China's new cybersecurity rules ban foreign companies from using VPNs to phone home

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shocked not shocked.gif

Seriously I can see more than a few companies moving the bulk of their local presence out of China over this. But not getting out completely sadly.


That was the difference of China and the deceased USSR: they understood how to capture West on their own game. USSR also knew that West (mainly US) only respect power, preferably those that could be exerted to kill them. But while USSR focused itself on military, Mao (and Deng and their successors) worked his way on other way of powers. All our sofisticated devices are Made in China now, and Chinese had learned fast, with a pragmatism that could only be achieved from a people that works since millenia with war. Now West will suffer, no matter what.

VPNs, encryption schemes, block chain systems – really any digital obfuscation system whatsoever – will eventually wind up on the USA’s blacklist(s) as well, or, failing that, will be strictly controlled by a handful of large organizations. This ain’t just China, folks. Coming soon to, well, every damn place. I wish it weren’t so.


Lots of people with crap economies in South America and Africa looking to improve their lot in life. Maybe it’s time to look around.


It’s not (just) the manufacturing, it’s the market. Nobody (or at least, hardly anybody) is willing to cut themselves out of a market of 1.3 billion consumers. Disney is going to adapt all its programming (ESPN, movies, children’s programming etc) to make sure no Chinese censors disapprove, Apple will install whatever spyware and remove whatever apps their government demands, and Nike will force anyone with a sponsorship to refrain from criticism.

Because in order to achieve Western capitalism’s highest form, we need to conform ourselves to the demands of the Chinese Communist party.


Someone I know who works for a Western tech company just told me the other day that the biggest point of friction in the firm’s otherwise smooth operations is dealing with its manufacturers and reps in China. He told me it’s not just a language barrier or even a different business culture but also the growing demands for ideological and financial tribute from Xi’s regime.

The interesting thing is that the Chinese take the long view of their own market. While the Western media-industrial complex and tech industry fools themselves into believing that fulfilling a short-term demand for their cultural products and gadgets will make them indispensible, the Chinese state apparatus correctly expects that it will eventually be turning those tables (and, in imposing its authoritarian norms in the ways we’ve seen lately, has already started).

ETA: Western financial services companies, meanwhile, make their way by indulging other norms of capitalism with Chinese characteristics.


In the context of any national trade agreements, we should consider this rule equivalent to forced technology transfer.


I work for a company with an office/division located in China and whenever I traveled there having my always-on, personal VPN was an absolutely essential aspect of accessing that country’s internet for me.

Now I’ll need to take a look at viable alternatives to bringing personal electronics with me when I travel (which admittedly would have been a good idea even before considering these latest concerns about China). Basically I’m wondering if I’ll just have to go dark to avoid the risk. Which seems risky in itself.


Oh the irony.

I’ll try not to “go off on one” but if western capitalism weren’t so obsessed with growth (yeah, I know, relentless growth is pretty much its raison d’etre) then it would be only slightly less of a fantasy to imagine western commerce simply ignoring China and its market until it proves itself a safe place to do business - i.e. adopting the norms that led to the rise of western capitalism in the first place.

But Wall Street short-term growth demands, EVERY SINGLE FUCKING QUARTER, (yeah - relentless) mean no market can be ignored and it only needs one company to break ranks and everyone else is disadvantaged and forced to do the same.

I read the following this weekend.

As the New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo puts it: “If the first and most important cost of doing business in China is the surgical extraction of a CEO’s spine, many businesses are only too happy to provide the stretcher and the scalpel.”


Perhaps Apple’s next move should be to incorporate VPN technology and strong end-to-end encryption into the iOS.

Remember when China’s opening up to world commerce and the creation of a middle class was inevitably going to lead to greater freedoms and democracy there? How ironic that it lead to censorship and capitulation to repression and dictatorship from the West.


This has been China’s plan all along, but HK has forced them to show their hand early. Now we see if they can still pull it off or if the hegemony collapses from the as yet weak foundation.


I think I’d want to know more about systems connected to Chinese payment systems.


Sorry, let me correct you there, all our sophisicated devices are made in China cheaply. But maybe this is the beginning of the end, as China tightens its grip corporations will come to see that the cost of doing business is just not worth it, not with so many other 3rd world countries clamouring for their attention.


But I think you are forgetting that capitalism is folding in on itself from paying its consumers the minimum wage and then standing around wondering why its consumers have stopped consuming.


Same with Canada Computers: (who’ve been around for a while) they take Alipay. :thinking: I’m not keen. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

After the German Bundesbank published a study this year showing that cash payments were the fastest and most cost effective for small amounts (under €50) I had (yet) another reason to start paying in cash again.


I wa going to mention the same thing. There are constant attempts by the US government to cripple encryption.

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