The on-going game with China

Perhaps the biggest thing to happen last month was that the US declared China’s treatment of the Uighurs as genocide. To be honest, I don’t know how much freedom the US State Department has in making this sort of declaration. Was it something the State Department did independently? Or was it a last-minute poke at […]

China and the opportunity for Britain

This week saw more anti-democracy arrests in Hong Kong, Trump signing an executive order banning Ali pay (the Chinese PayPal) and seven other apps, and another executive order “blacklisting” 35 Chinese companies, which caused the SEC to flip-flop, but ultimately ended with the NYSE deciding to delist three Chinese telecoms. On the other side of the Atlantic, after 35 […]

China is also a market

I wrote a lot in 2020 about China’s geopolitical aspirations, and the impact of Covid on the global supply chain, but it’s also important to remember that those geopolitical aspirations also impact how the rest of the world deals with China as a market. In the tech field, it’s always been tricky: Google doesn’t play […]

Keep your eye on Chinese tech

Over the last several months there’s been a lot of meaningful news on China from both an economic and political front, but it’s also worth paying attention to them on the technological front. While they may be best known for different values around intellectual property than we’re used to in the West, the reality is, […]

“Afghan lives matter!”

Make no mistake, the Chinese government does not do things by mistake. Trade tensions between the US and China have grown substantially during the Trump administration, but China has also been engaging in a bit of a trade war with Australia, with the latest move being a tariff imposed on Australia’s wine — for which China is the […]

The future of free trade

For all that Donald Trump is a buffoon, he had some big successes (from a U.S. point of view), particularly with regard to international trade. His renegotiation of NAFTA is almost certainly an improvement, and his hard stance on trade with China was a long time coming. That said, he made a number of strategic […]

The resurgence of national tech wars

It used to be the case that much of “high tech” was considered a national security issue. This wasn’t just about ballistic missiles and targeting software. Today, everyone has strong encryption, but through the 1990s, cryptographic software was considered “munitions”, and was strongly controlled. The same applied to microchips. With the collapse of the Soviet […]

What will a Biden presidency mean?

Although there are still some lawsuits to be settled, and several recounts to be done, it appears that Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. (really), will be the 46th president of the United States. After four seismic years under Donald Trump, it will probably mean a lot. Although not entirely unmitigated, Obama’s presidency was largely a foreign-policy […]

China is becoming more communistic

I’ve written quite a bit about China’s international moves to expand their sphere and scope of influence, and about the US’s and EU’s response — and all of that is certainly of global economic import; but this week China made a really interesting internal move. Remember, China is the second largest economy in the world […]

TikTok and China

Here we are, yet again, back at Newsletter #14, wherein I brought up some of the problems with TikTok being controlled by the Chinese, and statements by the new CEO (who is an American), who asserts that they don’t send US user data to Chinese authorities, and moreover that they’d refuse if it were demanded. Things […]

US Senate discusses “digital dollar”

Last November, Beijing went “all in” on blockchain (Newsletter #14), saying they were going to move forward with a state-backed crypto currency. Unsurprisingly, when Xi Jinping made that announcement, things were already well underway. They launched a pilot of the digital currency the next month, and announced just last Wednesday that they were expanding the trial to include […]

The ongoing evolution of Asia

China continues to pursue its ambition of being not just one of the world’s largest economies, but one of its largest powers. The passing of the new Hong Kong security law — which happened in secret, bypassing Hong Kong’s own legislature, and the content of which was only revealed one day before it went into effect (absolutely […]