–Climate justice, emission cuts, societal peacefulness all require better media, political, trade and market systems.
Opinion by Mathew Carr
Feb. 26-March 1– This New York Times report quotes views that assume Chinese investors are bad actors, because they are Chinese.
It blames TikTok for deploying American-led strategies on data misuse.
It appears to support selfish protectionism from a country that pays lip service to democratic capitalism and free trade.
The fact that the NYT would publish a story written in this biased way is highly disappointing. It does at least show that the racist tendencies are being curbed by the US political system.
BBC Newsnight, a popular TV news-analysis program in the UK (and apparently “high brow”), Tuesday night appeared to follow in the footsteps of the NYT.
The British state broadcaster purveyed basically racist views against TikTok, one of the few big social media companies owned by a Chinese company — in this case ByteDance.
“Is time running out for Chinese-owned TikTok?” the program asked.
Newsnight spent about 10 minutes on the story Tuesday night, and did at least include voices from China saying the US should respect the market economy.
The big criticism seemed to be that the Chinese government might require TikTok to turn over data, eroding user privacy. Yet BBC didn’t explore adequately the fact that this is how it works pretty much in all countries.
So the report was basically criticising the Chinese government for doing something that all governments do – that’s racist because the segment didn’t explain why the behavior in China is worse than the same behavior elsewhere — ie on Facebook/Meta, Google/Alphabet, Twitter (all American).
The BBC needs to do much better.
The title of the segment is silly because clearly TikTok is on the rise, though CarrZee won’t be surprised if the US, UK, EU, Canada folk criticising and banning TikTok are really mainly aiming to take control of TikTok in their markets — is a forced divestment in the offing as the world fragments even further?
This would be hugely damaging to the OECD nations, as well as China.
That’s because there needs to be more competition in social media, not less.
The whole point of social media was that it would boost the power of people vs governments. Governments and billionaires seem to think they can stop this happening. But they should not be allowed to.
Are these billionaire-protecting OECD nations jealous of TikTok’s money and power? When these nations’ companies lose in the market, their bullying inclination is to change the rules of the market so that they keep winning.
This seems to be the playground behavior of the bully-boy sore loser.
Are these wealthy-nation governments – who represent those most to blame for the climate crisis – seeking to use TikTok to try to force China into a UNFCCC/G20 climate deal that China thinks is unfair? It needs to be investigated.
Is there similar behavior toward India, where successful industrial company Adani is attacked by hedge funds? That also needs to be investigated by IOSCO, the umbrella group of market regulators.
Maybe this is billionaire bully boys seeking to bully emerging-nation billionaires. ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming is worth about $55 billion, according to a Bloomberg index from October.
All corruption needs to be rooted out and social media and blockchain can provide the transparency to do it as they improve trade and markets. These systems also need to curb billionaire behavior and ensure wealth and power is more fairly distributed to protect societal peacefulness.
We need politicians and media, though, who are on board with these required systemic improvements as they frame their comments and their news.