TikTok

This photo taken on 26 September 2020 shows first-year students holding a Chinese flag during a commencement ceremony at Wuhan University in Wuhan, Hubei, China. (STR/AFP)

Geopolitics is the biggest threat to China-US relations, not trade or tech wars

Contrary to doomsday predictions, the US-China trade and tech relationship is actually rather sturdy. After all, it was their economic and trade complementarity that brought them finally to agree on a phase one trade deal, and against all odds, US direct investments into China grew by 6% (from a year earlier) in the first half of the year. Geopolitics and volatile brinkmanship in the name of power relations could instead be the greater threat. But between Trump and Biden, which is the lesser evil?
Xi Jinping, China's president, speaks during the United Nations General Assembly seen on a laptop computer in Hastings on the Hudson, New York, US, on 22 September 2020. President Xi Jinping took a veiled swipe at the U.S. in a strongly worded speech, saying no country should "be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon, bully or boss of the world." (Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg)

The blacklist: When will China pull the trigger?

China’s new Unreliable Entity List seems to be an echo of US actions. But while the list looks like a potentially lethal tool, it has to be wielded prudently in order not to hurt China’s economy or cause anxiety. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu examines the factors involved.
People wear protective face masks at a shopping complex in Beijing, China, on 17 July 2020. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Is the US just a ‘paper tiger’ or is she able to derail China’s progress?

Even though the countries are in a state of “non-war”, US-China tensions will not go away, says Chinese scholar Deng Qingbo. The US can only be expected to continue using China as a bogeyman even after the presidential election. While he is confident that China will be able to handle containment measures thrown at it deftly, he warns that it needs to guard against being increasingly withdrawn from the world as it nurses its bruises from its battles with the US. Failing to do so would only mean the US has succeeded in thwarting its goal of greater reform and opening up.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US President Donald Trump shake hands after signing the US-China phase one trade agreement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, US, 15 January 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/File Photo/Reuters)

US-China trade talks resume on a wary note

​After days of delay, the US and China reviewed their phase one trade agreement in a telephone call on 25 August. Both sides sidestepped the question of recent US actions against Chinese companies, but there is no guarantee that this uneasy truce will hold up as the 2020 US presidential race intensifies.
China and US flags are seen near a TikTok logo in this illustration picture taken on 16 July 2020. (Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

Banning TikTok: A 'China Crusade' has begun?

Following TikTok’s shutting down in the Indian market, and the US’s announcement of its ban, countries such as Japan and New Zealand have also begun to consider imposing sanctions on TikTok. Does the crux of the problem lie in the company’s practices over user privacy and information security, or in the geopolitical struggle among the major powers? In the future, will other Chinese technology companies face the same fate as TikTok when they expand overseas?
The logo for Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat app is arranged for a photograph on smartphones in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting U.S. residents from doing business with the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps beginning 45 days from now, citing the national security risk of leaving Americans' personal data exposed. (Ivan Abreu/Bloomberg)

Apple or WeChat — which would the Chinese choose?

With Trump's executive order prohibiting US "transactions" with China apps TikTok and WeChat, it may be harder for the Chinese to use WeChat on iPhones. But when it comes to making a choice between using WeChat for daily life or sticking with iPhones, which would the Chinese choose?
People ride shared bicycles past the CCTV headquarters in the Central Business District in Beijing, China, on 4 August 2020. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Chinese academics: China must avoid falling into ‘Trump’s trap’

China has limited retaliatory actions against the US, according to Chinese academics. What are China’s options, and will it dance to the US's tune and fall into 'Trump's trap'?
In this photo illustration, the social media application logo, TikTok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on an American flag background on 3 August 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. (Olivier Douliery/AFP)

Will TikTok and China continue to embrace the world despite US pressure?

That TikTok founder Zhang Yiming did not immediately beat a hasty retreat to the safety of China’s huge domestic market and is still looking for ways for his company to be truly global is a lesson for China in general. How does it want to present itself to the world from now on? Will it retreat back into its shell and allow itself to be painted as a pariah, or choose to engage its detractors and navigate troubled waters with grace?
The TikTok logo is displayed in the app store in this photograph in view of a video feed of US President Donald Trump, 3 Aug 2020. (Hollie Adams/Bloomberg)

US wants it banned while the Chinese calls it a traitor. Is this the end of TikTok?

As TikTok edges towards its deadline of 15 September to either be sold to a US buyer or banned in the US, it is ironic to think that Bytedance, its parent company, is getting bruised from all sides. Some of its harshest critics, in fact, are intensely patriotic Chinese citizens who think that it has not gone far enough in pushing back on unreasonable US demands. Can ByteDance appease the gods and the hordes before the deadline is up?