Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Feb 2018 19:29 UTC
Internet & Networking

China's most popular messaging app, WeChat, has always had a close relationship with the Chinese government. The app has been subsidized by the government since its creation in 2011, and it's an accepted reality that officials censor and monitor users. Now, WeChat is poised to take on an even greater role: an initiative is underway to integrate WeChat with China's electronic ID system.

WeChat is a remarkably clever move by the Chinese government. Everybody over there is already using it, and by basically co-opting it, they get a free statewide monitoring and control platform. Ban a few western alternatives here and there, and you're done. Western nations are toying with similar ideas - see e.g. Germany's new laws - and it doesn't take a genius to see the dangers here. While you may 'trust' your current government to not abuse such wide-ranging laws and technical capabilities, you might not be so eager with the next one. If Americans can vote for a Trump, Europeans can, too.

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RE[2]: Comment by nrlz
by kwan_e on Sat 3rd Feb 2018 08:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by nrlz"
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Chinese corporations exist at the whim of the party.

You assume the party is always of one mind, which is factually not true. There are factions within the CCP, just as there are multiple parties and factions within those parties in other countries, democratic or not.

The president still has to negotiate with the factions, or do a purge in extreme cases, to push their interest through. But it's far from a whim.

It is irrelevant whether businesses are profitable

That is false. Many state owned corporations in China have been restructured based on profitability, even broken up into more streamlined and coherent units. Not even the CCP can stay in power based on corruption alone. It actually needs to perform well economically and they learnt the hard way that there's no way to hide it in the long run.

as long as they support party goals.

One of the party goals is that they remain profitable. The other party goal is not to be publicly humiliated, which means they remain profitable and not get caught doing things which would undermine the party's image, which includes blatant corruption.

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