TikTok CEO to Visit Washington Amid Privacy Lawsuits, Censorship Fears

Short video platform TikTok’s enormous popularity among young Westerners, together with its ownership by Beijing-based AI entertainment firm Bytedance, has brought steadily mounting scrutiny in recent months. Critics suggest that the parent company’s susceptibility to Chinese government pressure could bleed over to TikTok, with censorship flowing outward and sensitive user data flowing back. With U.S. legislators circling and a national security review on the way, the company has been stepping up its lobbying and PR Read More …

Chinese Diplomats Take Their “Fighting Spirit” to Twitter, with Mixed Results

As a new front in Xi Jinping’s propaganda war — an ongoing campaign to “tell China’s story to the world” — diplomats working globally have been urged to take a more aggressive tone in defending their government’s interests in public forums. The immediate result has been an upsurge in Twitter accounts speaking for government officials and state media, while Twitter and other global social media platforms remain censored inside China. John Ruwitch of Reuters reports: Read More …

U.S. House Approves Uyghur Act, Condemning China’s Crackdown in Xinjiang

Following the U.S. Senate’s September passage of the Uyghur Human Rights Act, which some commentators saw as a potential watershed moment in the global stand against the ongoing crackdown on Uyghurs in Xinjiang, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved its own bill aimed at the human rights crisis in Xinjiang. Citing information from news agencies, The Guardian reports: The Uighur Act of 2019 is a stronger version of a bill that angered Beijing when Read More …

With Election on the Horizon, Taiwan Fights Back Against Beijing’s Influence

With the presidential election in Taiwan—a de facto independent nation that the CCP regards as a “renegade province”—just over a month away, there have been many recent reports of Beijing’s attempts to influence public opinion and election results in 2020. China has a history of successful election interference in Taiwan, and has steadily been courting Taipei’s few remaining allies to pledge to Beijing in recent years. At NPR, Emily Feng and Greg Dixon report that Read More …

China Imposes Sanctions on U.S. NGOs over Hong Kong Bill

Last week, President Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which had earlier been passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The act would impose penalties on the Chinese government for various acts of repression in Hong Kong while also requiring an annual review of Hong Kong’s freedoms. From Paul LeBlanc and Steven Jiang at CNN: The new law will require the US to annually confirm that Hong Kong’s Read More …