back to article China trolls Trump with tech export rules changes that could imperil TikTok sale

China has added new technologies to its export control list and by doing so could derail the sale of Tiktok’s US operations. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Friday posted changes to its list of technologies that can’t be exported and/or require a permit to send offshore. State media outlet Xinhua reports that two new …

  1. JDPower

    Good. This politically motivated forced sale stinks to high heaven, I absolutely hope China manage to block it.

    1. Geoffrey W

      The sale is worse than politically motivated, it's personal. Trump has an election coming soon and wants to look like a tough guy by being mean to China. The reasons for sale are not technical, or political, but Trumpian. He doesn't give a shit about anything other than himself. Every time he opens his big mouth he exhibits the same narcissistic behavior; I've said it before but I'll repeat myself till I'm blue in the face - I detest the bastard!

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Don't forget the grudge for the empty seats on his comeback rally in Tulsa, which many attribute to a campaign launched on TikTok

      2. HildyJ Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re the election, also note that he pushed out his 45 day deadline to 90 days. Which is not coincidentally after the election. That way he can claim his bigly business deals are working, continue to bash the Chinese, and not piss off TikTok users (and their parents) until after the election.

        One hopes that the Chinese export rules are retroactive just like America's and they reconsider Huawei's patent licenses.

      3. Sanguma Bronze badge

        FTFY

        s/Trump has an election coming soon/Trump has an erection coming soon

        there - fixed it for you

    2. Beeblebrox

      So do we now have Vlad on one side of the US presidential election and Xi on the other?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "So do we now have Vlad on one side of the US presidential election and Xi on the other?"

        Hmmm...sorta like Korea or Vietnam or Afghanistan. A proxy war by the superpowers where the chosen 3rd world field of battle is where the most damage will happen. Only this time the superpowers are Russia and China and the field of battle is the USA.

      2. Cederic Silver badge

        No. I think several years of FBI investigations with no evidence of support from Vlad should really be enough to close off that one.

        Shouldn't it?

        Really though, can't you just let go?

        1. rcxb Silver badge

          several years of FBI investigations with no evidence of support from Vlad

          "F.B.I. Warns of Russian Interference in 2020 Race and Boosts Counterintelligence Operations"

          "Intelligence officials have said Russia has kept up its election interference operations under the direction of President Vladimir V. Putin and that they are likely to intensify during the 2020 presidential campaign"

          "The F.B.I. director warned anew on Friday about Russia’s continued meddling in American elections"

          Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/26/us/politics/fbi-russian-election-interference.html

          "The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election issued an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers"

          The indictment builds on a declassified report released in January 2017 by several intelligence agencies, which concluded that “Putin and the Russian government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”

          Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/us/politics/mueller-indictment-russian-intelligence-hacking.html

          1. Cederic Silver badge

            My understanding is that Russia were seeking to foment discord, irrespective of the outcome of the election.

            Which is rather different to specifically supporting one side.

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              re: Which is rather different to specifically supporting one side.

              But both equally wrong in terms of election integrity.

              It sounds like you're fine with foreign interference with elections providing they're just trying to stir shit up rather than picking a side. Are you?

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: re: Which is rather different to specifically supporting one side.

                So far, as far as I know, China haven't so much interfered in the election as bashed Trump specifically.

                Normally governments try not to make it clear who they want to win an election, because it's so embarrassing when the guy you were publicly rude about wins. In the case of Trump it's pretty clear that all of the USA's allies want him to lose - and some of them even quietly say it, but mostly in off-the-record-briefings. They've been saying it for years now. So being openly anti-Trump is accepted, as most people think that being nice to him makes little difference to how shit he'll be in future.

                Russia were using covert (well, barely covert, but profitable enough for Google and Facebook to not care about stopping it) means to try to influence the last election. Though it's not clear if they were in favour of Trump, against Clinton or just trying to cause trouble. It may have been a mix of all three.

              2. Cederic Silver badge

                Re: re: Which is rather different to specifically supporting one side.

                I'm very comfortable with foreign interference in US elections, yes.

                Payback.

            2. rcxb Silver badge

              Your understanding is misinformed. From my links:

              "a declassified report released in January 2017 by several intelligence agencies, which concluded that 'Putin and the Russian government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.'"

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                rcxb,

                That's another way of expressing what I said. They were out to get Clinton, which helped Trump. But they were also putting the boot into both sides with many of their operations - which more suggests they were out to sow chaos than with a postiive goal in mind.

                I doubt they could have predicted the effect the leaks would have, particularly with the FBI publicly re-opening the case a couple of weeks before the election. Which I strongly suspect was the straw that broke the camel's back - and gave Trump the win.

                Trump was waaaay behind in the polls when they started - and even he wasn't taking his campaign that seriously. That was the era when he wasn't fund-raising or putting his own money in, and got through 3 campaign managers in about 5 months. And he'd fallen quite a way behind again when the FBI put their size 12s in around the end of October.

                1. rcxb Silver badge

                  "aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances" is as clear-cut as possible. I can't imagine why you continue to read something else into it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Irrelevant

      Since Tiktok can be banned & cutoff access to the US with the stroke of a pen. More importantly, such a ban means that no US companies can advertise on Tiktok. And US companies will possibly be told they can't allow forgein retailers to advertise US products or else they will have to stop selling through those retailers.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Irrelevant

        The authority for banning TikTok is a bit tenuous at best and its been challenged in court. It may fail but we do need to define "What emergency?" and "What threat to national security?". You can't stop an American company from doing business in the US just because its parent is Chinese. This opens the door to all sorts of problems.

        We've got used to the idea that we -- the US -- can do outrageous things and the rest of the world just has to put up and shut up. In the hands of Trump, a person who has absolutely no idea what he's doing, the envelope is being pushed further and further from globally accepted norms. Sooner or later someone is going to stop being polite and push back. Imagine Apple or Microsoft suddenly being told to sell their Chinese subsidiaries to a Chinese parent -- that's 40% of Apple's business up in smoke (not to mention the potential for supply chain SNAFUs interfering with product launches).

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: Irrelevant

          "We've got used to the idea that we -- the US -- can do outrageous things and the rest of the world just has to put up and shut up."

          So you are unaware of the restrictions that foreign companies face when trying to operate in China? This is simply goose v gander stuff, and was inevitable once China got too big to ignore.

          1. Jon 37

            Re: Irrelevant

            The restrictions that foreign companies face when trying to operate in China have been present for years, they are well known, documented, and reasonably consistently enforced.

            The US claims to be ruled by law, but Trump just suddenly made up this rule that TikTok has to be sold, with no prior democratic process, and no prior hints in the law that this was even possible. It's not some law that has passed through the democratically-elected Congress & House, it's Trump using powers that were intended for us in genuine emergencies (flood, hurricane, war, plague, COVID-19, etc). Trump claimed this was an emergency and made a law using his emergency powers.

            If you want people to invest in a country, they need to know that the laws are stable and consistently applied. Whether the laws are "good" or "bad" is something they can evaluate before investing. If they decide they can make a profit following Chinese law then they will invest there, if not then they won't.

            When you have someone acting as a dictator making arbitrary changes to the law on almost zero notice, people don't want to invest because there is a risk that the dictator changes the law and forces them to close their business or sell it for less than it was worth.

      2. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Irrelevant

        Since Tiktok can be banned & cutoff access to the US with the stroke of a pen.

        If by "stroke of a pen" you mean the president signing legislation that has passed both the House and the Senate, then sure.

        If you mean via executive authority alone, then it is doubtful the president has that sort of long-term authority, short term emergency declaration, sure, but unlikely permanent/long-term.

  2. JohnMurray

    It's Sarah Coopers fault.

    Taking the pee out of Trump was never going to end well (as opposed to giving the pee...allegedly)

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    Just a reminder

    Sun Tzu wrote the book more than two millenia ago on the strategies that nations and businesses use today, Trump likes to think he was smart writing ' The Art of the Deal' but he's a late comer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but he's a late comer.

      and also an amateur. How many bankruptcies has his empire gone through? If he is so good at deal making then some of the ones he's signed up to were real stinkers.

      I hope that somehow, his tax returns become public. Then the voters can see for themselves what a tax cheating philanderer they are being asked to vote for again (and again and again if he has any say in the matter)

      The USA is more divided today than at any time since 1860. Sadly a good percentage of the voters believe that the sun shines out of his ass and will follow him into hades.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: but he's a late comer.

        If only they would indeed follow him there, would rid the world of a lot of garbage (and Trump in the bargain).

      2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: but he's a late comer.

        Six bankruptcies of casinos over an 18 year period, leaving US banks screwed out of over $1B. That is why Trump can't borrow from US banks and has to go to the loan sharks of the banking world, Russia and Deutsche Bank.

        The fact that in 6 tries and 18 years he still didn't learn how to run a casino says it all.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: but he's a late comer.

          Who says he didn't know how to run a casino?

          It sounds more like the banks that lost out didn't know how to run banking.

        2. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: but he's a late comer.

          Who else but trump can go bankrupt in a business where "the house always wins"?

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Just a reminder

      "The Art of the Deal" was written by Tony Schwartz who considers it his "greatest regret in life, without question". He said he "put lipstick on a pig" and thinks the book should be "recategorized as fiction".

      4 bankruptcies were in the news before Trump was elected. He boasted about how he had made money from those bankruptcies (One of Trump's few accurate statements). Back when I was young and (more) foolish I worked for a company that went bankrupt. First payment was delayed, then they declared bankruptcy, then money did not arrive at all and finally there was nothing left to pay the money they legally no longer owed. (Get your contract checked by a lawyer. When payment is overdue warn that you will take the matter to the small claims court - fill out the forms ready. File the forms at the first opportunity (assuming there are that many opportunities) and do not take any excuses. You will not get a second chance.)

      Frederic Trump could provide evidence that he payed to the cent the correct amount of tax. Donald points at a haphazard pile of papers and says: prove I got something wrong. His tax affairs did get into the news before he was elected. He lost such an enormous amount of money years ago that he did not need to pay any tax until his companies got back in the black.

      Owe the bank a million and your in trouble. Owe the bank a billion and the bank is in trouble. The bank in question was Deutsche Bank - famous at the time for getting caught laundering Russian money. Donald was saved by Alfa Bank (bank of Putin).

      Some of Trump's core voters may actually know all this. If you somehow told all of them and they believed you it still would not matter. Trump is the racist candidate (with multiple convictions) and that is the only thing that matters to his base.

      1. Eclectic Man Bronze badge

        Re: Just a reminder

        "When payment is overdue warn that you will take the matter to the small claims court - fill out the forms ready. File the forms at the first opportunity (assuming there are that many opportunities) and do not take any excuses. You will not get a second chance.)"

        You can claim online if it is only for money (rather than goods or services). However, beware of 'intermediates' who will submit your claim for you, for a fee. I hope no one here needs it, but just in case, check out this link:

        https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money

        In England and Wales I believe you can make a claim for money of up to £100,000 online. Scotland and Northern Ireland have different legal systems. There is a court fee, but a court summons has, in my experience, been remarkably effective in getting recalcitrant companies to pay attention.

      2. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Just a reminder

        Trump is the racist candidate (with multiple convictions)

        Please cite one of those convictions please, because I've never heard of any criminal convictions against Donald Trump.

        that is the only thing that matters to his base.

        Given the constant racism I hear from people vehemently against him, maybe racism is just an American thing.

        1. Claptrap314 Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Just a reminder

          I'm pretty sure he's talking about this: https://www.truthandaction.org/trumps-30-year-record-of-rejecting-racism-and-promoting-equality/2/

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Just a reminder

      Trump likes to think he was smart writing ' The Art of the Deal'

      He likes to think he's smart in being able to persuade people he wrote it, despite Tony Schwartz being the actual author. And I suppose he must be smart, because millions of people buy the lies - after the Goebbels-level of falsehoods at the Nuremberg-style rally Convention outside the White House, his poll ratings actually went up.

      The problem for Trump is that his only ambition is personal and the "America" thing is just bait for the voters; Xi's nationalist agenda is rather more sincere and he has the resources and infrastructure to work on it without the pesky interruption of elections.

      1. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: Just a reminder

        He likes to think he is smart for passing a test that means they won't take his car keys away. All that test proves is that he is not senile or has memory problems.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Just a reminder

          All that test proves is that he is not senile or has memory problems.

          All that test proves is that it failed to detect senility and/or memory problems.

          1. Blackjack Silver badge

            Re: Just a reminder

            Being a compulsive liar is always how the guy has always has been. The character he played in The Apprentice wasn't a character, it was how he usually acts.

  4. llaryllama

    The whole thing is a mess

    Both sides have a lot to answer for. Forcing companies to sell out under the threat of bans is not the way western democracies should behave. On the other hand, the Chinese government operates on its own set of rules and Chinese companies are absolutely beholden to the CCP as their rulers and masters.

    Anyone in China crying foul should remind themselves that 99% of similar western apps from Facebook to Youtube are blocked in China, in fact using these apps or attempting to circumvent blocks is a criminal offense with heavy penalties. However I do believe that western democracies need to practice what they preach and stand on moral high ground.

    I don't have any answers about the best way to handle this. Allowing Chinese apps in a free-for-all is a one way street that makes the west look weak and gives an authoritarian government open access to a lot of data. Blocking Chinese apps is anti-democratic. How to deal with all this in a fair but sensible way that protects democratic integrity is beyond my pay grade.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: The whole thing is a mess

      "However I do believe that western democracies need to practice what they preach and stand on moral high ground."

      Why should we take the moral high ground? And in any case, what is the moral high ground? Enabling a government that conducts medical experiments and organ harvesting on prisoners? That kidnaps people to use for diplomatic purposes?

      The only 'moral' position is complete disengagement. Anything else can only be described in some grey terms. So banning social media apps but still buying children's toys from China is a mess, but allowing both is more of a mess.

      There's also the question of data. It is a reasonable position to allow China to export footballs, as there's little to concern us about that. It's vastly more questionable to allow a country known for pursuing its critics abroad (anyone critical of China's HK stance anywhere in the world commits an offence in China now) to have access to huge troves of data about citizens outside of China. Ideally all Internet cables connecting China to World minus China would be severed, to minimize the chance of them amassing such data, but that's unlikely to happen.

      TikTok, viewed in these terms, is nothing but a mass data-gathering operation, in the hands of an authoritarian, Orwellian dystopia that is increasingly externally aggressive and willing to inflict punishment on countries and peoples for even minor slights. Democratic governments should ban TikTok, WeChat, and any other Chinese apps as a basic act of protection for their citizens.

      This is distinct from Trump's ridiculous mafia-esque attempt to force Bytedance to sell off TikTok, with a hefty commission to the US Government, and his ludicrous acts with regards Huawei. Banning TikTok is a morally reasonable thing to do. Forcing it to sell off to a US company is not. And wanting a backhander to boot shows it for what it is: a shakedown, in broad daylight. That he feels confident enough to commit extortion in full view of the world's media is deeply concerning.

      Sandwiched between gangster capitalism to the west and just plain gangsters to the east, the UK is in a bit of a pickle right now.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: The whole thing is a mess

        You raise some very good points and some stretching it a bit.

        For starters, look at the demographics of TikTok, teenage wannabe media stars, is hardly the political hotpot. If they are worried about spying, then simply tell goverment staff and the military they can't install it.

        The issue most have is this fake security theatre. If the goverments simply said, we are banning Huawei and TikTok until the Chinese goverment changes its rules on foreign companies operating in China, they would get a lot more sympathy.

        As for human rights etc, well we (as in Goverments) can hardly moan at China whilst arming and supporting the same type of regiems in the middle east.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The whole thing is a mess

          Yes - criticising one repressive regime and not another could be seen as hypocritical. But I'd rather have a hypocritical government standing up to *some* repressive regimes, than a consistent government bending over for *all* of them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC - Re: The whole thing is a mess

            You're right! States are rules by interests not by principles.

        2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          It's true that it is rather difficult to pretend to the moral high ground after having spent the entire second half of the 20th century selling weapons and ammo to any country that had a revolutionary movement, often to both sides at a time.

          And, as for not wanting Trump to win the upcoming elections, I hardly think China is the only country with that disposition.

          In any case, I fully support that stance.

          1. llaryllama

            Russia and China sold roughly the same amount of weapons (it's hard to get exact figures for obvious reasons) as the US in recent years, largely to other authoritarian or conflict states. So let's just assume everyone is roughly even on the "selling arms to bad people" naughty step. We can't pretend that the rise of authoritarianism is not a problem just because X did Y in year Z.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The whole thing is a mess

        the UK is in a bit lot of a self-pickle right now.

        There, fixed it.

      3. hoola Bronze badge

        Re: The whole thing is a mess

        Gathering data just like Google, Facebook, Amazon and every other major (usually US based) corporation that can be ordered to hand over data to the Government.

        The only difference is that they are doing it for money whilst they own the government.

        I don't think there is a huge different other than the self-righteous way the US believes they can interfere anywhere else in the world because they think something is:

        Involved in terrorism (but only against the US)

        Undemocratic

        The latest fad in the "Make America Great" campaign.

        A threat to US based companies with large cash reserves and lobbying power.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The whole thing is a mess

      "gives an authoritarian government open access to a lot of data"

      Remember in all this that a forced sale would give that access to a different authoritarian government. Don't discount that as a motive.

      1. llaryllama

        Re: The whole thing is a mess

        I have experienced life in the US and China. On the internet you can try to compare the two with a wry smile, but on the ground it's very different. Yes, anyone with half a brain knows the US spies on its citizens and the rest of the world and it's nowhere near perfect. But in China this comment that you just wrote would have already been deleted. There would be no commentary or discussion about what the government is doing wrong or what needs to change. That's a critical difference between authoritarian countries and democracies.

    3. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: The whole thing is a mess

      Its not a 'sides' thing. The Chinese, like all nations, have laws to protect the integrity of the country. We may or may not agree with them but pretending that there's this wellspring of 'freedom and democracy' which needs to flow over the entire Earth is not just disingenuous, its blatantly false.

      If you pulled the sorts of tricks that have been happening in Hong Kong in the US then you'd find out very quickly that we've got identical laws prohibiting foreign actors from inciting, financing and generally participating in actions against the state. Its well known that we exercise our jurisdiction globally and we find it quite reasonable that this is asymmetrical -- we will not recognize the jurisdiction of any external agency over us. We also have a very fluid attitude towards democracy -- we've been ruled by a minority for many decades now, the majority being beaten back by a variety of constitutional and legislative tricks (and its got so bad that this upcoming election is not so much an election but a fight for democracy -- we're being ruled by decree now, in case you haven't noticed).

      We need to take politicians' pronoucements with a generous pinch of salt. They have a habit of spouting off the wall comments that suit some fanciful line and their ever faithful pundits repeat this as fact. This whole 'CCP' thing is BS -- its about as relevant as saying the entire US establishment is in thrall to the Republican party. Its their establishment. We've got ours, they've got theirs. We use our tools to further our interests, they use theirs to further theirs. Its simple.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: The whole thing is a mess

        Thank-you Christopher Robin

      2. llaryllama

        Re: The whole thing is a mess

        I grew up in Taiwan under the constant threat of Chinese military action. Comparing the Republican party with the CCP shows a deep misunderstanding of how the PRC system works. China is an authoritarian one-party state, so the CCP is not just a party. It's God. The PRC's laws require the Party to be placed above your own life, above your religion, above your parents. Absolutely zero open discussion or criticism of the CCP or Chinese politics is tolerated.

        What is very dangerous about the CCP in modern times is that they are not content with peaceful cohabitation, they are actively trying to export their brand of authoritarianism to other countries with some degree of success. Want loans but those pesky Yankees say you're not allowed to torture your own citizens? We've got just the package for you!

        No political system is perfect but even a messed up democracy is better than Chinese authoritarianism.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @llaryllama - Re: The whole thing is a mess

          As a politician in my native country used to say, it's better to have a healthy dictatorship than a sick democracy.

          As a person who spent half of his/her life under a communist regime I can tell you it can be a valid assertion.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why buy it?

    As soon as it's banned, oracle/Microsoft could spend the money they would have spent buying it promoting their replacement.

    There's nothing technical of value. They only want the userbase.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Why buy it?

      "They only want the userbase"

      So does Trump. Some of those users pissed him off. If they'd used Faceter to do that a few national security letters would have identified them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't forget...

        The cut on the deal that Trump wants.

        He is a classic con man. It is a pity that so much of the USA believes every sound that he utters.

  6. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Donald is still getting is "cut", right?

    </sarcasm>

  7. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I think Trump wants a US company like MS or Oracle to buy Tiktok because both of these companies are Trump supporting and with Larry Ellison even going as far as to host a fund raiser for the orange one. This is unlike his current platform of choice, Twitter which has been flagging up his tweets for the lies that they are recently and he has fallen out with.

    So if a Trump supporting companies buys it, he will then be able to go on to Tiktok and post his lies and propaganda safe in the knowledge that his pals it own the platform so are unlikely to moderate what he writes.

    For any Trump supports out there. When are you going to realised Trump is ONLY concerned about what makes him look good? He couldn't give two hoots for 'making American great again' he just wants to make Trump great

  8. 0laf Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I would if were them

    If they're getting a good price I'd sell the whole damn lot and run away.

    I think I'd place a reasonable bet on TikTok imploding in a year or two. It's fashionable shite without any real purpose. The kiddywinks like it now, but they won't like it for long. Then you can buy it for a tenner along with MySpace.

  9. John Jennings Bronze badge

    TicTok banned?

    I reckon that the Prez will block TicTok

    By threatening to ban the sale of TicTok, china has shown that it really does have a paw up the butt of companies born within the Middle Kingdom. It reinforces the Administrations claims. Irrespective of how the sale was forced, it could be a win for Trump. He only has to delay the banning till after the election, but before the end of his administration (if he looses) and he can still ban it. If he wins, he can ban it when he likes.

    There is unfair competition in both directions. China does not allow many apps in its country Facebook, Full Fat Google and others - these are banned for political stability reasons as the Party cannot have dissent. Data is throttled going into the country, as reported within this journal earlier this month, to discourage locals from using 'approved' external products at the expense of home - grown efforts.

    Plus, I am not sure how many ticTok'ers are active voters....

  10. mego

    China's already trolled the world with their handling of COVID-19 that's lead to far more death and economic devastation than anything they could come up with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @mego

      Do you happen to have some facts or numbers for your assertion ?

      1. mego

        Re: @mego

        See my response to the other question.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      China's already trolled the world with their "handling of COVID-19"

      You mean going into full blown lockdown before any other nation and having lower death rates than many other countries, despite having the worlds largest population.

      Yup terrible handling.

      1. mego

        Ok, let me ask you one question. Do you believe the death rates they're reporting? Because, I don't know about you, but I get skeptical when a country kicks out journalists trying to report on the truth of the matter. Maybe just me?

        But in this case, I'm talking about things like blocking the world from being told, arresting anyone that tried, then proceeded to demand the UN change the facts and declare them heroes. The fact that the Chinese government acted early to shut down the spread of INFORMATION is what significantly established the economic and health problem we are facing right now. Information that would have led to the world shutting down travel rapidly and start working on policy that will slow it down, and reduce spread of infection. No, I guess it had no impact that they arrested the doctor that discovered it and reported it, forced him to sign a confession that he was "making it up", and detained him under arrest while he was dying from COVID-19?

        https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/business/media/china-expels-american-journalists.html

        https://www.thedailybeast.com/china-silenced-doctor-who-first-raised-alarm-about-coronovirus-nyt-reports

        https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-52420536

        https://apnews.com/68a9e1b91de4ffc166acd6012d82c2f9

        https://www.foxnews.com/world/chinese-doctor-critics-who-first-raised-the-alarm-over-covid-19-vanishes (fox news, I know, but there is corroboration elsewhere - this just puts all the data into an easier to read format)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    YES , YES

    About time we had a war with decent logistics

  12. David Roberts
    Holmes

    Behind the times here.

    Until recently I thought that Twitter and Facebook were for disseminating personal view and various other dubious crap, Instagram was for sharing pictures and TikTok was for sharing teen dance videos.

    Apparently Instagram is also a news and views feed.

    Presumably TikTok will also be repurposed because once you have enough viewers you will try and use the medium for any message you want to push.

    However the thought of a Trump dance video is making me a little nauseous.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Behind the times here.

      Could it be worse than Ballmer's Monkeydance ?

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