were willing to try it out, but how were they supposed to do that when they already had a smartphone? Were they supposed to buy a new smartphone just to try out Yandex Kit? Who made such a braindead decision? Yet another mistake was limiting users to Yandex’s own app store — they should have let users buy apps from any app store. To succeed in the operating system market, you’ve got to be ready to play a long game. Yandex executives, it seems, significantly underestimated the challenges lying ahead, naively expecting a quick success, and when that didn’t materialize, immediately gave up. Which proves they weren’t sufficiently serious about the project from the start.

In other words, Yandex made a lot of stupid mistakes. Huawei has learned from those mistakes (they were a launch partner for Yandex Kit) and will not repeat them.

Posted by: S | May 21 2019 21:34 utc | 158

@Arioch,

But is not Google a private company?
What is the opinion of its shareholders?
Is this not a de facto nationalisation of a private company, as it is now the Us government who rules the comapny´s market strategy?
Will the propietors/shareholders be able to sue the US government on terms of loses as they try the Cuban expat community with the Cuban government?

On another vein, where not you a Russian? I saw you at Smoothie´s blog....
Why are now you propagandizing here the US strategy against the Chinese government in general and Huawi corporation in particular?


Posted by: Sasha | May 21 2019 23:12 utc | 159

@Cyril | May 20, 2019 1:30:39 PM | 153

Huawei, the #2 vendor, will probably do something similar [i.e. replace Google's Android operating system].

No surprise at all: Huawei is looking to replace Android.

Posted by: Cyril | May 22 2019 2:04 utc | 160

@ Cyril and other about China needing one or more OS's if the trade war escalates.

I suspect China has been all over Open Source since the beginning and doubt they have and Microsoft boxes near their space program.

Unix and its derivatives make logical OS starting points for China to put a front end on and I expect they already have had such for a while.

Again, because China does have the same profit incentive, expect to see operating environments and front ends that scale to user application needs (no more bloat world) and equipment. These alternatives, once they provide cross platform compatibility, will blow away Microsoft and leave Apple on a quickly shrinking island......too bad for the profit is their God folks.

It is thoughts like the former that make me worried about the mental health of the God of Mammon elite and their religious acolytes. Maybe China is giving enough of the top level a hint of a future so that they won't blow up the world in view of the coming changes. I fear many of the elite have no clue how easy it will be to migrate to life without the jackboot of global private finance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 22 2019 4:29 utc | 161

More proof that Trump really is a Kremlin asset! ;-)

US Economic War on China Is a Godsend for Russia
https://www.checkpointasia.net/us-economic-war-on-china-is-a-godsend-for-russia/

Posted by: AK74 | May 22 2019 18:52 utc | 162

I was sure the Huawei subthread would die a natural death, as we are here trying to guess the future lacking insider data...

> Witholding Play Store might hurt Hwawei in the U.S. However, according to this page, 555.27 million smartphones were sold in 2018, but another page says clearly that only 78 million of those sales were in the US.

Posted by: Cyril | May 19, 2019 7:34:13 PM | 138

Here is that data, for 2017, outside the paywall: https://imgur.com/a/8bvvX9B
Data for 2019 is probably slightly different, but the trends should keep on.
That data also does not separate Android-based phones from non-Android phones.

So, segmenting Android into Google and China infrastructures would mean

1) Huawei retains a $152B market - China
2) Huawei retains an unknown share in $87B market - APAC
3) Huawei loses a $163,9B market - all non-China world.

At best Huawei looses 40,7% of world market. That if all APAC population would voluntarily and uniformly drop out of Google services into Huawei/China services (which they would not).
At worst Huawei retains 37,7% of the marker (if APAC population would uniformly follow Google, which they would not either).

As Cyril says, "Losing that [from 40,7% to 62,3%] would hurt Huawei a tiny bit, but not much."
What a stoic company!

Posted by: Arioch | May 23 2019 10:41 utc | 163

Argh! it is so bothersome to hunt for one unknown fearsome word that drives MoA blog off....

~~~~~~~~

S> Google Play and Apple’s App Store take a 30% cut of app sales.

No, they would not. Why would they???
Google Play allegedly is not used in China anyway. So, they can not drop lower than today's 0%.

Apple... would China really ban all Apple phones, including already owned? If so, then Apple would loose too. But i doubt it would happen.
If it will, US would get a great PR topic about "Chinese dictator turning Chinese owned phones into bricks".
And even then Apple's share of phones in China is most probably less than Huawei's share outside of China.

C> I knew some app stores in China were completely independent of Google, but I had no idea there were so many.

All alternative app-stores are independent from Google, that is the very point of their existense.

Their existing is though based upon Chinese government banned Google's pre-installed One Default Store.
That is not what is it like in the rest of the world.

C> These are just apps; most of them are easy to replace.

Why was a *consumer* bother with replacing them when he can simply buy a phone that "just works"?
Meaning offering him the same services and apps that he used on his prior phone.

Posted by: a | May 23 2019 10:43 utc | 164

C> Google has just shown itself untrustworthy.
For a small minority of hacktivists. Those who would equally distrust any other Earth-based company, be it Yandex operating under Netherlands or Russian laws, Samsung operating under S-Korean laws, Huawei operating under Chinese laws, etc.

C> Which means that the global smartphone vendors will have strong incentive to replace Android
Like this is something new happening with Huawei, LOL.
Just last year the same happened with Chinese ZTE - and show me how many "global smartphone vendors" dropped Android form their phones?

Posted by: Arioch | May 23 2019 10:44 utc | 165

> Samsung, the world's #1 smartphone vendor, has already developed Tizen

LOL again.
Tizen as it was is already dead, now it is being hastily merged with one another half-dead Linux-on-phone project. And i think i mentioned the half-dozen of those ultra-niche Linux-for-phone projects above already.

And even then, what is the main selling point of Tizen? It is full compatibiltiy with Android! It is said that Tizen carries enough of Android in her guts to be able to run any Android apps.

But what it means, for consumers? It means they would need an Android app store (on Tizen, yes)! And of thouse - undisputed leader is Google Play Market (or what is its name today, i frankly got tired tracking all its renamings).

It was all before, there was OS/2, advertized as "DOS better than DOS and Windows better than Windows". Well, it is no more advertised like that.

Posted by: a | May 23 2019 10:45 utc | 166

S> I said application developers are going to send notifications to messaging systems.

That if US government would not extend sanctions upon those developments. There were some patents upon GMS AFAIR.
So, any app vendor using GMS-like systems from China is using American know-how, thus is probably subject to the very same sanctions,
which would prohibit Google from offering their GMS services to that vendor.

Even if not, the vendor would have to double the costs now, sending all the updates to TWO systems, both taking their fees.
That, if Huawei-GMS would prove The One non-Google GMS, if there would be a number competing GMS services, then updates (and their costs) would tripple, quadripple, etc.

Now, would Huawei manage to create and long-term maintain a drop-in replacement of both GMS-client and GMS-service?
If now, then app vendors would also pay by writing and maintaining (user support including) different connectors to those different services.

It is not impossible, but it is not as easy as "show them Yankees" fanboys wishful thinking makes it look.
As of now - no one did it!

Posted by: Arioch | May 23 2019 10:45 utc | 167

> It’s a completely ridiculous situation that all mobile messages in the world (except SMS/MMS) are currently being sent through the servers of just two companies, both headquartered in California.

Now, they are not. It is notifications of "you have new message" are send that way. Messages themselves are often then retrieved out of GMS. Be it non-Google mails, XMPP instant messaging, offline maps files, etc.

But i agree that Google holds a quasi-monopoly there. I just do not expect it to be destroyed, because that did not happen before.

> If what you describe is allowed to happen, Chinese smartphone makers will be bullied into submission one-by-one

But they are. Remember ZTE.

And if Chinese phone makers would proudly abandon US/EU market - the better it would be for Trump the MAGA-rider.

> They spent the last decade catching up on hardware quality

Maybe that is why Huawei was banned. Previously Qualcomm was leader in phone modems and Intel was ever-distant 2nd. Now Intel drops the ball, and Huawei is under sanctions. And US sanctions is that bacteria-like thing, that tends to grow and expand its reach without internal limits.

I may also remember how MTS/ZTE used capitalism laws and Quallcomm to promote GloNaSS internationally.

Frankly, Quallcomm seems to be THE leader in phone chips, medium and premium.
While MediaTek and others catch up - they still lag behind.

It was less so with tablets, where batteries were larger and mobile data traffic always was not important (and when it was - was solved by USB dongles).
There were all kinds of Rockchip, AllWinner, MT and what not. I have at home a chinese AllWinnner based tablet with a broken retina screen.

So, if Beijing would prohibit selling Quallcomm chips into Chinese phoine makers - it would be an interesting escalation.
But one, having risks of, for example, banning all non-Quallcomm-based phones from US/EU markets due to some "patents violation".
Also, it would mean Chinese OEM/ODM factories would bust many orders from "western brand" phones.
Apple phones would no more be produced by Chinese Hon Hai (Foxconn), for examples.

"Google shown itself untrustworthy" ? So would do all Chinese OEM/ODM factories instantly. Trump would rejoice.

Posted by: Arioch | May 23 2019 11:00 utc | 168

> Yandex has it “all”, except for two things: a) a 1.4 billion users domestic market, b) a long-term vision

Yandex was operating in China though.
Yandex obviously try to copy google successful decisions, and he tried to capitalize on Google vs Beijing quarrels.
Yandex had access to those very "1.4B users".

> If they started massive international expansion

...this would require "long-term" co-operation with Russian government, basicalyl turnign yandex into unofficial Kremlin's subsidiary.
I am not sure yendex wants it.

> If they started massive international expansion ...a decade ago

So, what it was about international distrust in USA gov't and Google "decade ago" ?

Decade ago it was 2009. Just a year after bloodthirsty criminal evil Russia invaded freedom-longing democracy-aspiring Georgia.


> Arabic countries (which Russia has a great relationship with as of late)

"as of late".
Before Trump busted them - it was USA that enjoyed "great relationships" with them.
And, thus, Google.

"Long term" here would mean wasting limited resources on up-hill battle with much stronger and rich opponents.


> was tying Yandex Kit to specific smartphone models

That is what firmware is - it is always being built for the specific model, be it CyanogenMod or Meui or ParanoidAndroid.

> People were willing to try it out

...a tiny niche of hacktivists, who wish to use non-stock and even non-stock-mod firmwares, taking the hassles of unlocking and risks of bricking.

And then they would make homebrew ad hoc firmwares with all the problems and bugs of it.
I really am not sure if googling for Yandex Kits and landing on XDA forum threads about patches and workarounds would help there.

> Yet another mistake was limiting users to Yandex’s own app store — they should have let users buy apps from any app store

Limiting? We already set that app store is yet another app. Was Yandex prohibiting installign F-Droid, AppCoins and others?
Or was it just not pre-installing them all dozens and dozens?

Also, do you really expect Huawei phones would have dozens of app-stores pre-installed instead of on Huawei AppStore?

> Yandex executives, it seems, significantly underestimated the challenges

I suspect they gambled upon then rising trend to tag Google as monopolist and severly reduce their reach.
When it ended with Google simply beign fined, and not their services being banned, the gamble lost the sense.

Remember, how Microsoft was forced to add "download alternative browser" advertisement into Windows.
If something like that would have happenned to Android in Russia or EU - then the Kit would be ready for the game.
It did not happen, though.

Posted by: a | May 23 2019 11:16 utc | 169

Sasha> But is not Google a private company?

Depends upon what you mean by "private" here.
Usually people mean some Adam Smith's described "family business".

But Google is a super-giant which directly participated in US President election 2016, it is not just "minding their own business", it is a global political agent too, and as such it either works in lockstep with US gov't or has a kind of fight with it. But better have a lockstep.

> Is this not a de facto nationalisation of a private company

No. Nationalisation is MUCH more than that.
Also, Google is not alone there. It is primary concern for our discussion, but US Gov't Act does not single Google out from other companies.

> it is now the Us government who rules the comapny´s market strategy?

Same holds for all the laws and all the ocmpanies operating under those laws.
Be it anti-trust laws, taxation laws, anti-drug laws, import-export laws, everything.

What if Google would want to build its strategy on saling heroine? Would US anti-drug laws be "nationalization" then?

> Will the propietors/shareholders be able to sue the US government

Who knows.
Would it happen 2 years ago, when Obama-Clinton-Soros-Google establishment tried to undercut Trump at every turn and sue him for every reason - i think it would happen.
But back then Trump dared not introducing such laws.
Power balance changed.

> where not you a Russian?

why should it matter?

> Why are now you propagandizing here the US strategy

How is telling that 2+2=4 "propagandizing a strategy" ?

Don't you know Hitler cleaned his teeth?
Why are you not propagandizing against cleaning teeth?
Why are you propagandizing everyone to do like Hitler did?

Posted by: Arioch | May 23 2019 11:26 utc | 170

> No surprise at all: Huawei is looking to replace Android.

Yeah, yeah, as they say in Trumpistan, "all options are on the table".

Funny thing, though, would Huawei do a real attempt to run off Android OS, not a PR gesture but real substantiated attempt, to switch all their phones to, for example, Finnish-Russian SailfishOS, that would exactly mean my points, that for *consumer market* Android (device-local OS) taken without internet-pervasive apps-and-services infrastructure (which Google now denies them) is long-term useless.

But, I think their "alternative OS" would really be as alternative, as CyanogenMod

Posted by: Arioch | May 23 2019 11:36 utc | 171

@Arioch #163:

Huawei loses a $163,9B market - all non-China world.

Why are you assuming Huawei will lose 100% of “non-China world”? For example, in Russia and other EAEU countries, they can partner with Yandex to replace Google services with Yandex search, maps, car navigation, translation, email, cloud storage, voice assistant, and other services. That would be enough for casual users. Sure, they would have to lower their prices, but it’s doable in principle. The biggest app problem I see here is Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. Another natural “non-China world” market for Huawei smartphones are sanctioned countries: North Korea, Iran, and soon Venezuela.

@a #164:

S> Google Play and Apple’s App Store take a 30% cut of app sales.

No, they would not. Why would they???
Google Play allegedly is not used in China anyway. So, they can not drop lower than today's 0%.

For all app sales made through Google Play and Apple’s App Store, app vendors are paying Google/Apple 30% of sales proceeds. My idea is that a Chinese company (not associated with Huawei) could launch an alternative Android app store internationally that would take less money from app developers, say, 10% or 15%. This would allow it to quickly amass a large amount of apps. The same alternative app store would be made available on Hongmeng OS (which will be Android-compatible), thus automatically bringing all these apps to Huawei smartphones.

@Arioch #165:

C> Google has just shown itself untrustworthy. For a small minority of hacktivists. Those who would equally distrust any other Earth-based company, be it Yandex operating under Netherlands or Russian laws, Samsung operating under S-Korean laws, Huawei operating under Chinese laws, etc.

Untrustworthy to smartphone vendors, not users.

Just last year the same happened with Chinese ZTE - and show me how many "global smartphone vendors" dropped Android form their phones?

One day the bullied band together and kick bully’s ass. It may not happen immediately, but it happens eventually. ZTE had no backup plan, so they were forced into an expensive settlement ($3bn loss in valuation + $1bn fine). Huawei took note of what happened and doubled down on its backup plan — developing their own operating system. Now that the U.S. has decided to sanction Huawei, we can see that the behaviour of the bullied has already changed: Huawei does not want to settle with the U.S., they intend to release their own OS instead. If any other Chinese smartphone maker is similarly sanctioned in the future, they will probably partner with Huawei and switch to their then-already existing Hongmeng OS.

@a #166:

But what it means, for consumers? It means they would need an Android app store (on Tizen, yes)! And of thouse - undisputed leader is Google Play Market (or what is its name today, i frankly got tired tracking all its renamings).

True. Which is why Huawei will need to lower their prices.

@Arioch #167:

Even if not, the vendor would have to double the costs now, sending all the updates to TWO systems, both taking their fees.

Apple Push Notification service and Google’s Firebase Cloud Messaging service are completely free for app vendors.

It is not impossible, but it is not as easy as "show them Yankees" fanboys wishful thinking makes it look.

If you think something is hard or impossible to implement, it does not mean it’s actually hard or impossible to implement. I agree it will take a lot of work to design, build and maintain high availability data centers, but it’s not rocket science either. Huawei is a huge company with deep pockets, they can certainly implement such a messaging system.

@Arioch #168:

But i agree that Google holds a quasi-monopoly there. I just do not expect it to be destroyed, because that did not happen before.

It didn’t happen before because there was no point in it happening. The system was free and everybody could use it. Now it’s off limits to certain companies, which creates demand for an alternative.

And if Chinese phone makers would proudly abandon US/EU market - the better it would be for Trump the MAGA-rider.

Firstly, I don’t think the EU will ban Huawei (the UK is a different matter). Secondly, as of 2017, the U.S. population is 326 million people, while rest-of-world population is 7204 million people. Approximately half of them can afford to buy a new smartphone.

So, if Beijing would prohibit selling Quallcomm chips into Chinese phoine makers - it would be an interesting escalation.

That’s an interesting idea. As a compromise, they could allow OEMs to use foreign chips, but require ODMs and vendors to use domestic ones (when available).

@a #169:

...this would require "long-term" co-operation with Russian government, basicalyl turnign yandex into unofficial Kremlin's subsidiary. I am not sure yendex wants it.

True. But, long-term, there’s no other way. Sooner or later the U.S. will come for Yandex, just like they came for Huawei. Yandex should move their registration from Netherlands to Russia and delist from U.S. exchanges, converting foreigner-owned shares into ADRs.

That is what firmware is - it is always being built for the specific model, be it CyanogenMod or Meui or ParanoidAndroid.

Well, to have a chance at success, they should have supported as many models as possible. Otherwise, why make your own OS in the first place? You either want to do it or not. If you do, prepare for a long game and significant investments.

Limiting? We already set that app store is yet another app. Was Yandex prohibiting installign F-Droid, AppCoins and others?

Yes, it is my understanding that they were prohibiting everything except Yandex app store.

Posted by: S | May 26 2019 4:52 utc | 172

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