Click Rattling: Tech Giants Explain Their Reality to China

July 6, 2021

Will this end well? Do US technology giants — Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and others — believe that operating in concert will alter Chinese policy? “American Internet Giants Hit Back at Hong Kong Doxxing Law” reports that “an industry group representing the largest American Internet companies warned Hong Kong’s government that changes to the city’s data-protection laws could impact companies’ ability to provide services in the city.” [You will have to pay up to read this Gray Lady confection, gentle reader.]

What? “Warn”, “could”, “data protection.”

I must be missing something. Isn’t China is a nation state? Its citizens and companies wishing to operate within its boundaries must conform to its rules and regulations or interesting things happen; for example, mobile death vans and a variation on adult day care.

It’s great that there is a Singapore outfit called the Asia Internet Coalition. I think that collaboration among largely unregulated, money centric US corporations is able to take place for such noble purposes as selling ads. However, what nuance of “China is a nation state” eludes this association and its US technology company members?

The write up reports: Shortly after the law was enacted, Facebook, Google and Twitter all said they had suspended responding to data requests from the Hong Kong authorities. Last month, police officers in the city invoked the law to briefly pull down a website that called for unity among expatriate Hong Kongers in the pro-democracy movement.

Will a refusal to respond to a nation state’s requests constitute behavior deemed illegal or seditious by a country like China?

If this news report is on the money, my hunch hypothesis is that some American technology giants are legends in their own minds. They seem to be acting as if they were real countries, just minus the fungible apparatuses of a country. I have a suggestion. Why doesn’t the Asia Internet Coalition invite the top 12 senior managers of those big US companies to a cruise up the Yangtze? The execs can tour the Shanghai Qingpu Prison and check out the abandoned cities of China’s “forced resettlement” policy.

Issue some warnings in a big news conference before boarding the boat. Warn? Hey, great idea. Issue a news release too. Post on social media. Tweet pictures of interesting structures.

Stephen E Arnold, July 6, 2021`


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