Amazon Responds to Chinese Methods

January 28, 2022

If you live in a reasonably free society, it is easy to laugh at authoritarian governments like China. However, a little research into human rights violations, nuclear warheads, and President Xi Jinping’s lack of humor validates the claim that you do not fool around with a Chinese Mother Nature. Because China is home to Earth’s second largest economy, businesses like Amazon, Apple, Disney, and Google are eager to sell goods and services to the Middle Kingdom. This means, however, that these businesses must throw away their western ethics in favor of authoritarian and communist rules.

Daring Fireball investigates how Jeff Bezos’s Amazon caved to the Chinese government: “Reuters: Amazon Kowtowed To PRC And Removed All Reviews of Xi Jinping’s Book In China.” President Xi Jinping published a book collecting his speeches and writings. Many Chinese leaders publish their writings, following the wake of the late Chairman Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book.

Emboldened by the Internet and modern politics, Chinese people left less than stellar reviews of Xi’s book on Amazon’s Chinese platform. Xi did not like that and told Amazon to disable the review option. Because China is a gold mine, Amazon kowtowed and:

“A negative review of Xi’s book prompted the demand, one of the people said. ‘I think the issue was anything under five stars,’ the highest rating in Amazon’s five-point system, said the other person. Ratings and reviews are a crucial part of Amazon’s e-commerce business, a major way of engaging shoppers. But Amazon complied, the two people said. Currently, on its Chinese site, the government-published book has no customer reviews or any ratings. And the comments section is disabled.”

Daring Fireball’s writer John Gruber showed his satirical side when he wrote that he did not understand why people had such poor opinions of Xi’s book. Gruber linked to the Amazon sales page of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. Xi’s physical appearance was compared to Pooh Bear’s and the president banned the beloved character’s facade.

Whitney Grace January 28, 2022


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