Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 01, 2020

TikTok - How The White House Helped U.S. Investors To Raid A Chinese Company

In 2017 the Chinese company ByteDance bought the Shanghai-based video app in a $1 billion deal and relaunched under the name TikTok. The app allows its users to create and share short videos with special effects.

It was a great success and the app now has more than 80 million active users in the U.S. alone. The Chinese version Douyin is separate and has even more.

ByteDance has other apps, mostly in the  Chinese market, that also generate advertising revenues. The company is valuated at some $140 billion. The TikTok part is valuated at at least $50 billion. Some 70% of the ByteDance outside investors are U.S. private equity firms.

At one point these U.S. investors decided to raid the successful business. The White House found that to be a great idea and actively supported the plan.

The company was put under investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). That made little sense as neither ByteDance nor TikTok planned to acquire a U.S. company. The published reason was that Chinese access to user data of TikTok might have national security implications. That made little sense.

TikTok does not collect user data beyond what is needed to run the application and to share the videos. Its Chief Executive Officer is an American citizen. The user data is stored in the U.S. and TikTok has hired nearly 1,000 people for its U.S. team and is looking for more. The Chinese government is unlikely to have interest in the preferred video motives of U.S. teens.

But the pressure to sell the very successful business continued to increase:

Last week, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs unanimously passed a Bill that would bar US federal employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices. It will be taken up by the full Senate for a vote. The House of Representatives has already voted for a similar measure.

Then the U.S. investors in ByteDance made an offer:

ByteDance had received a proposal from some of its investors, including Sequoia and General Atlantic, to transfer majority ownership of TikTok to them, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The proposal valued TikTok at about $50 billion, but some ByteDance executives believe the app is worth more than that.

Under ever building pressure ByteDance finally agreed to sell the U.S. part of TikTok but it insisted on keeping a minority stake.

Yesterday it was reported that Microsoft would be the 'chosen' partner:

TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app that has been under scrutiny from the Trump administration, is in talks to sell itself to Microsoft and other companies as President Trump weighs harsh actions against the business, including forcing TikTok to divorce itself from its parent company, ByteDance, said people with knowledge of the discussions.
On Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, who leads the [CFIUS] committee, briefed the president on the divestment plan. But it remains unclear what the president will do ...
Later on Friday, Mr. Trump said he planned to take action as soon as Saturday. He added that he was not leaning toward allowing an American company to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations.

Today ByteDance has given up. It no longer insists on keeping a minority share in the business but will sell the whole U.S part of TikTok:

China’s ByteDance has agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

U.S. officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. ByteDance’s concession will test whether Trump’s threat to ban TikTok is a negotiating tactic or whether he is intent on cracking down on a social media app that has up to 80 million daily active users in the United States.

ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the U.S. business of TikTok, which the White House had rejected. Under the new proposed deal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft Corp would take over TikTok in the United States, the sources said.

Some ByteDance investors that are based in the United States may be given the opportunity to take minority stakes in the business, the sources added.

There has been no announcement yet of the sales price.

It will now likely be less than the $50 billion the U.S. investors once offered. They will now have the whole business. Microsoft is not in the teen app business. It was only brought in to make the deal more plausible:

Under ByteDance’s new proposal, Microsoft will be in charge of protecting all U.S. user data, the sources said. The plan allows for another U.S. company other than Microsoft to take over TikTok in the United States, the sources added.

Microsoft will get some commission for lending its name to the deal. Trump will get some huge campaign donations for facilitating the raid. He or his family probably also have a real stake in the deal via one or more of the the private equity firms.

Such an open robbery of a foreign company that made the mistake of being successful in the U.S. market reminds one of some skullduggeries in Russia:

Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled - 19:50 UTC · Jul 31, 2020

I remember Putin/Kremlin getting pilloried for doing this same thing: wage big public scare campaign against a successful business, claiming it's a national security threat—force it to sell to domestic company in bed with your state security services

The Putin/Kremlin thing was usually a bit different. Some Russian oligarchs who had acquired Russian natural resources by robbing or killing their competition tried to sell those assets to 'western' companies. In those cases Russia had a real national interest at stake. To keep control of Russia's resources the Kremlin had to step in to prevent such deals. There were also foreign 'investors' who bought up important Russian companies for little money or robbed the Russian state via tax fraud like Bill Browder. They are not comparable to a harmless teeny video app business.

The whole TikTok robbery has of course nothing to do with national security or with access to TikTok user data. The NSA surely already has such access while the Chinese government has no plausible interest in it.

This is purely a raid against a Chinese company to rob it of a successful part of its business. This raid was carried out by U.S. investors with intensive help from the U.S. government.

We can be sure that other Chinese companies - and the 'lying communists' in the Chinese government -  will learn from it.

Posted by b on August 1, 2020 at 18:23 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Name the usa investors and indict them and doj for frivolous abuse of usa courts!

Posted by: dfnslblty | Aug 1 2020 18:29 utc | 1

Dont worry, not so Bad Deal!
In 2017 ByteDance bought the App in a $1 billion deal and relaunched under the name TikTok.
Will sell 1000% to 5000% more and Just for the American market (nearly dead...)
Wo screw IT better?

Posted by: MichaelW | Aug 1 2020 18:45 utc | 2

Here's the Chinese answer:

Voice: By banning TikTok, US is protecting market monopoly

This is more shooting on its own foot by the USA. TikTok is privately owned; it is property of Chinese capitalists. They are not the CCP's.

The only thing this will achieve is dividing the capitalist class around the world. The Chinese capitalists will slowly give up connecting with the American capitalists, and will quickly realize the USA is not the paragon of the free market it claims it is.

Sure, the Americans may calculate that, with their vital space curtailed, the Chinese capitalist class will make a desperate move to overthrow the CCP in order to ransack China's SOEs. But that would catapult another WWI, a liberal world war, which would threaten to mow down the entire humanity. Plus, it would not be guaranteed the CCP would lose a civil war against the Chinese capitalists, as it still controls the PLA.

To top it off, time is not on the side of the Americans. Its economy is collapsing, as is the economies of its provinces. The Chinese capitalist class may delay their charge against the CCP to wait for America's collapse (the golden goose dilemma).

Posted by: vk | Aug 1 2020 18:51 utc | 3

Another regime change coup by the US billionaire class as in Bolivia, Brazil et al ... capitalism is not just UNdemoxratic, it is ANTI-democratic. That is why we can either have democracy OR capitalism. They are like matter/antimatter and we see what antimatter capitalism has done to the “Western Democracies” ...

Posted by: Thom Prentice | Aug 1 2020 19:01 utc | 4

What was the final sale price of this blog? I'm guessing the chinx didn't pay much.

Posted by: loma | Aug 1 2020 19:05 utc | 5

Microsoft has a history of running acquisitions into the ground, especially high profile ones like Nokia. If this goes through I can see the platform failing pretty quickly.

Posted by: One Too Many | Aug 1 2020 19:24 utc | 6

thanks b... ''usa gov't now acts as front for corporate raids''... sounds about right... i can see the headline in the nyt, wapo or wsj now, lol.. i am sure nemesis calling will be fine with it, because trump had a hand in it! well, of course it won't be any different with biden either, so lets not joke about what the one party - the war party - is up to..

man, the wheels are coming off the facade really quickly here... and you're absolutely correct - the comparison to russia is a lot of b.s. in fact - anyone willing to take a look at browder will quickly see how he is the finger in the dam, trying to hold back the reality of it all, which the west continues to pray will not be removed or examined with any scrutiny.... this position can't hold of course, but we know for certain none of these same usa news outlets i joke about above, will be revealing any of the details in any of this as it would be too big of a shock for superficial readers to contemplate, let alone swallow... as gil scott heron said - the revolution will not be televised - and he said that back in the 70's!~ he's right of course....

@4 loma... a few years ago it was the russians that bought moa... now it is the chinese.. the main thing to note is how you have given yourself away as a mass consumer of western fed bullshite - probably an american, lol...

Posted by: james | Aug 1 2020 19:32 utc | 7

i can't keep up with who is supposed to have bought moa--the russians, the chinese, or bill gates and big pharma.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 1 2020 19:44 utc | 8

The USA's economic war is not only with the Chinese. They are at war with the entire world. I mean, look at Bayer buying Monsanto. They've barely finished the acquisition and they were slapped with lawsuits, after literal decades of Monsanto being protected by the state. Absolutely unsurprisingly no one in the free press noticed this "coincidence".

@Posted by: One Too Many | Aug 1 2020 19:24 utc | 5
Nokia's destruction by Microsoft was an inside job. They got a former Microsoft employee as a CEO who decided to use Windows Mobile as the operating system, when it was already a failure. After the inevitable collapse they where bough for pennies, probably for the patents.

Posted by: Tod | Aug 1 2020 19:50 utc | 9

IMO this is related to the last fiasco on Trump´s rally in Tulsa, when thousands of teens agree to push for tickets through TikTok, which they will never use to go there, so as to make think Trump team there would be thousands of people and that for that would be necessary to enable an alternative outdoors place...The great vaccum was then obvious for all to see...

What Trump is doing, with the help of Microsoft, is trying to guarantee that the same shenanigans he and his team have used to manipulate elections in Brazil, Bolivia, and so on, through thousands of fake accounts created to that end in social media, are not used by the opposite side, or foreign interests...Thinks the thief that everybody is of his condition...

A point added to the theory of some here on that the whole US stablishment ( including the corporate world...) are out there to secure a Trump reelection...after all they are not doing so bad...see Musk...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 1 2020 20:47 utc | 10

"The only thing this will achieve is dividing the capitalist class around the world." (vk 18:51 / 3)

Could it be that you imagine a uniform class of capitalists? That would be a false conception, there is not one world capitalism, but as many national ones as there are states. This is one of the big problems of the EU, how to get their many national capitalisms to merge. It is perfectly normal that a government is being used to push through the interests of his national capitalism. The Tronald admin is simply even more unrestrained in its use of mafia methods.

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 1 2020 21:04 utc | 11

US courts never rule for foreigners no matter what the law says.

This is just another in a long, long string of armed robberies committed by the US government. I am old enough to remember when US companies invested in infrastructure, put in the research to invent things and knew how to build things. Now Americans are just fat, lazy and stupid so have to steal to survive. You can blame China for every single Fing problem in the US but if you want to fix your lives you need to look in the mirror. Any one thinking any thing will change under Biden is fooling themselves.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Aug 1 2020 21:16 utc | 12

@ Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 1 2020 21:04 utc | 11

The difference here is that China is a declared socialist country, and that this TikTok takeover is happening over explicitly anti-China (i.e. anti-communist) arguments.

In this context, it's just weird that the USA is shafting the very element that could destroy China (i.e. socialism) from within. The rational step would be to offer refuge to the Chinese capitalist class in order to drive a wedge in the heart of China.

An explanation would be that the intelligence apparatus of the USA is really afraid of losing its instruments of imperial domination (see the attempt to destroy Huawei). The reason here is that intelligence is the main tool used by the Americans to keep the regional elites of their provinces in line. 99% of the problems the CIA faces it solves with blackmail (as the regional elite is inherently corrupt - the USA knows that because it corrupted it in the first place).

Another explanation is the simple and elegant one: the USA is degenerating faster than it thought and is simply desperate for fresh cash. USD 50 billion won't solve the country's problems, but you would be getting tangible goods, know-how and infrastructure, and shaft your enemy at the same time. Win-win, American style.

Either way, at the end of the day, TikTok is just another unicorn. Its expropriation won't save the American economy. The simplest explanation would be that Trump is just seeking some election points for November, and TikTok was just the target he could hit.

Posted by: vk | Aug 1 2020 21:44 utc | 13

Debunking US stablishment theory on that Chinese owned tech companies are a security risk for the US....( via Mark Sleboda Twitter...) and as a proof that it is only because they use their techonology to spy on everybody, as Snowden put crystal clear, why they think the rest of the world would do the same...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 1 2020 21:46 utc | 14

So Trump helped some private gamblers buy the latest pet rock focus for a segment of long will that focus last?

The example of what is being done here will not be lost on the rest of the world.....and, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised to see China develop a free/cheaper version of the technology with more source anyone?

America is being turned into a pariah nation on cue.

Bankruptcy before November is part of my scenario on the path forward. What a shit show.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 1 2020 22:23 utc | 15

I posted a bit prematurely. Below is an update quote to a ZH posting about the Tiktok deal

Update (1800ET): Bytedance has apparently gotten the "tap on the shoulder" from the CCP bigwigs who apparently aren't super thrilled about the optics of a mighty Chinese conglomerate kowtowing to the Trump Administration.

Earlier today, it appeared that President Trump's late-night threat about banning TikTok had motivated ByteDance and Microsoft to speed up their talks.

But as the New York afternoon wore on, a Dow Jones headline proclaimed that Microsoft and ByteDance had decided to abruptly stop negotiations.

And the worm turns.......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 1 2020 22:31 utc | 16

donkeytale "70% of the company is US owned and has been for years. Far from being a raid the investment was welcomed by the founder."

You work had to live up to your username. Or perhaps you can't comprehend a simple sentence?
"Some 70% of the ByteDance outside investors are U.S. private equity firms."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 1 2020 22:36 utc | 17

Well, it is always interesting to see what the US Government finds to occupy itself with while the country is crumbling around it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 1 2020 22:37 utc | 18

The US pulled a similar stunt with France's Alstom, which is documented in The American Trap: My battle to expose America's secret economic war against the rest of the world – by Frédéric Pierucci, Alstom's president, who was seized and jailed until he signed off.


Posted by: Godfree Roberts | Aug 1 2020 22:37 utc | 19

Any "bidnesss" coming out of China of any significance should, until there is evidence otherwise, be deemed a CPC owned/operated/controlled entity. Nothing grows any significant size without the Party being a macroparasite. But in some ways it is more efficient because there is essentially only one macroparasite in China. The central government whereas in the US there are four macroparasites, perhaps five: corporations; local government; state government; the federal government; the military which is an "equal partner in parasitism" with the other half of the federal government.

Posted by: SteveLaudig | Aug 1 2020 22:43 utc | 20

Looks like the MS-TT deal is off

ByteDance, Microsoft Break Off TikTok Deal Talks

Microsoft Corp. and Bytedance Ltd. have put acquisition talks for TikTok on hold after President Donald Trump said Friday he would oppose the deal, Dow Jones reported, citing people familiar with the matter who weren’t identified.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 1 2020 22:45 utc | 21

Tik Tok can easily shift their business to different servers outside the US almost immediately. Unlike India there's no firewall in the US to block these apps. Even if you pulled the app from the Play and App Store it would be trivial to install from another source. Remember if you want to make something popular, especially among the younger generation, just call it taboo.

Posted by: One Too Many | Aug 1 2020 22:57 utc | 22

@16 psychohistorian

Mafia finance meets sovereign statecraft?

I've often said the only way to parse Ukraine since the coup is in terms of thievery rather than statecraft, and recently I began to say here that I was seeing the same thing for the US. It seems increasingly accurate to see US activities through the lens of criminality than through the lens of empire or any state-related dynamic.

Having to apply the Ukraine standard to make sense of US action is a pretty low fall in image, but it may become the only standard left to use. It seems increasingly blatant that the US is a nation whose top layer is utterly suffused with criminality.

I know that one could always say this in a cynical way, but cynicism seems no longer needed when we can see things happen with eyes wide open. Criminals typically are supposed to operate in the shadows, but this seems to be changing.


I've become persuaded over the years, largely through the intelligent comments of forums like this one, that Marxist analysis is the only way to understand the current economics of the western world. And I've become persuaded that imperialism requires racism to succeed, and gives birth to "capitalism" for the settlement of its accounts.

So I wonder if, in the same way, people who know some theory could explain how common criminal thievery is actually the behavior predicted by that theory? Or do I lean too far?

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 1 2020 23:26 utc | 23

doubt Trump admin or cronies care about any acquisition, except as a minor side benefit. Thinking they want to kill it because
(1) it competes with FB Insta Snap Utube etc
(2) easy PR points. can't defeat Huawei? this is the next best thing
(3) retaliation for US apps being banned in China
(4) to provoke another cycle of retaliation, then play the victim some more

and agree with vk that it's a dumb move, alienating Chinese tech/capitalists

Posted by: ptb | Aug 1 2020 23:35 utc | 24

Does anyone in the US government realize how pathetically juvenile they appear to the rest of the planet?

Posted by: Dick | Aug 1 2020 23:52 utc | 25

MOA blog summary:

China GOOD
Murika BAD

Does B. even actually really exist, or is he/she just a tool of the CCP? Always pro China, 100% no matter what.

From a guy who is pretty anti America and all their wars and imperial shenanigans... it sure would be nice from time to time to see some balanced commentary on this blog. China???? hardly a valid alternative to US empire. Nine Dash Line today... wtf tomorrow?

No articles on the 260 Chinese fishing boats off the Galapagos Islands, stealing Ecuador's fish, half way around the world?

Analysis on alleged labour camps in Xingyang?

All for exposing US/NATO abuses and wrong doing, but can we for once also get some balanced coverage on China's many flaws too please? if nothing else, it would give this blog some street cred. All too easy to bash on the US, but are we really better off letting China take over based on their record so far?

Posted by: Et Tu | Aug 1 2020 23:53 utc | 26

Like most apps it requests a number of permissions on your device.

permissions allow TikTok to:
1. Access the camera (and take pictures/video), the microphone (and record sound), the device’s WIFI connection, and the full contact list on the device
2. Determine if the internet is available and access it
3. Keep the device turned on and automatically start itself when the device restarts
4. Secure detailed information on the user’s location using GPS and other apps that are running
5. Read and write to the device’s storage, install/remove shortcuts, access the flashlight (turn it off and on), request additional installation packages
GPS tracking is surprising, especially as TikTok videos don’t obviously display location information.

On Android, the app has the ability to access other apps running at the same time, which can give the app with that permission the ability to access data in another app like a banking app.

And of course, governments and corporations live backdoors that allow them access yo everything.

So instead of China, which presumably still has access to backdoors unless they got closed, control goes to Microsoft which is basically become an Israeli - US intelligence arm in recent years

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Aug 2 2020 0:15 utc | 27

I haven't a clue who Sarah Cooper is but the link below is her( on Tiktok) lip sinking Trumps's words about banning Tiktok

it is quite a hoot

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 2 2020 0:20 utc | 28

Et Tu @Aug1 23:53 utc #25

... coverage on China's many flaws too please?

That's well covered by US MSM, though often exaggerated - like the "stealing Ecuador's fish" story:
Ecuador monitoring fleet of fishing vessels near Galapagos

Ecuador is monitoring a large fleet of fishing vessels, many of them Chinese [NB: not all are Chinese - "many" actually suggests that only a minority are Chinese] ...

Chinese fishing vessels appear each year near the Galapagos ...

“There is a corridor that is international waters, that’s where the fleet is located,” said [Defense Minister] Jarrin, adding none had attempted to enter the exclusive economic zone.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 2 2020 0:21 utc | 29

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 1 2020 19:44 utc | 7 i can't keep up with who is supposed to have bought moa--the russians, the chinese, or bill gates and big pharma.

Well, according to some idiots here, they're all the same elites, so it doesn't matter.

See, this is why the bitching about b's editorial emphasis - "too many pandemic articles, not enough about what *we* want" - is a load of bullshit.

I haven't been following this TikTok crap. I didn't even know what the hell it was and couldn't care less. But here b lays it out nicely in one post *and* analyzes what's really behind it all.

*This* is b's forte. He takes a current event, spots the stuff that *isn't* being reported in the MSM, and analyzes how that applies to the overall meaning of the event.

What people who complain about b's posts don't understand is this: We are here to read what b posts, not the other way around. b isn't here to post what we want.

Another point that the idiots don't get: *Everyone* "regurgitates the MSM." Unless a site is a pure speculative conspiracy theory site, *every* "alternative news" site publishes stuff from the MSM. Because alternative sites usually don't have the manpower or resources to do on-the-ground investigation themselves for every event that concerns them. What the idiots are saying is that because a site doesn't agree with some conspiracy theory site *they* approve of, or some conspiracy theory *they* believe, then the site must be printing "MSM propaganda."

It's bullshit. b does a good job at what he does - which is why we're here (unless we're a paid propagandist or some stupid troll.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 0:30 utc | 30

@ Posted by: Grieved | Aug 1 2020 23:26 utc | 22

So I wonder if, in the same way, people who know some theory could explain how common criminal thievery is actually the behavior predicted by that theory? Or do I lean too far?

See: primitive accumulation; centralization and concentration of capital. Also, the principles of profit and the cycle of capital (on the possible paths a capital can profit).


@ Posted by: SteveLaudig | Aug 1 2020 22:43 utc | 19

That sounds like an esoteric interpretation of reality to me. Sure, capitalism is a vampiric economic system par excellence (living labor used to vivify dead labor as the concrete process of revalorization of capital), but I don't understand how the CCP enters into this equation.

TikTok has received zero support from the Chinese government so far, and it looks like it will never receive any: its business in the USA is practically over.

Either way, as I said before, TikTok is still just an app. All of those USD 50-80 billion it allegedly is worth is just advertisement income - there's no technological innovation, no significant investment in infrastructure, no high tech installations etc. The only curious fact about it is the fact it was a Chinese app that somehow viralized in the USA. But a unicorn is a unicorn - with or without (Microsoftian) lipstick: the Americans are just, deep down, fighting over ads revenue.

Posted by: vk | Aug 2 2020 0:36 utc | 31

Et Tu @25: "..can we for once also get some balanced coverage on China's many flaws too please?"

You have a TV, don't you moron? If you want anti-China jingoism then just turn it on to any western capitalist network. You won't have to wait long to download your anti-China hate programming updates.

You really are a moron. Some readers here don't like hearing terms like that, but in your case it is entirely appropriate.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 2 2020 0:37 utc | 32

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Aug 2 2020 0:15 utc | 26

b's point is correct, though. Who gives a shit about a teen video app? The NSA already collects *everything* going over the Internet. Presumably so do the Chinese and the Russians (to the degree they can afford to spend the kind of money the US spends on this crap.)

The real problem is *why* people think these crap apps are something wonderful. Anyone with an interest in personal privacy doesn't use any of this junk.

I have a Twitter account solely for the purpose of following certain people in infosec. I have a Facebook account solely for the purpose of using it to log in to sites that allow that, so I don't have to screw around with separate user names and passwords. Everything on my Facebook account is locked down to "friends only" - and I have no friends. I don't have an Instagram account (which is a little irritating when I want to see some babe pic that's only on Instagram.)

None of this social media crap is on my phone (and my phone is turned off for 23 hours and 55 minutes a day except when I check for messages and voicemails.) I haven't finished loading on all the security apps I need to lock the phone down adequately. I don't like a lot of the apps Nokia already loaded on the phone.

"Smart" phones are just dumb computers - and any computer can be hacked. Why people haven't figured that out yet is beyond me. All these "naked celebrity" videos that get passed around as a result of celebrity phone hacking are ridiculous. I don't know why hackers haven't completely cleaned out every celebrity phone in existence by now - it's not that hard.

I understand why everyone else is pouring out their lives on social media: it's primate behavior. If someone doesn't inflict themselves on everyone else, they don't exist in their own eyes. Worse, they think they're on a lower level than everyone else (especially celebrities, in our celebrity culture). And that can't be allowed.

Truly pathetic.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 0:43 utc | 33

See now, here's inconsistency.

I posted something at 29. It was accepted and posted.

I just tried posting something else - it's disappeared.

Both posts occurred while I was mistakenly still on my VPN. Now I'm off it, this should post.

b needs to look at the filter - it's inconsistent.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 0:45 utc | 34

@Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 2 2020 0:20 utc | 27

Sarah Cooper is making hilarious lip-sinching of Donald Trump most atrocious statements, making a plus with his intonation...She makes her video through TikTok...

Compilation of some of his best:

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 2 2020 0:48 utc | 35

vk "the Americans are just, deep down, fighting over ads revenue."

Looks to be a big part of Trump's move. Stopping revenues going to China and perhaps trying to ensure no proceeds of the sale of tik tok go to China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 0:51 utc | 36

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 1 2020 23:26 utc | 22 common criminal thievery is actually the behavior predicted by that theory? Or do I lean too far?

As we anarchists say, "The state *is* organized crime." It starts out as high crimes and misdemeanors and descends to thuggery pretty quickly. And that's dependent on how meek and weak the population is.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 0:53 utc | 37

Back in the 1990s a buddy of mine made a simple website with a couple animated GIFs and a simple tune playing in a loop. It was just a single page of HTML with about half a dozen assets (a few images, a WAV file and that's it). For a brief period the web page attracted quite a bit of traffic because it was cute and there really wasn't much else exciting going on with the Internet back then, this not being too long after the floodgates opened and AOL lUsers discovered the Web.

Long story short, he got a call from a lawyer representing a client who wanted to buy the website. As a joke the kid quoted a price for the web page of $4 million. The client paid the $4 million without making a counteroffer.

Later that week the buyer arrived to take possession of the web page. My friend handed it to him on a 3.5" floppy.

ByteDance should take the same approach with regards to TikTok.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 2 2020 0:54 utc | 38

The Twitter account for Anonymous (the hackers) want to point out:

Anonymous @YourAnonNews 4h
Wait! Does Trump wanna block Tik-Tok?

He just wanna change your focus when there are very serious problems in US:

- Covid-19: 156k people passed away
- People face with evictions
- Unemployment
- Social inequality and injustice
- White supremacy
- DHS' unlawful activities

My note: Not to mention Trump gets to make another anti-China point for his re-election.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 1:07 utc | 39

Brookings Institution (a pro liberal interventionist think tank) posted an article called Why COVID-19 presents a world reordering moment .

It accuses Russia and China of acting like normal countries...

Rivals like China and Russia took an even more authoritarian turn. They grew more powerful and acquired more strategic options. And they grew more ambitious, coveting their own spheres of influence.

...and counsels the next administration to “revitalize” US domination of the world.

The task facing the next American president is to revitalize U.S. leadership of free societies to improve the order they offer their own citizens and each other.

The TikTok thing is a tiny part of a much larger plan. The US empire is going all out to undermine China and is trying to force countries into a false dichotomy by pressuring them to align with either the US or China.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 2 2020 1:21 utc | 40

@ H.Schmatz | Aug 2 2020 0:48 utc | 33 with the link to the compilation video of Sarah Cooper

Thanks for that. She is good and the affectation she adds is precious.

Mafia Don Trump has dreamed about playing the TV/Hollywood version much of his life and now is doing so quite "naturally". He lives and breathes his entitlement as do those around him and at the TOP of the top/bottom dictatorship of global private finance we in the West live in.


Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 2 2020 1:22 utc | 41

Some wag on Twitter said this funny thing (you have to be in IT to get it)...

"If he fights TikTok as successfully as he fought Covid, you'll find it running on your toaster in six weeks with no way to uninstall it."

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 1:27 utc | 42

Twitter user Tinker makes a good point...

Tinker @TinkerSec 9h
Regarding banning TikTok:

If we allow the president can ban TikTok, we allow them to ban any app...
...Including privacy and safety apps like Signal.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 1:32 utc | 43

What young people does with and through social media in this era of image sometimes has no significance further than the aesthetics of the thing or the need to have a good time and combat nowadays usual vaccum and boredom...

I think in this context could be placed the conspiracy to ruin Trump´s Tulsa rally, which, anyway, with or without the intervention of the youngsters through TikTok would had showed the same numbers...

But, if you were born for to be a hammer, nails fall you from the sky, and thus, these youngsters would be deemed and publicly condemned by people like Trump or Pat Lang as Russian doubt....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 2 2020 1:35 utc | 44

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 1:32 utc | 41

"If we allow the president can ban TikTok,....."

He's the president, can do anything and had done it even ordered assassination a general, who are you to stop him? He's god
"I love my president and hope he start ww3 and we all go to heaven sooner than expected."

Let us close our eyes and pray

Posted by: JC | Aug 2 2020 1:46 utc | 45

Another intention that could explain the seizing of TikTok could also be related to the intends of recruiting of minors at Twitch recently denounced and presented by AOC before Congress:

An amendment that would ban the US Army from recruiting "children up to the age of 12" on Twitch, rejected by the House of Representatives

Could it be related to the need of recruiting Chinese agents against China, which seem to them more easy as younger the objectives are...?

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 2 2020 1:51 utc | 46

"Portland's 'Peaceful' Protesters Burn Bibles, American Flags And Pig's Head After Feds Withdraw"

I just lover Portlander. Go Portland GO, Go Get....

Posted by: JC | Aug 2 2020 1:52 utc | 47

Daniel @Aug2 1:21 #38

...and counsels the next administration to “revitalize” US domination of the world.

This was Kissinger's prescription in his WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014. So it's not surprising to see the same from Brookings.

The TikTok thing is a tiny part of a much larger plan.

Yeah, the same plan that's been active since 2014. Starting with the 2016 US Presidential Election which was rigged to elect a nationalist.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 2 2020 1:56 utc | 48

The title of Rick Wilson's never-Trumper book: "Everything Trump Touches Dies" has never seemed more appropriate or prescient. I get incoherent thinking of the damage this lunatic has single-handedly inflicted on this country and the world, and the worst of it is the group of enablers who prevented his impeachment, these so-called Republican conservatives who proclaim that $600/week deprives the working poor of the incentive to work that destitution and hunger will provide. Why are they walking around still breathing? Why isn't Ronald McDonald Trump on a ventilator suffocating? Help me understand this wicked world, Jesus!

Posted by: jadan | Aug 2 2020 2:29 utc | 49

@ One Too Many 21

You seem to be the only one here that realizes that India banned Chinese TikTok first, among-st others.

Simply a tit-for-tat for the PLA clubbing 20 India soldiers to death in East Ladakh during the night of June 15th.

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 2 2020 2:31 utc | 50

Antonym 48

The Indians were dumb enough to put up a video of one of the standoffs in the Galwin Valley where they are armed with clubs and the Chinese have riot shields but no clubs. This is some days before the Indians got turfed back onto their side of the line.
At this time, the Chinese had camped a couple of k's back from the line of control as the brave Jawans were trying to grab a bit of territory. The majority of those that died in the later incident died of exposure when their brave mates ran like rabbits and left them to die.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 3:04 utc | 51

Posted by: JC | Aug 2 2020 1:52 utc | 44 "Portland's 'Peaceful' Protesters Burn Bibles, American Flags And Pig's Head After Feds Withdraw"

Don't know what the reporters are complaining about. Burning bibles, flags and pig heads is "peaceful". LOL

Now, shooting cops and Feds would not be "peaceful" - even though that's what's needed.

So we have a choice between an ineffective burning of crap and actually doing something that's "not peaceful" but actually useful. Typical American choices.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 3:41 utc | 52

Posted by: jadan | Aug 2 2020 2:29 utc | 46 Help me understand this wicked world, Jesus!

Not enough armed anarchists. There you go. You got it now?

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 3:43 utc | 53

@ Peter CN1 48

That video from June 1st daytime only shows a few dozen Indian soldiers on their side of the Galwan river close to its mouth, plus hundreds of PLA soldiers trespassing on the opposite side of the river. What happened 2 weeks later at night is not at all shown.

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 2 2020 3:56 utc | 54

Just now from CGTN:

How ByteDance failed to save TikTok's U.S. business

Here, the main culprit is none other than American oligarch Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook:

At a Wednesday antitrust hearing, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the only one of the heads of four tech giants who attended the hearing in person, confirmed that China "steals technology from U.S. firms" and stated his company was crucial in winning an internet competition against China

The real reason is, of course, ads revenue:

After failing to enter Chinese market and being threatened by TikTok, global social media giant Facebook, which bought Instagram in 2012, started taking an opposite approach by attacking TikTok and Chinese tech firms.


If it is too hard to compete with a rival product, it would be easier to resort to a government approach and information security is enough to attack a Chinese company, the marketing analyst said.

In terms of value of online ads, which is the major revenue source for apps, Google and Facebook still dominates the sector but advertisers are always looking for new platforms, Wei said.

Posted by: vk | Aug 2 2020 3:59 utc | 55

Posted by: Et Tu | Aug 1 2020 23:53 utc | 24

Sure, we will have "Fair and Balanced" reporting on China when they actually start killing millions of brown people overseas to level the scales. Until then it's all the usual whataboutism to whitewash your psyop employers.

Posted by: J W | Aug 2 2020 4:01 utc | 56

I’m sure China would welcome anyone who is dissatisfied with Western culture.
Quit bitching, and go for it, comrade!

Posted by: Someoldguy | Aug 2 2020 4:06 utc | 57

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 3:04 utc | 48

Thanks Peter, the vids fuzzy and confusing can't tell who who.. one section on right hand look like Chinese and speak Chinese... BTW how did you come across this vid, very few available especially in LAC border.

Posted by: JC | Aug 2 2020 4:33 utc | 58

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 3:04 utc | 48

Here actual hands fighting "India China LAC Standoff: Unverified Video Of India-china Brawl Emerges| India First"

Question if hand to hands fighting no weapons visible or shown, how did 20 Indians died? I guess miracles?

Posted by: JC | Aug 2 2020 4:43 utc | 59

@16 psychohistorian

Mafia finance meets sovereign statecraft?

I've often said the only way to parse Ukraine since the coup is in terms of thievery rather than statecraft, and recently I began to say here that I was seeing the same thing for the US.
Posted by: Grieved | Aug 1 2020 23:26 utc | 21

It reminds me the following experience. I never drink coffee (few times in my life, the taste was never acquired). On my student trip to western state we had a group, two Poles and two French. Once I complained that in all eating places (Idaho, Wyoming, etc.) they would offer free refill of coffee, but with tea, they would only offer additional hot water. Marc (the French guy) laughed almost to tears: there is no difference! Then I learned that in those parts coffee is particularly diluted. Now back to thievery vs stagecraft... The real question is how diluted the stagecraft brew is, it seems to have some color.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 2 2020 5:06 utc | 60

@ JC 59

This video is not from the Galwan river gorge were 20 Indians were killed but from a some wide, flat, dry area. Different place, quite possibly different day / year.

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 2 2020 5:49 utc | 61

@ Piotr Berman | Aug 2 2020 5:06 utc | 60 with the follow on to the Mafia finance mindset

Thanks for the personal experience in Idaho regarding coffee/tea offerings. I have been thinking about the why and wondering how coffee/tea are offered in other countries. My 71 years of US West coast experience validate your experience and I also only drank coffee for a few years but tea on and off most of the rest of adult life. My blue collar upbringing had me view coffee as the common person drink while tea was more expensive because almost exclusively offered in individual servings instead of pots like coffee....except in Asian restaurants. Another remembrance from eating out days was that talk about the quality of the restaurants coffee and refill policy was part of the decision about where to go.

I suspect there is a heavy dollop of Edward Bernay's marketing that has effected consumption patterns in various communities/nations.....Starbucks is a successful marketing widget.

Now back to thievery versus stagecraft.......The stagecraft brew has whatever color the failure of those of faith have given it. After all, Mafia finance is doing God's work, isn't it?/snark
People keep talking about Capitalism but the one I learned about in college has never existed in reality and has always been a fig leaf cover myth for the decisions made by the global elite that own finance and everything else.....legally, of course.
It is interesting to see how the macro-economic term of mixed economies is rarely used and all we hear/read is capitalist this and socialist that but never together...even though I can't think of a place where economies are 100% some "ism".

What does it say about a country where the president that is presiding over the ongoing deaths of hundreds of thousands has time to get involved in private profit making machinations? As b explained, it can't be for security reasons but seems obvious to me that this is another example of when empire can't compete fairly, they lie, cheat and steal if they can get away with it. China/Russia are not going to let them get away with it anymore

And here we are where the getting away with its are getting smaller and smaller and.....the sides are still in flux.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 2 2020 5:56 utc | 62

@ vk 5%

Facebook was blocked by the PCC state already years ago: no.3 on this long list of forbidden sites in PR China :

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 2 2020 6:01 utc | 63

Posted by: Et Tu | Aug 1 2020 23:53 utc | 26

There must be a counterpart to all the bullshit the western MSM are vomiting in this period.if you want to hear the mocking bird just read elsewhere dear yank..Labour camps? Nothing compared to abu grahib or Guantánamo sorry dude..your western ethic is just shit to the world..try next time.

Posted by: LuBa | Aug 2 2020 6:07 utc | 64

U.S. investors = U.S. government

By now it is clear US is long gone from nation entity to corporation owned by wealthy individuals.

Posted by: Abe | Aug 2 2020 6:29 utc | 65


That's a big praise for MoA, coming from a racist maga cunt such as yourself.

Posted by: cycloben | Aug 2 2020 6:37 utc | 66

That's the beauties of the free market for ya ! This country was built on unearned income, theft is what western countries excell at. Next the exceptionals will look for ways to seize chinese treasury assets. Jim Rickards said that much, if Chump is reelected they will steal a couple of trillion dollars outright. But the masses won't see a penny and immisceration of what remains of working class will continue...

Posted by: Augustin L | Aug 2 2020 6:44 utc | 67


Run onto it when I was trying to find out what the Indians had been up to. An OZ media SMH had put out a sat pic of the week or so before the brawl at patrol point 14. I linked it here some time back. In Indian media, India had put in a major bridge to give access to the galwin valley for heavy convoys which is why the Chinese were coming down the valley. The SMH sat pic showed India had pushed a road up past patrol point 14 and they had a post on the Chinese side of the line of control.

At the patrol point, India had a ford rather than a culvert or bridge, but also had a narrow foot bridge to cross the river. There was a high bank leading down to the footbridge and I suspect it was here that the brawl took place. Perhaps no so much as a brawl but China forcing the Indians down the bank to the footbridge and then if some of the media was right, tossing rocks at them to push them back across the river to their side of the line.
A few sections in the video that pans each way up the gorge have rock slides and so forth matches the section of gorge just past where The Chinese military had the main camp at the time of the incident - well into the Chinese side of the line of control.
The picture on the left from May 22nd shows the Indian post, footbridge and road running past the post. The picture on the right dated 23rd June shows the Chinese post set up a few days after the incident at patrol point 14. Note the high bank above the footbridge. If media reports were correct then this is where the Chinese troops would have been throwing stones at the Indians to force them back across the river. That water is straight off glaciers, and I take it nights were below freezing so any Indians that got dunked into the river would have needed to get back to the main camp at the mouth of the valley very quickly to warm up. Those that didn't died of exposure. There was supposedly ten prisoners that China released but it is likely they were left injured or wet or whatever on China's side so China patched them up and sent them on their way.

Modi - "At the outset, Prime Minister clarified that neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured. He said that twenty of our brave soldiers made the supreme sacrifice for the nation in Ladakh but also taught a lesson to those who had dared to look towards our motherland."

The notes (not transcript) on Modi's all party speech also goes into the military infrastructure India under Modi is building along the disputed border. What western propaganda accused China of but as always - projection.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 6:46 utc | 68

@67 Augustin L,

But hey, at least you'll get $1,200 for your troubles.

Posted by: Cycloben | Aug 2 2020 6:47 utc | 69

@RSH, #37:

Yeah, I think maybe b's filter may have a bunch of block addresses from VPNs; i have been accessing the Internet only by VPN, these last two years, and he's blocked my e-mail addresses, for some reason. I don't typically attack/insult people, here, and AFAIK i've only posted assessments of what b himself posts, generally a short comment if i think it adds something to the discussion, here.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Aug 2 2020 6:49 utc | 70

@5 loma,

That's a big praise for MoA, coming from a racist maga cunt such as yourself.

Posted by: Cycloben | Aug 2 2020 6:50 utc | 71

JC 59

That one is not the Galwin Valley. There's two other points on the border where the Indians are being smartarses, one near a lake and I haven't looked into the other one at all.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 2 2020 7:18 utc | 72

Caitlin Johnstone:

[...] they’re not talking about banning TikTok because of data mining, they are talking about banning TikTok because of data mining that isn’t run by western oligarchs and intelligence agencies.

Democrats are pretending the Trump administration wants to ban TikTok because TikTok kids hurt Trump’s feelings. No they don’t, they want to ban it because they can’t abide a popular social media app that western spooks and narrative managers aren’t balls-deep involved in.


TikTok, Epstein, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Posted by: Mao | Aug 2 2020 7:50 utc | 73

Gordon T Long, 2010:

What made America great was her unsurpassed ability to innovate. Equally important was also her ability to rapidly adapt to the change that this innovation fostered. For decades the combination has been a self reinforcing growth dynamic with innovation offering a continuously improving standard of living and higher corporate productivity levels, which the US quickly embraced and adapted to. This in turn financed further innovation. No country in the world could match the American culture that flourished on technology advancements in all areas of human endeavor. However, something serious and major has changed across America. Daily, more and more are becoming acutely aware of this, but few grasp exactly what it is. It is called Creative Destruction.

It turns out that what made America great is now killing her!

Posted by: Mao | Aug 2 2020 8:33 utc | 74

China should prepare for potential U.S. sanctions by increasing use of its own financial messaging network for cross-border transactions in the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, according to a report from the investment banking unit of Bank of China.

Greater use of the Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) instead of the Belgium based SWIFT system would also reduce exposure of China’s global payments data to the United States, BOC International (BOCI) said in the report [...].

China launched the CIPS clearing and settlement services system in 2015 to help internationalise use of the yuan. Supervised by the central bank, CIPS said it processed 135.7 billion yuan ($19.4 billion) a day in 2019, with participation from 96 countries and regions.

The report said that if the United States were to take the extreme action of cutting off some Chinese banks’ access to dollar settlements, China should also consider stopping using the U.S. dollar as the anchor currency for its foreign exchange controls.

“A good punch to the enemy will save yourself from hundreds of punches from your enemies,” the report wrote, amid deteriorating relating between the world’s two largest economies. “We need to get prepared in advance, mentally and practically.”

Posted by: Mao | Aug 2 2020 9:01 utc | 75

The joke about the role that TikTok played in punking Trump's Tulsa rally is that teens openly posted about what they were doing: the Trump administration was just so clueless as to believe that most of those requests were real

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 2 2020 9:01 utc | 76

In Washington there are hearings about the abuse of power by the big four (Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon). And here we see them pummeling their biggest competitor with full support of the US state. Rather ironic.

Posted by: Tarantella | Aug 2 2020 9:13 utc | 77

The US Senate has passed the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA) after it was included as an amendment to the FY2021 National Defense Appropriation Act (NDAA).

The NELA legislation seeks to restore US leadership in nuclear power with an emphasis on demonstrating advanced reactors. NELA directs the Department of Energy to create a strategic vision for developing next-generation nuclear and authorises demonstration of two designs by 2025 and two to five additional designs by 2035.

“For too long, the United States has lagged behind innovative technologies in the nuclear industry, which is costing our economy, our global leadership and the environment,” said Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski. “The Department of Defense is the logical first customer for advanced reactors, especially micro-reactors currently under development that can be deployed in remote regions. Nuclear power can also provide safe, clean, and affordable electricity for homes, schools and businesses that traditionally rely on more expensive sources of electricity. "

Posted by: Mao | Aug 2 2020 9:16 utc | 78

Ohio Secretary of State: Election results could take weeks

We obviously don’t know who will win this year’s presidential election, but we do know that the 2020 voting process will be more complicated than in any past election of our lifetimes in terms of safety, security, and logistics.

Axios Re: Cap digs in with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, who tells us he's confident in the process but that it could take weeks to know results from his state.

Posted by: Mao | Aug 2 2020 9:19 utc | 79

Huawei became the biggest smartphone player in the world in the second quarter for the first time, a new report by Canalys shows.

The majority of sales came from China as its international business suffers due to U.S. sanctions.

The Chinese vendor shipped 55.8 million devices, down 5% year on year, according to the research firm. Meanwhile, second place Samsung shipped 53.7 million smartphones, a 30% plunge versus the same period last year.

Posted by: Mao | Aug 2 2020 9:23 utc | 80

Mike Pompeo:

Now, before I seem too eager to tear down President Nixon’s legacy, I want to be clear that he did what he believed was best for the American people at the time, and he may well have been right.

He was a brilliant student of China, a fierce cold warrior, and a tremendous admirer of the Chinese people, just as I think we all are.

He deserves enormous credit for realizing that China was too important to be ignored, even when the nation was weakened because of its own self-inflicted communist brutality.

In 1967, in a very famous Foreign Affairs article, Nixon explained his future strategy. Here’s what he said:

He said, “Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside of the family of nations…The world cannot be safe until China changes. Thus, our aim – to the extent we can, we must influence events. Our goal should be to induce change.”

And I think that’s the key phrase from the entire article: “to induce change.”

So, with that historic trip to Beijing, President Nixon kicked off our engagement strategy. He nobly sought a freer and safer world, and he hoped that the Chinese Communist Party would return that commitment.

As time went on, American policymakers increasingly presumed that as China became more prosperous, it would open up, it would become freer at home, and indeed present less of a threat abroad, it’d be friendlier. It all seemed, I am sure, so inevitable.

But that age of inevitability is over. The kind of engagement we have been pursuing has not brought the kind of change inside of China that President Nixon had hoped to induce.

Communist China and the Free World’s Future

Posted by: Mao | Aug 2 2020 9:52 utc | 81

Kay Fabe @26
To try and create an artificial balence between the wrong doings of China and the wrong doings of America would be just plain crazy ! In reality there is no comparison. Surly you must see that fact. Plus the shear weight and onslaught of anti-China reporting at the moment generally, are you suggesting b should join in ?
It’s odd yesterday your comment was first class ! Today not so, what happened ? And what I wonder is ‘your agenda’ aparently as stated above defiantly not fare reporting.
I speak as I find.

Posted by: Mark2 | Aug 2 2020 11:50 utc | 82

@ Mao 78.
Apart from Nuclear reactors for the military, Nuclear fission development in the U.S. has been stalled for years.

Russia is the leader in this fireld, by a long way and already has a mobile Nuclear power generation plant on line. Not to mention their latest generation of fission reactors which, if I have understood what I have read correctly, have a capacity to burn used fuel.

Russia has taken up the. ‘Peace for Atoms ‘ mantle, originally proposed by the States in the U.S. in the fifties but abandoned by them a few years later and is now making inroads into many countries, including African nations which is enraging ‘the people that matter ‘ in the west.

As usual, the global hegemony ambitions of the Anglo-American power elites has backfired and now the U.S. is stuggling to even to begin to catch up.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Aug 2 2020 12:36 utc | 83

Mao @81: "...American policymakers increasingly presumed that as China became more prosperous, it would open up, it would become freer at home..."

China is already freer than America for ordinary people. Just to restate the obvious, they are free of coronavirus cases. When corporate mass media bemoans the lack of freedom, they are talking about their freedom as capitalists to rule society. They (the corporations) should be the ones with the freedom to choose who the political leadership is, like they do in America and Europe, not some massive and impossible-to-buy Communist Party. The capitalists should be "free" to force their brainwashing on the population through mass media so that advertisers can determine the content, not hundreds upon hundreds of committees set up by that impossible-to-buy Communist Party.

America expected that as China developed a new capitalist class, that capitalist class would demand, and be granted, the "freedom" to rule the country. The communists didn't allow that to happen. In fact, Deng Xiaoping had to deliberately promote avarice ("Getting filthy rich is glorious!") for a capitalist class to develop in the first place. Even at that China ended up with "capitalists" like Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, who secretly remain communists at heart, with Ren Zhengfei setting up his businesses to be employee owned and with rotating CEOs to prevent amassing of power.

(Aside: Huawei is not seen as a massive threat to the West simply out of capitalist competition, but because it represents a business structure that undermines capitalism itself)

"Freedom" is a useful word for brainwashing. It can mean anything you want. The propagandist can use the word "freedom" and the propagandized will apply whatever meaning they feel is important to that word. For example, "freedom" for an American redneck is often nothing more that the ability to get in his pickup truck and get out of his dirt road trailer and away from his nagging bitch of a wife to drink a few (dozen) beers with his buddies who are likewise escaping their smelly trailers and bitching wives. "Freedom" for a Afghan redneck is marrying his nine year old nieces (and maybe nephews... who can tell what's under a burqa?) without those nagging Soviets telling him he has to send the kids to school. For a Ukrainian redneck (except a few in the east, aren't they all rednecks?) "freedom" is getting a German salary and a Swedish girlfriend and a BMW in the driveway without having to work for it.

The "Free World©" (copyrighted, so you have to pay licensing fees to use it) is just that part of the world that capitalists are "free" to rule as they see fit.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 2 2020 12:49 utc | 84

Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 3:43 utc | 53
"Not enough armed anarchists. There you go. You got it now?"

Jesus appeared at the foot of my bed and proclaimed social democracy as a solution to the wickedness of this world. He said He didn't like Trump, either, and that I should not feel guilty for my murderous feelings. Furthermore, He said: "Anarchism is anachronism."

Posted by: jadan | Aug 2 2020 12:59 utc | 85

Posted by: Beibdnn | Aug 2 2020 12:36 utc | 83

I fail to see how that isn't just another bullet point in the long list of scams billed to the US taxpayers.

All of these slated megaprojects will forever be an American Pipe Dream, because any actual productivity left in the US has been sucked dry by corporatocracy parasites. They can't even get HSR up for a single state, and please none of that apologetic Free Market(tm) bullshit, thank you very much.

Posted by: J W | Aug 2 2020 12:59 utc | 86

No offense b. But the better russian case to refer is VKontakte or Ewroset. That was classic governmental backed raid

Posted by: Bart Schuster | Aug 2 2020 13:25 utc | 87

@J W 86.

Up to the election of Nixon, the U.S. appeared to be a very technologically inovative country. Indeed by the enf of the sixties, scientists had almost cracked a Thorium Salt Reactor. However politics skewered that and through the seventies massive changes started happening originally initiated after WW2 by the British ‘ Deep State’.

At the start, the U.S. was serious about the project but to be generous, lost it’s way in it’s motivation and ethos to administer the project, rather concentrating on raping other nations instead.

My point is that the U.S. at one time, certainly had the will, the science and the ethos to advance all of humanity but now has receeded to such a level of hubristic greed that it is destroying itself.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Aug 2 2020 13:39 utc | 88

Posted by: jadan | Aug 2 2020 12:59 utc | 8 Jesus appeared at the foot of my bed

Yeah, but he wasn't the "fightin' Jesus" that the Church of the Subgenius talk about, now was he?

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 2 2020 14:02 utc | 89

Richard Steven Hack @30, denies publishing rights to websites or posting rights to commentators, who challenge "world is flat dogma" <=Theories discover that something is hidden.

Posted by: snake | Aug 2 2020 14:03 utc | 90

pretzelattack | Aug 1 2020 19:44 utc | 8
The last 5 months certainly have NOT been this blogs finest, the blog only parrots fauci`s and the Malthusians narrative. If you trust those guys it is between you and God, i will not judge you only say that i dont understand why.
I certainly do not trust the writer anymore and i triple check everything "non covid" he writes now if i bother to read it at all.
The narrative is not true and it is starting to creak at the seams fortunately, i guess it may be hard to admit a mistake for some people. I try to learn from mine and grow tho, not double down and suddenly become a malthusian narrative believer/spreader...

Posted by: Per/Norway | Aug 2 2020 17:05 utc | 91

Board of directors.
If you want to clear up the 'nebulousness' of whatever company happens to be pissing you off, you need to investigate every member of the board of directors of that particular corporation (to include any and all binding financial, familial, and/or social bonds, of not only the first degree.... but the second, and third, as well).

Posted by: Josh | Aug 2 2020 22:08 utc | 92

@w gruff, thats was lol redn3cks in ukraine and usa! But everyone where has this illusion that u have more freedom in china than any western nation. Now one one country is perfect but if you ask someone who actually lived in china how much freedom they have they will laugh at u. There is a reason every chinese family from the middle class to the ultra rich are trying to smuggle there assets and get out of there any chance they have

Posted by: Bob | Aug 2 2020 22:24 utc | 93

So many Sinophobic bots, so little brains!

Posted by: DougDiggler | Aug 2 2020 22:33 utc | 94

ZH has a Sunday night tickler post (no link) rumoring that Microsoft is on again with negotiations to buy TikTok and expect negotiations to be completed by mid-September.....

And there is another ZH posting (no link) that says Trump and Pompeo are soon to announce more China tech restrictions or whatever.

And just because US Congress just held hearing about the criminality of big tech doesn't mean they won't turn around and use them (MS in this case) for geo-political purposes and indemnify them along the way......just like all the vaccine makers get indemnified from making mistakes.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 3 2020 0:09 utc | 95

And now there is the short posting below from Reuters

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft Corp, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a U.S. government panel that has the right to block any agreement, the sources added.

ByteDance, Microsoft and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Think about this. This could be seen as a semi-standard M&A (mergers & acquisitions) deal like Bayer buying Monsanto but instead it has become a geo-political front in the civilization war against China....look who is being civilized....grin

Instead of a country by and for the people, America has become a country by and for Trump and his global private finance handlers....the iron fist is out of the velvet glove.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 3 2020 0:17 utc | 96

Today: Pakistanis behind ‘Chinese’ info war on India-China border standoff

Here @ MoA some AUssies might actually be Pakis; they definitely write like them.
Real mainland Chinese don't have mendacity to write so hateful against Indians at this point in time.

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 3 2020 2:19 utc | 97

Piotr Berman | Aug 2 2020 5:06 utc | 60 & psychohistorian | Aug 2 2020 5:56 utc | 62

Reminds me of the old joke:
Q: "Why is US coffee like making love in a canoe?"
A: "It's f-ing close to water."

~With apologies to Monty Python.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Aug 3 2020 4:45 utc | 98

"Bob" @93:

I've lived in China, as well as made a few extended visits over the years that go well beyond counting as tourism and could almost be considered additional incidents of living there also. While kids back in the US living in momma's basement are never (literally never) clear about what "freedoms" they think might be missing in China, I've invested some effort into hunting about China trying to determine what they might be referring to but to no avail. As a result I have to conclude that all of those "Muh freedums!" types are actually idiot troglodytes who don't know what they are talking about. I suppose "Bob" is another one of those, but maybe not. Maybe the poster will surprise me.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 3 2020 9:09 utc | 99

Total non-issue the US in conjunction with its State Dept compliance arm the cia has been doing this every day since at least the end of WW2 probably longer.

After digging its heels in on any successful non-US enterprise in Latin America & Europe in the late 1940's, by the time of the war on the people of Korea, the determination that every large enterprise in SE Asia had to be owned by US interests spread to everywhere bar Africa.
As many are aware that last bastion, Africa, had crumbled by the late 1990's.
The loss of life & cultural destruction has been huge.

The worm has turned, what seemed less tan 12 months ago to be a process decades away from implementation, has gon into warp speed in 2020.

The worm has turned, all that the US has succeeded at is turning every human outside the US against them apart from a tiny group of rentiers in every other nation, grubs held in huge contempt by their fellow country persons.

If China allows this latest robbery to occur, it will only happen because China has concealed a trojan horse.

Coronavirus is probably to be the petard that the loathsome creatures of the US hoist themselves upon.

Posted by: Ant E American | Aug 3 2020 10:15 utc | 100

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