Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

Recommended Posts

889

From the President:

 

"The following actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order [June 6], to the extent permitted under applicable law: any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. . . ."

 

The Presidential Order seems to contemplate that there'll be some regulatory exemptions. We'll have to see what they are.

 

But in the meantime, Americans should at least consider how to restructure their lives WeChat-free.

 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-addressing-threat-posed-wechat/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

杰.克

Politics, technology and whether this is sensible aside.

 

This is really sad for the number of human connections that are going to be lost! If my wechat shut tomorrow, id lose a lot of friends that it would be tough to get in contact with. (not my best friends, but still id be sad to lose)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

Before you both start some kind of panic, is that actually happening? I can see Wechat being pulled from app stores, and any Wechat financial transactions in the US perhaps having to end. But there's going to be absolutely nothing I can see to stop anyone who has the app continuing to use it, and updating via Tencent's site rather than the app store (easier on Android than iOS). These measures aren't aimed at individuals, and presumably ISPs aren't about to stop forwarding Wechat traffic.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

When the U.S. creates a foreign blacklist of this sort, it does affect individuals and it is enforced against individuals. Think of the Cuban travel embargo or the now-gone ban on Burmese jade. Not to mention the rules which, for almost 30 years, kept Americans from buying anything made in Mainland China. Americans are quite accustomed to the Federal government forbidding them from certain foreign activities. (Domestic activities, too, like Prohibition and Roosevelt's gold ban.)

 

Because the Federal government comes down with such a heavy hand on those who violate just about any Federal laws, the man-in-the-American-street tends to have a don't-mess-with-the-Feds mindset. No, not everyone, but it is a prevalent view. And you can be sure that the Citibanks and the Boeings in China will make sure that they and their employees act in compliance with the President's order.

 

But as I said, just what the order means in practical terms we won't know until the regs are published.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dawei3

I'm concerned about this too.  However, it doesn't look like it is a blanket ban of wechat, but just a ban of financial transactions (supporting the point Roddy made):  

For WeChat, which allows its users to transfer funds to each other, the order states it will ban financial transactions with Tencent. The order states "any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. (a.k.a. Téngxùn Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī), Shenzhen, China, or any subsidiary of that entity, as identified by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) under section 1(c) of this order."

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/06/politics/trump-executive-order-tiktok/index.html

(Emphasis added)

 

Notably, this ban could have strongly negative impacts of US businesses that operate in China if they apply the ban to operations in China.  Reuters noted that 30% of Wal Mart's transactions in China are based on Wechat.  

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-wechat-trump-china/u-s-businesses-in-china-face-uncertainty-as-white-house-bans-wechat-idUSKCN25320Z

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

Here's the wording: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-addressing-threat-posed-wechat/

 

Quote

 

Section 1.  (a)  The following actions shall be prohibited beginning 45 days after the date of this order, to the extent permitted under applicable law: any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. (a.k.a. Téngxùn Kònggǔ Yǒuxiàn Gōngsī), Shenzhen, China, or any subsidiary of that entity, as identified by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) under section 1(c) of this order.

 

[...]

 

(c)  45 days after the date of this order, the Secretary shall identify the transactions subject to subsection (a) of this section.

 

 

It doesn't seem to definitively state that "transactions" means "financial transactions"...? 

 

What's to stop them, after 45 days, defining having a conversation as a "transaction"?  Apart from the massive outcry they are probably certainly trying to engineer.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
feihong

I don’t anticipate that ordinary people will be effected by this much, if at all. Some US  businesses will be affected (for example, those that accept payments from Chinese tourists), but it’s highly unlikely that the Trump administration will actually try to hurt Walmart in any way.
 

However, there’s a possibility that Trump escalates things to the extent that WeChat is removed from the App Store and Google Play. In that case, Tencent will just bring back the web version of WeChat that runs in the browser. They won’t be willing to just give up their entire US user base.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dawei3
53 minutes ago, mungouk said:

What's to stop them, after 45 days, defining having a conversation as a "transaction"?  Apart from the massive outcry

Trump could do almost anything......  

 

Unfortunately, the "outcry" in the US would be almost non-existent.  Chinese living in the US and folks like me care, but others likely support it (any outcry would be in support of the ban...).  The Pew Institute just did a study and found the lowest US public perception of China since they started measuring public opinions of China since 2005.  This isn't just the result of Trump.  The turn against China spans all political parties.    

 

Also, previously China could rely on US businesses to advocate for it.  No longer.  

 

The June 6-7 Wall Street J had an article on "How the soured between China and corporate America."  In recounts a 2018 exchange between China's foreign minister and a "Who's who" of corporate America, where he tried to blame the bad relations on Trump.  The execs said it's not Trump.  They said the problem is that China hasn't fulfilled countless promises it made to US businesses.  Visa Inc's CEO noted that China has been promising since 2001 to open its electronic payment system.  Other promises have also gone unfulfilled and forced technology transfers still happen.  It further noted the 3 leading US trade corporations have changed from advocating for open trade with China  to now pressuring the Trump administration to force fairer trading practices.  

 

It goes without saying that Facebook, Google, Twitter and all of the other banned US companies won't lift a finger to help wechat either.   

 

It's a very unfortunate turn of events.  I would really like to hear from more Americans why they have come to think so poorly of China (I know some of the reasons, but I want to hear theirs).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk
12 minutes ago, Dawei3 said:

Unfortunately, the "outcry" in the US would be almost non-existent. 

 

TikTok users will make a lot more noise, true.  A large proportion of them will be below voting age though.

 

But it's obvious this is just another step in the ratcheting up of the new Cold War as we head towards the election, and trying to further demonise China and look tough.

 

Today's sideshow: US sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam for ‘implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression’

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dawei3

I just saw this in the New York Times.  The NYT is  considered to be slightly-left leaning, but mostly a relatively neutral source of information.  It's constantly at odds with Trump.    In its discussion of the possible Wechat ban,  the NYT noted:  

 

"Outside China’s borders, the app has become a key conduit for the spread of Beijing’s propaganda. Chinese security forces have also regularly used WeChat to intimidate and silence members of the Chinese diaspora, including minority Uighurs seeking to raise awareness of harsh crackdowns in their homeland in western China.

 

That means the Chinese government is able to control a significant portion of the information overseas Chinese receive, even outside its borders,” she added. “This could have real domestic political implications, as many members of the Chinese diaspora are voters of the countries they reside in and are, or can be, politically mobilized.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/07/business/trump-china-wechat-tiktok.html?utm_campaign=Marketing_Cloud&utm_medium=email&utm_source=USCBC+News+Overview+8.7.2020& utm_content=https%3a%2f%2fwww.nytimes.com%2f2020%2f08%2f07%2fbusiness%2ftrump-china-wechat-tiktok.html

 

Personally, I don't see the propaganda (except if posted by a friend).  However, what I think doesn't matter.  Both the average & highly educated American public will read the above and have no reason not to believe it.  Politicians will likely read the above and think Trump is doing something good (and if I knew nothing about Wechat, I'd likely agree as well - and I never agree with Trump).  

 

The above are just 2 excerpts from a longer article that also discusses how Wechat connects Chinese across the globe, but most will likely remember these key points.  

 

To be clear, I don't want them to ban Wechat.  However, I see little reservoir of support to fight against the ban. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk

Well it's not just Chinese users is it... Anyone who does business in China will have a WeChat account full of important contacts. 

 

However, as suggested above, all they could really do is pull it from the app stores, which wouldn't stop existing users (except perhaps for Federal employees).

 

I also observe that Facebook revealed a very TikTok-like competitor feature "Reels" within Instagram, on the very same day the executive order was announced. FB stock rose 6.49% on the day.

 

Tencent shares fell 5% today in HK after recovering from ~9% drop at lunchtime.  This is a week after Tencent surpassed FB's market capitalisation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
feihong
2 minutes ago, Dawei3 said:

Personally, I don't see the propaganda (except if posted by a friend).  However, what I think doesn't matter.  Both the average & highly educated American public will read the above and have no reason not to believe it.  Politicians will likely read the above and think Trump is doing something good (and if I knew nothing about Wechat, I'd likely agree as well - and I never agree with Trump).

There is propaganda on WeChat, but that’s because that’s where the users are. Banning WeChat doesn’t solve the issue because the users will just get their news and propaganda from elsewhere.

 

I think the outrage about WeChat might be hard to sustain. An average American might know about TikTok because their kids use it, but WeChat isn’t something most people know about or use. Once the outrage dies down, Trump will be forced to find something else to distract us with.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mungouk
12 minutes ago, feihong said:

Trump will be forced to find something else to distract us with

 

How about sanctions against Russia for paying Taliban to kill US soldiers, interfering in elections, annexing the Ukraine, etc?

 

Oh, wait...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
icebear
16 hours ago, 889 said:

Think of the Cuban travel embargo or the now-gone ban on Burmese jade. Not to mention the rules which, for almost 30 years, kept Americans from buying anything made in Mainland China. Americans are quite accustomed to the Federal government forbidding them from certain foreign activities.

These are quite different examples from a Chinese internet service being access from the US. Is there any evidence of the US government banning American ISPs from connecting Americans to Cuban government websites (for example)?

 

I'm in the camp that thinks chatting will still work, especially if you are on Android and have a VPN, but this effectively kills any hope WeChat may have had of become a major payment system anywhere else (even outside the US).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

The point is, the Federal government has quite extraordinary powers to limit economic and other relationships between Americans and foreign parties. And it has used those powers time and again.

 

It's all a guessing game until rules come out in 45 days. But in the meantime, I think the "Why, they'll never . . .!"  reaction is somewhat blind to the realities of American law and politics.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve
1 hour ago, icebear said:

WeChat may have had of become a major payment system anywhere else (even outside the US)

 

It's not that easy for the ordinary non-chinese to open a wechat payment account outside of China. If there were bigger plans, then I couldn't see it happening that quick. For me to use wechat payments, I have to open a bank account at BOC(HK) in order to get a mainland bank account. The bank wanted some other stuff before opening an account and I still haven't got round to it. No rush though as there's no travelling to China for me for another year. 

 

 

 

Anyway for the bigger picture, it will get worse until after the US elections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
杰.克
3 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Anyway for the bigger picture, it will get worse until after the US elections.

 

Dam, i was hoping that a Biden election (most likely according to bookmakers) would see a ratcheting down in US-China struggle. Yes they will continue to be at loggerheads, but in a less haphazard, full on CHINER EVIL kina of way. That was my hope for me own sanity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

To quote

"People familiar with the deliberations said administration officials clearly intended to target the presence of WeChat and TikTok on the Google and Apple app stores, cutting off downloads and updates for the Chinese apps"

 

Which won't stop you using an existing installation, sideloading it from somewhere else, or using a web-based client.

 

Don't get me wrong, this is a big story. But it's not a "Wechat Going Down" story. For individuals in the US, I'd say it's a "make sure you have alternative contact details for your contacts, just in case" story - which seems wise with Wechat anyway, in case you get locked out. 

 

Last time I checked, Burmese Jade wasn't easily downloadable via the internet. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flickserve
3 hours ago, 杰.克 said:

full on CHINER EVIL kina of way

 

 

US government also doxing HK officials. Published their personal information (ID numbers, DOB) on US treasury website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...