Last week, the government in Shenzhen carried out a lottery to give away a total of 10 million yuan (about $1.5 million) worth of digital currency. The winners can now download a digital renminbi app to receive the digital yuan and spend it at more than 3,000 merchants in a particular district of Shenzhen. The digital yuan is not a cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Instead, it is issued and controlled by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank. Continue Reading →

They Already Have Your Data

TikTok WeChat
On August 6, 2020, the president of the United States signed two virtually identical executive orders banning the use of both TikTok and WeChat. TikTok will survive due to a partnership deal with Oracle that, at this writing, the president has approved. But, unless a federal judge issues a stay, by the time you read this WeChat will be officially banned. Continue Reading →
Equifax
The Attorney General of the United States announced that the government had confirmed that the Equifax hack was the work of the Chinese military. As we enter the age of AI-assisted warfare, it’s important to unpack some of the underlying issues. Continue Reading →
Apple in China
Apple posted the highest quarterly earnings in American history (Q415) and took huge hit. Some people blaming Apple's $30 billion market cap haircut on the economic slowdown in China -- but if you don't live there, it's hard to understand the complex relationships Chinese people have with Western brands. Continue Reading →
CCTV
I spent the afternoon today at CCTV headquarters in Beijing. Standing in Master Control, I could not help thinking that this was some kind of science-fiction fantasy movie. One program on all of the 19 free-over-the-air CCTV channels and a stark, white on black graphic on every paid service or entertainment channel saying that, during Continue Reading →