The heads of Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook fended off tough questions from lawmakers last month at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee. To help allay concerns about monopolistic business practices, each CEO sought to portray his company as representing American values and serving American interests. They all did so in part by pointing to a threat supposedly bigger than their own companies: China. “If you look at where the top technology companies come from, a decade ago the vast majority were American. Today, almost half are Chinese,” Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said in his opening remarks. “There’s […]
Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. Guest contributor Lavender Au wrote the lead story in China Note this week. When the U.S. tightened restrictions on Huawei’s access to semiconductor chips last week, the Trump administration’s goal became clear, if it wasn’t already: kneecap the Chinese telecom giant’s technological advancement. Under a previous round of U.S. trade restrictions in May, Huawei was blocked from using American technology to make its own semiconductors, but the company found workarounds by obtaining chips designed by third parties. The latest […]
From spyware wielded by autocrats to expanded surveillance by police states under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic, new technologies are helping authoritarian governments entrench their power and target their critics. They are also amplifying the spread of disinformation. Yet many democracies are also using these same technologies in troubling ways. This WPR report provides a comprehensive look at how these state-of-the-art tools are being harnessed by different governments around the world.
The global economic map is reshuffling, and predictions abound on where the pieces will land. As companies scramble to protect themselves from U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade wars, the growing technology rivalry between the United States and China, and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, will the long-promised “reshoring” of manufacturing back to higher-wage countries finally take place? Will the U.S. and China “decouple” their economies, particularly for the technologies of the future? If so, how will Europe, Japan and others respond? For the moment, the big winner is uncertainty. We have moved from a world in which companies […]
In mid-July, 130 high-profile Twitter accounts were hijacked by a small group of hackers, apparently led by a teenager in central Florida. They were able to take over some of the social media service’s most prominent handles—including those of Kanye West, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk—and use them to scam hundreds of people out of a combined $118,000 in bitcoin. It was the biggest security breach in Twitter’s history, and a stunning embarrassment for the company. The hack also entailed a high level of risk to users’ personal security. According to Twitter, the hackers were able to not only send […]
The wildly popular video-sharing platform TikTok and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, have had a rough couple of months. The government of India banned TikTok in June—along with dozens of other Chinese apps—and authorities in a number of other major markets are investigating TikTok over national security and data privacy concerns. President Donald Trump said last week that he would ban the app in the United States, but then changed his mind and gave his blessing to a proposed deal in which Microsoft would buy TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. On the Trend Lines podcast […]
Over the past few months, the wildly popular video-sharing app TikTok and its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, have found themselves mired in a serious public relations crisis. In June, India banned dozens of Chinese apps, including TikTok, over national security concerns, and officials in Australia are reportedly investigating the app due to concerns over its ties to the Chinese Communist Party. In the United States, President Donald Trump seemed ready to ban the app last week, but has now given his blessing to a potential deal in which Microsoft would buy TikTok’s operations in the U.S., as well as in […]