Thursday, October 10, 2019

A Gutsy - AND Smart - Letter to China

It's short - read it here.

Basically, several members of Congress - both House and Senate - have put their names on a letter admonishing the NBA for its craven kowtow to the Party on the matter of Hong Kong. What IS extraordinary is that the wily Ted Cruz managed to get AOC to sign it, as well. Don't count him out for 2024; he may be engaged in building some allies to help with his ambitions - and, yes, he IS ambitious.

An employee of the NBA team Houston Rockets, the general manager Daryl Morey, had sent a Tweet backing the Hong Kong protests.

That's it.

But, the Rockets, after pushback from China, caved in. The NBA has lucrative deals with China, which might be jeopardized by the Tweet. So, Morey was forced to Tweet an apology/retraction.
Other criticism came from Tencent, a major media partner of the NBA in China with a streaming deal worth $1.5 billion over the next five years and Chinese state television - both of which said they wouldn't be showing Rockets games.
It wasn't immediately clear if Morey's new tweets or the NBA's statement that followed would be enough to salvage those relationships.
The statement the NBA originally made in English had a different twist when it came out in Chinese.
The NBA said Monday on its official Chinese social media account that it was "extremely disappointed" by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's "inappropriate" tweet about Hong Kong, which "severely hurt the feelings of Chinese fans."
It's not the first time China, with its huge market as a point of pressure, has intimidated corporations into falling into line with their political leadership's viewpoints. Most major corporations have learned to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses (are you listening, Apple?).

Other problems in US-China business relations involve technology transfer and massive counterfeiting.

Technology Transfer - CNN had a story about it in 2017. USA Today goes into more depth on the subject.

In addition to pressuring American businesses to "share" their intellectual property (IP), China has no compunctions about outright theft of such property from our country by Chinese nationals and Chinese-Americans with mainland family who can be pressured to cooperate.

Counterfeiting - Chinese businessman Jack Ma, who owns Alibaba (not a Mideastern company, despite the name), is one of the leading companies knowingly pushing counterfeit goods.

Alibaba aims to be, for Chinese consumers, what Amazon is for Americans. It's an online marketplace for a country starved for inexpensive American-type consumer goods. Chinese goods are widely regarded as inferior in quality to American-made items.

And, that has led to a flood of knock-offs that beat American manufacturers' prices. There is little redress for this intellectual ripoff; not when Chinese manufacturers make a point of insisting that American companies divulge their trade secrets, as a condition of doing business with China. The courts side with Chinese interests, every time.

China even tried to steal the formula for making Oreos!

OK, that claim is a wild overstatement - Dupont, who has proprietary secrets for manufacture and use of titanium dioxide, a product commonly used in food products (it's completely harmless to consume, but whitens/brightens), was targeted by Chinese spies.

How an American couple became caught up in the fallout from arrests of Chinese spies.

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