X Close

Why we mustn’t ban TikTok The West’s China hawks have their own agenda

(Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

(Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


March 27, 2024   6 mins

For the third time in just over a century, the US is, once again, in the grip of a full-blown Red Scare. The home of the “communist threat” may have changed — China rather than the Soviet Union — but the elements are all there: moral panic, paranoia, authoritarianism, repression. This became apparent earlier this month, when Democrats and Republicans, in a rare show of national unity, joined forces to confront one of the gravest threats facing America today. No, not rampant crime, not illegal immigration, not falling living standards — but TikTok.

On March 13, with a resounding majority, the House of Representatives passed a bill calling for a nationwide ban against the hugely popular social media app, used by roughly 170 million Americans. If the bill, which has the White House’s support, is approved by the Senate, TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance, will be forced to sell the social media platform to a US-based company or stop operating in the country.

The US lawmakers’ main claim is that TikTok represents a national security threat due to its ties to the Chinese government, which they fear may use the app to access American user data. In this, Beijing’s critics are in good company: just yesterday, the UK and the US accused China of launching a “prolific” campaign of cyberattacks against the West.

It’s worth noting, however, that neither US intelligence nor the bill’s sponsors have produced any evidence that TikTok has ever coordinated with the Chinese government. In interviews and testimony to Congress about the app, leaders of the FBI, CIA and the director of national intelligence have in fact been careful to qualify the national security threat posed by TikTok as purely hypothetical. Indeed, when cybersecurity officials in Connecticut asked the FBI for advice on whether to ban the app on government devices, they were informed that similar bans introduced in other states appeared to be based “on news reports and other open-source information about China in general, not specific to TikTok”.

Upon closer inspection, the US lawmakers’ case looks rather weak. For starters, is TikTok even really a “Chinese app”? The app is owned by TikTok LLC, a limited liability company incorporated in Delaware and based in Culver City, California. The LLC is in turn controlled by TikTok Ltd, which is registered in the Cayman Islands and based both in Los Angeles and Singapore. As it happens, TikTok doesn’t even exist in China, where they use a different version: a sister app called Douyin.

“Upon closer inspection, the US lawmakers’ case looks rather weak.”

TikTok Ltd, in turn, is owned by ByteDance, which is also incorporated in the Cayman Islands and headquartered in Beijing. But how Chinese is ByteDance itself? Sure, the company was founded in 2012 by Chinese entrepreneurs, and it operates many businesses in China — but roughly 60% of the company is owned by international investors, most of them American, with the remaining shares divided among its founders and Chinese investors (20%) and the company’s own employees (20%), including more than 8,000 Americans. Moreover, ByteDance’s board of directors is comprised of five individuals — three Americans and two Chinese — while the company’s CEO is Singaporean.

As for the Chinese government itself, it owns a 1% stake in ByteDance’s main domestic subsidiary — a legal requirement for all news and information platforms operating in China — and a government official who used to work for China’s internet regulator sits on the subsidiary’s board. This is hardly surprising: everyone knows the internet is heavily censored and controlled in China, and ByteDance’s domestic version of TikTok, Douyin, is no exception. The question is whether the same applies to ByteDance’s global operations outside of China, including TikTok.

As one might expect, the company vehemently denies this — and, as noted, US authorities have so far been unable to produce any evidence that TikTok, to date, has shared its data on American (or other Western) users with the Chinese government, or has censored or otherwise manipulated content on the platform (though some researchers have made this claim). Indeed, to assuage US national security concerns about data privacy — and head off a ban planned via a Trump executive order in 2020 — the company announced a far-reaching initiative known as “Project Texas”.

So far, TikTok has implemented many of the project’s features, including transferring US user data to the cloud infrastructure of Oracle, a US company (with well-known ties to the US intelligence community), and placing dozens of former US government and intelligence officials in key positions at TikTok. These developments, however, have had little impact on the policy debate in the US. Nor has a convincing explanation been provided as to why TikTok would threaten its hugely profitable global operations — its worth is currently estimated at $75 billion.

So why all the fuss? There are various factors at play here, the first of which is cultural and generational. Many US lawmakers are boomers (the average age of Congress is close to 60) who appear to have a rather poor understanding of how these new technologies work. This led to some rather cringeworthy exchanges during the congressional hearing on TikTok, such as Republican congressman Richard Hudson asking whether TikTok could access home Wi-Fi networks, or his colleague Buddy Carter demanding to know whether the app utilised users’ phone cameras to track dilation in their eyes. Several US politicians also displayed a rather staggering ignorance about China itself, such as when the Republican senator Tom Cotton repeatedly asked TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew — a Singaporean — whether he was a member of the Chinese Communist Party (foreigners can’t join the CCP).

It seems fair to assume that such clueless politicians are particularly susceptible to lobbying by groups interested in antagonising TikTok — and China itself — for economic, political or ideological reasons. These range from investors hoping to scoop up TikTok on the cheap, to US tech companies aiming to crush a competitor and those poised to benefit from the militarisation of US-China relations. Jacob Helberg, for instance, is a member of the ultra-hawkish US-China Economic and Security Review Commission who has been instrumental in the renewed legislative fight against TikTok — but also happens to be a policy adviser to Alex Karp, CEO of the defence and intelligence contractor Palantir, which relies heavily on government contracts for AI work, a business that would grow in a tech arms race with China.

Psychological projection also appears to be a factor. After all, the reason many US politicians assume the Chinese government is using TikTok to spy on foreign citizens is arguably because this is what the US has always done with its own tech companies. Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, for example, forces US firms like Google, Meta and Apple to turn over the email, phone and other online communications of users at the request of US intelligence agencies, which, as disclosed by Edward Snowden, has allowed the US government to warrantlessly spy on millions of American and foreign citizens alike. Tellingly, as US lawmakers consider banning TikTok to allegedly protect the privacy of its citizens, they are also weighing the renewal of Section 702, which was set to expire in January this year.

Aside from dubious safety concerns, there’s another reason the bill gained new momentum in recent months. Several conservative activists, tech investors and Jewish organisations have expressed outrage about the amount of pro-Palestinian content on the platform, arguing that TikTok’s algorithm was biased towards Palestine — and coming out in support of the ban. TikTok, for its part, has denied this, noting that content on the platform simply reflects the fact that it has a young user base and “attitudes among young people skewed toward Palestine long before TikTok existed”. What’s probably happening isn’t that TikTok is pushing pro-Palestinian content, but rather that it isn’t suppressing it like other US platforms such as Meta have been accused of doing. Once again, this seems to be a case of projection, given all that we now know about the way in which the US government has, in recent years, coerced and colluded with social media companies to censor certain viewpoints.

Seen in this light, it’s not hard to see why many, including Matt Taibbi, believe that the purpose of the new bill is to further consolidate domestic censorship and control over online information under the guise of national security. As Taibbi has observed, the legislation isn’t so much directed at “foreign adversaries” themselves but rather any “website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application” that is “determined by the President to present a significant threat to the National Security of the United States”.

As for the claim that China is using TikTok to somehow “destabilise” American society or push anti-government narratives, this also sounds like a confession. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that as President, Trump signed a covert action order authorising the CIA to use social media to influence and manipulate domestic Chinese public opinion and views on China — and similar American cyber influence programmes are known to exist with regard to other countries as well. More than an issue of Chinese control over TikTok, then, the problem appears to be one of insufficient US control over the platform — despite the fact that, as noted, this is already quite extensive in terms of company staff, ownership and board membership.

Ultimately, however, it’s perhaps fruitless to look for a single overarching reason for the US government’s war on TikTok. At a time of heightened geopolitical rivalry between the US and China, it was inevitable that this contest would spill into the realm of cyberspace as well. Simply put, the “world wide web” — the idea of a single, open, global internet, accessible to everyone around the world — is all but dead. What we have today is an increasingly balkanised replacement — a “splinternet”, as some have called it — where states aren’t simply exercising growing control over their own cyberspace’s physical infrastructure and data but, more worryingly, over the online information their citizens can access. As Western citizens are now discovering, the internet has become yet another terrain for waging global warfare — against foreign adversaries but also, and perhaps even more importantly, against us too.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

battleforeurope

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

90 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jules Anjim
Jules Anjim
3 months ago

I’m sure you wouldn’t have failed to notice that the CCP’s hawks have their own agenda in all of this, and are none too subtle about it, either. You might have even noticed the pattern of the CCP and its agents of influence denying absolutely any charge laid against them by the west, which they then justify post discovery as China asserting its natural rights as a world power. The case for trusting the CCP or any organisation capable of being brought into its influence, is entirely dubious.
It is disingenuous to suggest that the US is somehow responsible for totalitarian states putting up a firewall against Western influence. Modern states including those in the West have always monitored their citizenry, and it is naive to think the internet would somehow escape this. I know which country’s intranet I would still rather have access to.
If the CCP can justify using trade measures and cyber attacks and threats against dissent as a weapon against the West and to shore up its own power, then you’re somewhat of a hypocrite or a fool to suggest the West needs to give the CCP the benefit of the doubt in this.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

You got the first of the 3 letters right, C. But the other two are not CP but IA.. Check to proven facts, plain for all to see, in the public domain; and try to stop looking for Reds under the bed!

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

What principle are you defending here? To say that the West does not monitor its citizenry as extensively as China does is no defense of the West.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
3 months ago

Excellent analysis. One added note — Mike Gallagher, the congressman from Wisconsin who is resigning next month, was one of those pushing for the sale or ban of TikTok. He was at a young age appointed the chairman of an anti-China committee in the House. Rumor is that he too will now join Palantir.
The idea that TikTok poses a national security threat is laughable. Smartphones and social media just don’t work that way. Investors in TikTok are right to complain that they are being treated unfairly. This is politics, not national security.
It is true that China treats foreign companies unfairly. But that’s no excuse for us to do the same. China doesn’t claim to be a free country. We do. We need to act like it.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

The threat that TikTok poses to Western societies is its role in heightening social divisions. True, the same accusation can be made against many other social media platforms. TikTok is not allowed in China because the CCP do not want the Chinese to be aware of the discussions held in the West over race (China has few non-ethnically Chinese people and they face racial harassment), religion (Uighurs and Christians are discriminated against), sexuality, sexual harassment (tennis star Peng Shuai disappeared after reportedly having accused retired Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault and was ‘disappeared’ until she recanted) and human rights in general.

Edwin Blake
Edwin Blake
3 months ago

Ah yes, and where is the scare of social division most harshly punished? (Hint, the minority owners of TikTok). What a bogeyman to raise. The motto seems to be “become like China, to avoid becoming like China”.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago

Quick! We’d best look at banning a host of Western news journals, too. The Observer, Le Monde, The NYT – oh, wait, they’re one of ours … but quite a few others are sowing division.

Liakoura
Liakoura
3 months ago

“(China has few non-ethnically Chinese people and they face racial harassment)”,
Really?
While Han Chinese comprise around 91% of the population, “the government has affirmative action policies for its 55 ethnic minorities, numbering approximately 105 million people (8%). These include preferential treatment in education, employment, business, politics and territorial matters”.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_minorities_in_China

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Liakoura

Who are the missing 1%?

j watson
j watson
3 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Good you pointed out Gallagher’s role. He’s been v clear about the threat and refers to classified and unclassified sources that demonstrate the concern. The second and third paragraphs of your comment I’d thus argue naive and strongly suspect Gallagher would too.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

But you’re also forgetting that China very frequently uses its own claims of “national security” to bully companies. The great Firewall is exactly that!

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
3 months ago

China manufactures the Fentanyl that I’m sure the regime is happy to supply to the cartels that then poison sections of American society. Likewise, TikTok is just another strand of the strategy to divide the society of an enemy from within with its users promotion of gender ideology in children and the promotion of terrorism home and abroad more recently.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Curious how when domestic US divisions have been growing from within, we find the cause of division without. Mind you, it seems clear the US and rest of us have been more effected by the subversive influences on tertiary education from the height of mid-twentieth century Cold War propaganda on slowburn in our digestive system ever since, than anything happening today. Yet we are locjed in the past, fighting today’s Chinese capitalists as though they’re the Maoists of half a century ago. There aren’t many communists in socially conservative China, plenty on our side.

Jules Anjim
Jules Anjim
3 months ago

If the fight was just against Chinese capitalists then that would be easily won. However, the CCP is far more malign and capable than its Maoist progenitors. When you start to think that the west’s problems stem from its own communist insurgency, then you should think about changing your current brand of propaganda.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

I’m simply in awe of your own propagandist mindset. You’d make a great dictator. Have you ever thought of a career change? I bet when you were a kid – you’re adult, right? – when the gown-ups asked, as they do: “What do want to be when you grow up?” your unflinching reply woukd have been: “I want to be a fanatic!”

Jules Anjim
Jules Anjim
3 months ago

Your written English and comprehension is truly exceptional, Andrew.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

That’s very kind. You know, I was complimented a couple of times on my command of English in New York by work colleagues at a Tier 1 assurance firm while managing alliances between three or four of America’s largest corporations. One said: “Drew, your command of English is really, really good. May I ask where you learned?” Since I had learned English in my English-language speaking country, as an Anglo-Englishman of at least twenty known generations, I didn’t take excessive comfort from the compliment. But was as gracious as I am to you, here. Are you a New Yorker? Is that where you learned English? You, too, are exceptional, Jules.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

lol this comment is beyond stupid.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

What a sad cretin you must be.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago

The key point Fazi never ‘gets’ is the Totalitarians (and the CCP has turned China into the epitome of a Techno-Totalitarian state) can never live in peaceful co-existence with liberal, pluralistic democracies. The mere existence of the latter is an existential threat to Autocrats and Totalitarians. For them to survive long term they must undermine and infiltrate. Once you grasp this fundamental the situation looks v different. Fazi repeatedly fails on this, whether referring to Putin, Xi or Islamists. He means well but …
This does not mean the US and Allies always impeccable in actions, but here’s the difference – we have elections and we have a pluralistic media. Neither are perfect but it’s a different planet from what you get in China.
The CCP has spent 20yrs gradually infiltrating, stealing and undermining. At last we are waking up from our slumber.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

China is populated by better capitalists and a more intensely socially and politically conservative family-and-business centric people than we are. Just as they were for thousands of years before our version thereof. You can see from history that no amount of propaganda and enforced planning worked for China. The CCP can’t order people to be productive. It comes from within. They are close now to what we were 100 years ago. You’re looking for the wrong demons.

Jules Anjim
Jules Anjim
3 months ago

What on earth are you talking about ? China today is the sum of four decades of propaganda and enforced planning. More power to its enterprising and politically and socially conservative people, but it is amazing how productive a nation can become when that crunchy carrot is dangling from the turret of a CCP tank.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

“A crunchy carrot dangling from the turret of a CCP tank” … ? Aside from the strange metaphor – I mean, why not, say, a crunchy Peanut Butter sandwich dangling from a bayonet? Or to keep the carrot-and-stick metaphor intact, a carrot-shaped d***o on the end of a big stick wielded by a Red Guard? People in your view sound like rabbits or sheep, rather than real individuals with their own life force. A security-services mindset. I’m not rushing to China for anything, since I love Western culture, fiends, family, business, and yes, democracy. I admire 19th century free trade liberal capitalism, without the bad wages. But China is for the Chinese to govern, not you or I. Or have you forgotten that? Illiberal of you.

Jules Anjim
Jules Anjim
3 months ago

You’re just embarrassing yourself. Do continue.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

Surely you’re a sad sack.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

Ah! My disgusting comment was approved.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
3 months ago

Well said, so true what Fazi is saying.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago

One suspects you aren’t looking to relocate to China anytime soon despite your gushing praise.
Ask yourself why the CCPs does not grant reciprocity to it’s markets? Ask yourself if even something like UnHerd would exist under the CCP?
Back to TikTok – Fazi’s drunk the Kool-Aid, if he’s not actually got skin in the game on related investments – which is actually why the Senate dragging it’s feet a bit and Trumpster more in favour of TikTok than other social media US giants. Yep they’ve got him snared in their web too.
For millions of kids and younger people TikTok is their prime media. The TikTok version the CCPs pushes at the West like crack cocaine. Not wanting that owned and controlled by another State an entirely reasonable US aim.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Man the propagandists did a great job on you!

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

we have elections and we have a pluralistic media.
And neither is seen as trustworthy by large numbers of people. For good reason.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Give me a couple of evidence based good reasons?
Certainly sounds like the bombardment of conspiracies and info-wards seeded and pushed by likes of CCP works well on you.

P Branagan
P Branagan
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Anyone who thinks we have a pluralistic MSM in the West either (a) has been living under a rock for the past 20 years
(b) has been brainwashed by said MSM
or (c) is not ‘the sharpest tool in the box’

BTW as a matter of objective fact over the past 40 yrs the CCP has presided over the greatest achievement in human history by raising the standard of living of over 800 million people from abject poverty to middle class comfort. Life expectancy in China has doubled from less than 40 yrs in 1950 to 78 yrs in 2023.

The world renowned Paris based polling company IPSOS tracks the ‘life satisfaction” index across the top 32 countries in the world. China has come top every year for the past 10 yrs. China’s score in 2023 was 91 as against 76 for the US and a mere 70 for the UK. See http://www.ipsos.com.

I know, I know for rabid dogmatists like J Watson and his ilk, human flourishing, wellbeing and life expectancy don’t matter – it’s the purity of ideological ideas like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ that matter. For J Watson theory always trumps the real world of people’s lives and objective facts.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago

If the Chinese government CAN force the creators/owners to hand over the private data of the apps users then that’s grounds enough for it to be banned, irrespective of whether the CCP has previously used that power or not

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes. To me this is the bottom line. If there exists a method by which the CCP can access the data and/or force the company to turn it over, there’s every reason to believe they will exercise it at some point, as the Soviets would have if the Internet had existed back then. Whatever the ethical considerations it is a possible vulnerability.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago

Let’s just remember that Thomas Fazi is a Marxist. That’s the lens he looks through almost every geopolitical issue. He’s just so quick to attack Western actions and so very, very slow to criticize any others. That is just typical of his entire worldview. Ultimately he acts as no other states have any agency.

I do not know whether TikTok is exactly the right battle and whether the legislators are getting this right. However it is beyond any serious doubt that the Chinese Communist Party is actively trying to subborn western institutions. We should do be doing everything we can to prevent this. This is after all the party responsible for the deaths of tens of millions (a mere historical detail no doubt to Fazi, perhaps to be balanced against “McCarthyism” or something). There is simply no moral comparison whatsoever the US government, however dysfunctional it may currently be.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I think a good dose of McCarthyism would quickly adjust Fazi’s worldview in the right direction.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Precisely and well said.
China is a clear and pestilential menace and “must be destroyed” as Cato* (the Elder) would have said.
Fortunately the US Navy’s Ohio class submarines should be capable of accomplishing this within forty minutes.

(234- 149 BC or correctly 519-604 AUC)

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago

Oh your supidty has no bounds
In 2005 the USS Ronald Regan a newly commissioned $ 6.2 billion aircraft carrier accompanied by the usual carrier support fleet including a Ohio class submarine
We’re taking part in War game excerises
And a small Swedish Submarine
HSMS Gotland 1600 tonnes displacement and costing $ 100 , which made multiple runs and fired Dummy torpedoes
Along with confirmed hits
The Gotland was never detected
After this The exercise over the next 2 years was repeated many times
Again with OHIO class Submarines
Strategically deployed to intercept
HSMS GOTLAND
not once was Gotland detected or prevented of launch of many runs and torpedoes that every time Killed the US carriers involved
Gotland was first Sub to deploy Air Independent propulsion ( AIP )
By way of it’s Stirling engine
Also Gotland possesses many other features that makes it very adept at avoiding detection
Gotland is classified as close to homeland shore attack submarine
China now has 17 such similar Subs
And is well on schedule to have 30 fully operational by 2030
American carriers and Ohio class are far sea warships and would be required to sail 1000, s of miles to reach Chinese shores where at least 20 number AIP Subs await their arrival far less their Hypersonic missiles
Launched from Submarine , Surface ship, Air and land
Told you all China has constructed a 2 Nd great wall and any who breach it
Then have no means of escape and their
Certain demise guaranteed
Once more you demonstrate a innate ability to conduct proper research of what you speak and more importantly exactly what are the actual defensive
Resources of the other side
So how the hell is that expensive hulk
Of the Ohio class Submarines which are backing up in a very long queue
In order to undergo urgent essential overdue maintenance and refits all due to the severe blunder the pentagon made in not ensuring there was sufficient dry docks to accommodate this very large submarine Just how the hell are Ohio class Subs
Ever going to destroy China in 40 minutes
And that’s without even bringing to the Equation of China’s 8 number 055 D type Destroyer bristling with anti submarine torpedoes and lethal depth charges.Naval warfare experts say that this destroyer is the most lethal warship in history to take to the high seas HMS Diamond and her sister Type 45 destroyers are akin to floating pea shooters in comparison
And that’s without bringing the recently commissioned anti submarine Frigate that China now constructing 7 more and will be commissioned by 2026
It would appear that you do wish to win the Derby of information but arrive with a knackered old Donkey
Albeit with good punctuation but such does not prevail when matters of contention are embarked upon

Liakoura
Liakoura
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

See my earlier comment with a quote from Steven Pinker for the reality of China today, not the one that existed under Mao which ended in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping announced that the country would embrace capitalism and open the door to foreign businesses that wanted to set up in China. Since then the transformation of China has been beyond incredible.
Two days ago I went to a museum in centre of the Chinese city where I live and in the parking space immediately outside the entrance was a pristine white Bentley. In fact I see more top of the range luxury western cars here in a mid-range city of four million, than I would in any city in the UK other than London.
“European automakers Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW dominate the country’s luxury car market. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese customers purchased 3.09 million premium vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce in 2022, a 6% increase from the previous year.”
https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/china-luxury-car-market
Yet anyone over 45-50 will remember queuing for bread at the government store at 5am. One of today’s growing health problems for the government is obesity in children and young people. When I first came here in 2002 I can’t recall seeing anyone who was overweight, whereas today it’s common place.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

h

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

Saying that US fears of China using user data against it is “projection” can barely be called an argument. it is at best a childish accusation of the “you started it!” variety. Of course the US does it. of course China does it too. That’s what superpowers do if they want to remain a superpower. I want the US to remain one, because…well, China. so the article suggests that we let China infiltrate, destabilize, control, manipulate our youth in the name of not being hypocritical? THAT should be the national priority? or even more naive: China isn’t doing those things? not doing those things would be stupid, and China is no dummy. Not to mention the best part: it’s the jews. of course. America really needs to wake up and start fighting this fight.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

It was obvious this author was going to write something so poorly argued as this though. He is guilty of what he accuses the US of doing. He is, based on his own writings, very anti-US. His “arguments” are really just a post hoc attempt to justify this bias.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago

A brilliantly conceived, researched, well-argued and well-crafted case. President Truman sagely noted how the US goes through periods of hysteria, and these are always amplified and often orchestrated by our security services. The fact I subscrive to dozens of newspaperscand journals across the West, many of which I often disagree with, but now can’t even access RT on my Italian phone, is a chilling reminder of how oppressed we are now. We are no longer free, when told what to read, what to think, and what to feel. Thank goodness for UnHerd.

Jules Anjim
Jules Anjim
3 months ago

Yes, quite the chilling example of western oppression. Why not go over to China to head up the local version of UnHerd, and report back in a few months on whose oppression is the chilling-est.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

You should urgently seek therapy.

Jules Anjim
Jules Anjim
3 months ago

If you are going to shill for the CCP, you should learn to do it with a degree more subtlety than you’re currently capable of.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

so the only options are to blindly accept what western leaders and media say or be a tool of the CCP?

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Anjim

A “shill for the CCP” … ? Go to China? What kind of mad fanatic are you?

Edwin Blake
Edwin Blake
3 months ago

The China argument is surely just a smokescreen behind which the US establishment (or swamp, or unaparty, or …) wants to increase social control and censorship. This whole thing came to a head when the Israel lobby realised that young people, especially, hate their crimes in Gaza, but that TikTok is not so easily censored.
Whatever you may think of them, The Grayzone presents compelling evidence for this: https://youtu.be/vTiD0Z9Sia8?si=XhqAIBodCYX_po7C

new aether
new aether
3 months ago

Fazi get a life, tiktok is one of the worst thing that ever happened to our civilization. It literally melts your brain. All social media do but this one is especially elaborate at this. China has even different algorithm for its users at home. There are studies showing that people on tiktok are 40% more likely to have certain world view which shows that it is a mind control tool. Put politics aside and focus on reality.

Nathan Sapio
Nathan Sapio
3 months ago

Specious & dissembling, you do the comrades proud.

Connecticut Yankee
Connecticut Yankee
3 months ago

Easy solution: tiktok should be banned until china allows meta, and google to operate in the country. The real story here is why it took so long for the US to reciprocate: it’s fairly ridiculous that most of the US tech companies are not allowed to operate in China yet Chinese tech companies are allowed free reign.

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
3 months ago

I think this comment comes closest to having a good argument. The only problem is that, rightly or wrongly, Mr Fazi is arguing that TikTok is NOT a Chinese company (HQs in USA and Singapore, majority shareholders non-Chinese, “ByteDance’s board of directors is comprised of five individuals — three Americans and two Chinese — while the company’s CEO is Singaporean” etc). We may be heading for the rabbit-hole “what is a Chinese company?” here.
It’s not really ridiculous (faintly or otherwise) that the USA is more permissive than a totalitarian state. I’ve never used TikTok but I imagine it makes money from advertising, even if the $75B valuation is an incredible overestimate). If advertisers in the USA are using it, it seems likely because they think it increases their profits, and is it really the government’s place to interfere?

Liakoura
Liakoura
3 months ago

I doubt there’s many computers or modems / routers or mobile phones that don’t have Chinese made components. The real question is who would benefit from your proposed ban? And when anything goes awry with my HP laptop, bought in China, what do you think first comes to mind?
And by coincidence after posting my comment at 12.23 here in China, my internet connection went down for about 30 minutes.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
3 months ago

Personally, I suspect it’s about TikTok’s huge popularity and non-US ownership; in other words there are fortunes to be made in a fire sale sell-off of TikTok..
Whenever a powerful rich American makes a decision it is almost always about the money.. it is never about morals or human rights or any of that silliness.. it can be hatred as well but usually it’s about love; love of money! Qui bono, every time.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

That’s a lot of projection going on. It sounds like you’re just jealous. I bet you also think that there’s a secret Jewish Cabal that’s controlling everything behind the scenes.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
3 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It is mostly about eliminating competition to Instagram—as Trump, in his churlish way, said when he opposed the bill.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
3 months ago

It is astonishing that one bloke can be so wrong so much of the time on such a wide range of issues…until you remember that he’s a Marxist.
I’m sure he would urge cautious appeasement against those enforcing blasphemy laws in Batley as well…and perhaps a cautious and moderate house arrest for Helen Joyce ….
He’s so extreme, I think he’s just about ready to embrace the Church of England and become part of Welby’s kitchen politburo.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

This is so much cheap and hypocritical theater. Congress is going after TikTok because it’s the one platform not already in govt’s back pocket. Anyone remember the Twitter files? Anyone remember Zuckerberg going on Joe Rogan’s podcast to explain how the feds infiltrated his outfit? Anyone believe the regular press operates in complete independence?
No one is forced at gunpoint to use TikTok and Taibbi makes the obvious point behind this move. It’s about power and control, from the same people who attacked those who did not drink the Covidian Kool-Aid, or raised questions about the 2020 election, or knew Hunter’s laptop was real.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago

Once more a thourghly researched article .However no research in Substance by way of seeking how the flip side China is reacting to all this US utter nonsense and propaganda
So much so for services rendered in the
Battlefield of State propaganda Then Adolf Hitler would happily pin a 1st Class
Iron Cross with oak leaves upon the breast of the leading purveyors of such
Utter nonsense
All this is Straight out of Goebbels playbook and All MSM are merely seen as the keys of a grand piano that exist only for
The keys to be struck and all in order that the Piano plays the propagandists
Tune
This is a highly dangerous game that can provoke a most serious consequences of a amplifying nature Whether by design
Or miscalculation
Trump picked up this small snowball and set it off rolling down the snow packed slopes
I remind all that as the USA were about to impose a Oil embargo upon Japan whose Imperial forces were beginning to
Flex their muscles
Upon this Winston Churchill pleaded with
The USA president not to do so and wait
Because as Japan had very little energy sources of their own and once the oil embargo was in place Immediately Japan would consider that they have been forced into a corner and that there was one only possible way out for Japan
And that surely would be Attack and Attack as soon as possible
Churchill then went onto explain that both The US and The British Empire were
Currently woefully unprepared for War with
Japan in The Pacific and Far East
And it be most wise to equip and prepare
Ourselves then when ready impose the Oil embargo
Ah but Alas his pleas of reason fell upon deaf ears
Result
Pearl Harbour which by a stroke of pure luck that the US carriers were at Sea
A long bloody campaign with heavy losses of territories, military Asessts and
Lifes before the tide was turned and mainly so by way of the defeat of The Nazi’s
Ending only by the deployment of Atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Now go research not only China’s reactions are to the Neafarious Western actions are and all as ocherssted by those aging mad war hawks in America
But also study and understand Chinese
History ,Culture , Society and how they think and act which is completely different from The West
Go understand the fundamentals of Zen Buddhism and Particularly the philosophy of Confucious
If you do and can manage to understand stand such and Consequentially begin to Understand Modern China and very quickly realise that since Obama reconfigured US military to encircle China along with the US gathering as many allies in the process to help build the circle
That China by way of it’s ancient wisdom, It’s hard working people’s , High modern leading technology etcetera
Have now built a 2nd great wall just as they did with the 1st great wall which was in response to the Mongols who ransacked Bejing and disposed of the Emperor
China soon appointed a new Emporer who and only after the most diligent of preparation expelled the Mongolian hordes and once so immediately set about construction of The Great Wall of China
Never ever was this a act of aggression
But one of pure defence just as their 2nd great wall is with it’s boundaries firmly drawn in the S.China Seas and The Tawain Straits
And should you care to study the Architecture of both walls and the supporting resource in the hinterland of these walls you very quickly realise that should ever decide to breach those walls
Irrespective of how forcefully and numerically you do Then one thing is absolutely certain once inside the wall is
That your fate is sealed and no escape possible only your defeat and destruction awaits your folly
Furthermore take a wee look at the Chinese National flag paying attention to
What the 4 small yellow stars below the large yellow star means pay good attention to the 4 th of the smaller stars because that where China has now reached and where they are going Unstoppabley so
Once more I request no stupid ill thought out replies to all I say here Those who do
Shall breach my wall and upon entry then
Your fate awaits

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

Bot alert…

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Oh when will you ever learn

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

“And Jesus wept”.

Presumably Bots don’t do PUNCTUATION?

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago

And Jesus said “forgive them Father
Because they Know not of what they have done “

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago

How many times do I have to tell you
I care not for how I use that Weasel language
Facts Facts Facts and more Facts are of a far higher importance that the triviality of English punctuation
Why the hell do you think that Boris whilst singing the EU Brexit agreement that the 1st and legal binding document was in French but the copy was in English
I shall tell you why The French along with Germany are ultra cautious of any legal documents in that English weasel language
And more so when written by Weasels andto them it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on
And whilst we are at it care to inform in detail detail how all those trade deals with the world are going since Brexit
I do believe certain Tory Weasels told us all it was easy peasy and could all be done in a few days
However in fact many a year has now passed so if the Weasels words were true you gonna need loads of paper
Should you be unable to find any paper then the back of a small postage shall prove adequate
A wee task for you and it will yield a profound understanding of what others think of England

Go research who lead Joan of Arc into the English Garrison to accept their surrender and for good measure
Also inform us of the music that was being played by those who lead Joan in
The same music to this Day is still played by France’s top military band when foreign leaders visit Versailles
Amongst those leader have been D.Cameron ,.B
Johnson and M
Thatcher
Germany also affords dignateteries the very same melody particularly to those carrying the Genes of Weasels
If somehow you can find the music to which I refer ,then go and find the words that were later written to that music
Wee clue for you Bannockburn
And if you should find the words upon this song sheet then you in for one helluva fright as not one word is a Weasels words
No punctuation skills required whatsoever to complete this rather simple little task
But you must look for this needle in the right haystack and most certainly not one of English Hay

Richard Pinch
Richard Pinch
3 months ago

I think this sentence is rather a giveaway: As for the Chinese government itself, it owns a 1% stake in ByteDance’s main domestic subsidiary — a legal requirement for all news and information platforms operating in China
This is a so-called “golden share” or “special management share”, which gives the state a right to appoint directors and control over company decisions. The point is not so much whether this justifies the claim that ByteDance is doing things at the behest of the Chinese state, but that to fail to mention the special nature of these arrangements in this context is, frankly, disingenuous.

Barry Cherkas
Barry Cherkas
3 months ago

It has been a while but China has in the past taken governments hostage over things they want control over. For example, about a decade ago, they would not sell rare elements to Japan to force Japan to knuckle under on an issue they wanted to control. I recall George Bush having to eat crow to get back a pilot who had strayed into their territory but not in a hostile situation. China is not a friend and to suggest that they are good actors belies their past. They took over Hong Kong without regard to the treaty they signed with Britain. They constantly threaten the same about Tiawan. The fact that they can get anything they want, when they want, from Tik Tok is enough to keep our guard up. This is the way to avoid military confrontation down the road.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Cherkas

Oh how misguided you are
Totally wrong with both Hong Kong
And more so with regards Taiwan
China Never ever issue threats they only
Make promises and once made shall not
Run away from as the US did with Iraq, Afghanistan,The Kurds in Northern Syria
And soon to repeat again with Ukraine

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

For Christ’s Doyle write coherently and use some PUNCTUATION!

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago

Would you like to bet the roof abin yer Heid , That currently Ukraine are concerned about the Punctuation
Of the communications they receiving from The White House and The Pentagon which no doubt and between the lines read that America is about to take their Military boots off and put their trainers on because when running away it’s always with haste just as they did in Afghanistan leaving behind over 10 million rounds of ammunition and a good wad of very expensive kit

Liakoura
Liakoura
3 months ago

I’m currently in China where it’s 23.22 and the only time I’ve seen its version of tiktok is when others have shown me what they’re laughing at. By coincidence the most recent time was this afternoon when my translator showed me a short video of two workers in scrubs and medical caps opening two wide doors and out came a vast rush of puppies racing towards the camera, and that was it.
If Marx was alive today he’s probably say Douyin (toktok) is the opium of the people.
I’ve lived here for over 9 years since 2002, (including all three years of Covid), made 25 visit from the UK, lived and travelled in 17 of its provinces, am a ‘sleeping’ partner in a small business that has contributed over £2 million to the UK’s service economy and last year got a written warning from the police for a ‘minor’ breach of a new immigration requirement, introduced while I was back in the UK.
In his book Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker quotes Johan Norberg:
“The Chinese people today can live almost however they like, buy a home, choose an education, pick a job, start a business, belong to a church, (as long as they are Buddhists, Taoist, Muslims, Catholics or Protestants), dress as they like, marry whom the like, be openly gay without ending up in a Labour camp, travel abroad freely and even criticise aspects of the Party’s policies, (though not its right to rule unopposed). Even ‘not Free’ is not what it used to be.”
I tend to agree with Johan Norberg.
Johan Norberg is a Swedish author and historian of ideas, devoted to promoting economic globalization and what he describes as classical liberal positions. He is arguably most known as the author of In Defense of Global Capitalism and Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago
Reply to  Liakoura

Thanks at last some accurate evidence

Liakoura
Liakoura
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Doyle

Thanks and there will be more. And while I’m not paranoid I’ve just spent some time trying to get reconnected to the net.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
3 months ago
Reply to  Liakoura

Totalitarianism often wears a mask of freedom, prosperity, and success to show its best face in the same way we keep to our best behavior in public places. Nazi Germany put lots of effort into promoting an image of success, prosperity, and industry to the world, and there were many Nazi sympathizers before WWII in the US and the UK. It’s easy enough to believe the mask is the true face if you want to believe it. Humans are social creatures and it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s socially acceptable and what isn’t and fit in if that’s all you want to do and all you care about. You mentioned all the things the Chinese can do, and that’s lovely, but what about the things they can’t. Say the wrong word or make the wrong statement, and the mask comes off, and one gets to see the true face beneath the mask. I dare you to try talking about Tibet, or post a map that shows Taiwan as a separate country, or mention the Uyghur camps, or ask a CCP representative what happened to that man standing in front of the tank in 1989. I’ll bet you won’t do any of those things because you know exactly what would happen. You’d get put on a list and monitored and maybe eventually jailed if you failed to conform to the satisfaction of whoever happened to be watching. Then you’d find out pretty quickly what the true face of Chinese communism looks like. I have no doubt you and many others are living very comfortably and uneventfully in China and have no cause to complain. You’re perfectly satisfied with following the rules that exist there and toeing the government line. There are always people content to trade certain freedoms for security and affluence.
I also have no doubt that the USA has plenty of problems. In some ways it’s no better than China. The American government does spy on its own citizens and it does do things that are wrong, but here at least we can’t be jailed just for saying that the American government is wrong to support Israel or wrong to support Ukraine or wrong to spy on its own people even if it prevents some crimes. In order to preserve freedom for everyone, we have to endure some stuff that most of us don’t like. We have to endure views we consider wrong and even hateful, like overt racism or religious zealotry. We have to endure more crime because we have a process to protect individual rights that inevitably allows some criminals to get away. I’m not saying freedom doesn’t have a price. It does, and we should know what it is. It’s a price I and a lot of others are willing to pay and suffer quite a bit for.
Rationalize China’s behavior however you like. Even the Soviets and the Nazis had their apologists. Just know that the peaceful, harmonious, crime free, lifestyle you are enjoying in China comes at a price just as much as American freedom does, because it’s an illusion created by oppression and fear. Not your fear, or your oppression, but the fear and oppression of others, Tibetans who want independence, citizens of Hong Kong who want to keep the freedoms they enjoyed under British rule, Uyghurs who want to practice their traditional religions in their own communities without interference, and political dissidents who want a choice. This is how totalitarianism works. Totalitarianism is a selfish system advocated by those who value peace, harmony, and tranquility and are willing to look the other way so as not to see what they’re really supporting. Unlike in a free society, where all must pay the price collectively, totalitarians are willing to let unnamed others pay the price. Totalitarian governments call them deviants, dissidents, or criminals, and they’re perfectly willing to make those people suffer in order to enjoy things that a free society can never offer. People who support and apologize for totalitarian governments tend not to see them at all, because they don’t want to see. I’m not the least bit shocked that idealistic purveyors of globalism are the ones leading the charge to apologize for China and look the other way in order to see their illusion of global harmony come to pass. You may not want to see the victims, but they’re there, and as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, they’ll suffer for the sake of everyone else’s peace.

Richard Ross
Richard Ross
3 months ago

Just reminding people who sarcastically use terms like “Red scare” and “communists under the bed”…. The accusations of McCarthy et al in the Cold War have been proven to be largely well-founded, even if the response was not always appropriate.
With better tools and more access available to them today, don’t be quick to brush off China’s contemporary infiltrations.

Liakoura
Liakoura
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard Ross

Joseph McCarthy dragged thousands of innocent American citizens, many working in government, education, entertainment and the trade unions before his committee for aggressive questioning. It was one of the most shameful episodes in modern American history with the number imprisoned in the hundreds and with some ten or twelve thousand losing their jobs. Those persecuted included the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Dashiell Hammett, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Orson Welles, Lillian Hellman, Paul Robeson, Dorothy Parker and so on.

Andrea Rudenko
Andrea Rudenko
3 months ago

TikTok, ByteDance, and their ties to the Chinese Communist Party – Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media (report to Australian Parliament): https://t.co/ROPtMMud89

From Wikipedia article on Bytedance:

“In 2014, ByteDance established an internal Chinese Communist Party (CCP) committee.[46] The company’s vice president, Zhang Fuping, serves as the company’s CCP Committee Secretary.[47][48] According to a report submitted to the Australian Parliament, Zhang Fuping stated that ByteDance should “transmit the correct political direction, public opinion guidance and value orientation into every business and product line.”[49][50]

“ByteDance’s China business has a strategic partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Public Security for the ministry’s public relations efforts.[51] The partnership also said that ByteDance would work with the Ministry of Public Security in cooperation on unspecified “offline activities.”[52][53]

Felix Hornoiu
Felix Hornoiu
3 months ago

There was a time in the neighbourhood when new gangs of bullies started beefing with our local troublemakers.
For some reason you started to emphasise with your local ones, I mean you know what they’re up to, what they’re capable of… You didn’t want some other chaps who may come even crazier around

Tom D.
Tom D.
3 months ago

What’s the British expression, “thick as two short planks”…?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago
Reply to  Tom D.

Alternatively “thick as mince”.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago

Lowland Scot’s ” Yer Heid is Fu o mince “

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
3 months ago

As he usually does, Fazi gets a lot of things right in this article. The US government does indeed spy on other nations using whatever means it can and often tries to influence the citizens of other countries in whatever way supports American interests. They’ve been doing it since the Cold War. So does China, and so does everybody else. I can say without much doubt that the UK and Israel, two of the US’s most solid allies, most likely have informants, spies that is, in the American government keeping tabs on things that impact their interests. America also has informants in the UK and Israel. Basically it can be assumed that everybody is spying on everybody else who is important enough to warrant attention. China is spying on us. We’re spying on them. This shouldn’t be news to anybody.
What he’s wrong about is, as usual, his conclusions, because this is just how geopolitics is conducted. It’s messy and altogether not a nice business. Geopolitics doesn’t follow legalism or any ethical principles because there are no real international laws that anyone can enforce and other cultures may or may not share the same moral and ethical framework. Sometimes nations, like people, can’t get along and have to fight over certain issues they can’t agree on. Yes, it is unfortunate that the ideal of a free, open, and unbiased world wide web could not be realized, but that’s all it ever was, an ideal, a hopeful fantasy not based on real people, real history, or real politics. It’s the same with all the ideals of globalism. Humans are a square peg and globalism is a round hole. No amount of legislative or activist hammering will ever make it fit.
Further, I have to ask what exactly Thomas expects the USA to do. Surely the answer can’t be ‘nothing’ as it was before the Trump administration. The nasty geopolitics game doesn’t stop because one side decides not to play. It just means the other side takes the field unchallenged. If the US withdrew all its recent anti-China legislation, tariffs, and tech restrictions, there is zero chance the Chinese would stop manipulating global markets to establish monopolies on critical goods, stealing technology, or attempting to prod American companies to toe the party line in order to access the Chinese market. They were doing all those things and more before the Trump administration. You could even say that the Chinese were already waging economic warfare and the US government finally decided China was enough of a threat to fight back. Better late than never I suppose. Further, it isn’t as if the US is the first nation to recognize Tiktok as a problem. Other governments can and have banned Tiktok and taken other measures to protect themselves from Chinese economic and information warfare because they also see China as a threat. India, of all places, was among the earliest nations to ban Tiktok. Presumably that has something to do with the fact that nobody in India was losing money on the transaction. America has important alliances with Asian partners who fear Chinese expansionism the same way Europe fears Russian expansionism. When Russia invaded Ukraine, America was expected to respond. If China invades Taiwan, America will again be expected to do something. Maybe not warfare, but our allies will almost surely demand some kind of response just as Europeans did in Ukraine, and to be perfectly frank, Japan, South Korea, India, and Australia are more important to US interests than any European nation. It behooves us to prepare for a possible conflict before it comes. To protect peace, prepare for war.
Thomas does make one particularly salient assertion though. America should at least practice what they preach on their own citizens. China will do what China wants and the US can only respond to it. It is the legitimate interest of government to protect the interests of its citizens against foreign influence and threats, however belated or inadequate their protections are. It is disturbing for a government to spy on its own people when said government is supposed to be ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’. This is what China does and it should be something that defines us from them. It seems it doesn’t, and that’s a problem. The intelligence community has far too much power and isn’t nearly accountable enough to the people they’re supposed to serve.

Ali W
Ali W
3 months ago

I think Fazi went too hard opposing the TikTok ban. TikTok can be a psyops and/or sigint tool used by the CCP, this isn’t projection rather than just tools of the trade. It can also be true that our government is leveraging a threat to consolidate power, much like they have with basically every security crisis that has ever happened in our history. Is it not possible to be distrusting of both adversary states and our own abusive government?
As it stands now, I absolutely do not support the TikTok ban. Not as the bill is written and certainly not with the 1st Amendment in SCOTUS limbo regarding the ways the federal government has already censored the people via social media.
That said, I also do not trust the CCP; their psyops and spying efforts need to be addressed, we just shouldn’t write the government a blank check to do that.

P Branagan
P Branagan
3 months ago

‘How much evidence is required before it is clear that Western Civilization is empty of integrity, judgment, reason, morality, empathy, compassion, self-awareness, truth, empty of everything that Western Civilization once respected?

All that is left of the West is insouciance and unrestrained evil.”

~Dr Paul Craig Roberts, former Undersecretary Of Treasury, Reagan Administration

If you support ‘Western Civilization’ as it currently is, Roberts words describe you oh so perfectly.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
3 months ago
Reply to  P Branagan

In recent years Roberts has completely lost the plot. A far Right ‘truther’, unhinged conspiracy theorist, an anti-semite, who thinks that the Bataclan and Charlie Hebdo killings were false flag operations carried out by Israel, and now broadcasts as a Putin stooge for RT. Not exactly a credible source.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Well said Me thinks you are imbued with enough wisdom to comprehend what is actually happening along with the terrible resultant consequences that are in the post
Unless a total revolution begins soon

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
3 months ago

I really don’t know why UnHerd regularly gives space to this crank, who quotes George Galloway with approval. It really is not what I pay my subscription for.

Caractacus Potts
Caractacus Potts
3 months ago

Unfortunately this is probably the most naive article I’ve read on UnHerd. I’ll be charitable and say its ‘misguided’ but It’s so far into la-la land that it could have been written by the CCP itself.

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
3 months ago

In common with many on the far Left, Fazi has only one ideological obsession, the destruction of Western capitalism, and he’ll support anyone, any movement, any country – China, Russia, Islam, whoever – that might bring it about. He has no idea what to put in its place, and no conception that the alternatives he supports will inevitably be far, far worse, but destroying Western capitalism is the be all and end all of his existence.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
3 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Arta

Western Capitalism has everyone and the whole of Earth,s delicate eco system now in a position that cataclysmic climate change will certainly
End civilisation
Unless humanity abandons the suicidal
Greedy Modus Operandi of Neo Liberal Capitalism, by way of revolution to create a new eco and environmentally sustainable new civilisation

Maybe most of you want to pick up your fiddles as the Planet burns