(LINK) Mongolia needs allies to withstand China’s looming threat – Nikkei Asian Review

Solid read.

From the author of one of my favorite books this year :: https://amzn.to/2p25zUQ

Mongolia needs allies to withstand China’s looming threat – Nikkei Asian Review

(LINK) The China Cultural Clash – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

I don’t subscribe anymore to his newsletter so I am thankful this post is one of his public ones.

My beef has always been the simple premise that China is allowed to buy whatever they want overseas but they don’t allow me the same access in China.

They also don’t allow me to build and ship any product I want into China but yet with TikTok they want to build and ship to any country they want.

This NBA thing is the next facet to this issue – China can do whatever they want to control information in China but now they want to control information in other countries. I think they overplayed their hand here.

Let’s hope the global backlash grows and we get more companies and people speaking out like the NBA did.

The China Cultural Clash – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Interesting how Ben talked about Apple’s special situation and now this:


(LINK) NBA story is trojan horse of our times

Gonna be interesting to watch this play out – for the record I am with Hong Kong but I don’t think it will all end well. China owns HK and they will do as they please – no matter how much I don’t like it.

I talked a little about the NBA thing yesterday :: https://seedvc.blog/2019/10/08/link-how-joe-biden-empowered-chinas-censorship-of-the-nba/

Now on to Kevin:

NBA story is trojan horse of our times

(LINK) Opinion | The trade war shows China’s economic dream is dying. Beijing now has a choice: open up or stagnate | South China Morning Post

Not saying I agree but interesting stance.

The US is demanding that China change course and, for all its growth and promises, Beijing is in no position to argue: in tech, it still lags at least 10 years behind the US and doesn’t have the depth of skills to produce its own high-end goods.
— Read on www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3013800/trade-war-shows-chinas-economic-dream-dying-beijing-now-has-choice

(LINK) China, Leverage, and Values – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

China, Leverage, and Values – Stratechery by Ben Thompson:

On the other hand, for all of the praise that is heaped on Chinese service companies like Tencent for their innovation, the fact that everything on Tencent is monitored and censored is chilling, particularly when people disappear. The possibilities of a central government creating the conditions for, say, self-driving cars or some other top-down application of technology is appealing, but turning a city into a prison through surveillance is terrifying. And while it is tempting to fantasize about removing “fake news” and hateful content with an iron fist, it is a step down the road to removing everything that is objectionable to an unaccountable authority with little more than an adjustment to a configuration file.

This is the true war when it comes to technology: censorship versus openness, control versus creativity, and centralization versus competition. These are, of course, connected: China’s censorship is about control facilitated by centralization. That, though, should not only give Western tech companies and investors pause about China generally, but should also led to serious introspection about the appropriate policies towards our own tech industry. Openness, creativity, and competition are just as related as their counterparts, and infringement on any one of them should be taken as a threat to all three.

Ben does a great job of nailing the crux of the issue for this so-called China/USA trade war.

IMHO too much praise is given to Chinese companies for their success in China, which essentially has zero outside competition. We know why they do this, but to purport that their products are the best or the right way to do it is too simplistic for my liking.

China wants to control everything, so they do this via Chinese companies and how they operate. Excellent for China – not great for outside China.

At the core is censorship for one and human rights. China has a pretty bad record for both, but I am not saying other countries are not guilty as well.

Moreover, the Huawei stuff is just the canary in the coal mine and a bargaining chip to some extent. However, I do think countries need to be vigilant and realize the full extent of what Chinese tech could enable – both the good and the bad.

(PDF) USA Facts 2019 Annual Report


Super interesting and some fun facts in there.

Best to dig in – they highlight the big stuff at the beginning.

I love their intro:

If you’re looking to gain insight on our government
by the numbers, look no further. In this year’s annual
report, we’ve summarized the most recent data on
population trends, government finances, and
outcomes related to government activities. USAFacts
is a not-for-profit, non-partisan resource built for
interested people like you. Red or blue, left or right,
or anywhere in between, it doesn’t matter. We believe
understanding the numbers is the cornerstone to a
healthy and productive democracy. Our goal is to help
inform active citizenship and fact-based debate.