China

China has itself to blame as time runs out for Tiktok

It was a misconcocted scheme from the start, but it is now deeply weird to think that less than a year ago a Hong Kong company made an attempt to take over London Stock Exchange Group.

Cast your mind back to the innocent pre-Covid days of September 2019, when HKEX shocked the City with a £30bn hostile bid for a British keystone of global financial infrastructure. The approach inevitably and swiftly failed for an array of financial and political reasons. LSEG boss David Schwimmer was left free to continue to pursue his own questionable megadeal with Blackstone for the data

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America’s biggest companies fear being locked out of China after Trump WeChat ban

WeChat, and its Chinese equivalent Weixin, have a combined 1 billion users, but have long been criticised for censoring posts and messages in China and for submitting to demands for information about users from the Chinese state.

Neil Campling, head of TMT at Mirabaud Securities, said: “US companies will be scrambling their lawyers to work out the implications. WeChat is an essential channel for not just communications but also for brands to get access to consumers. 

“Mr Trump risks cutting off that whole area of growth for many corporates.”

His concerns were echoed by legal experts, who warned that US

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Huawei is being swept up in the tide of history as China turns away

In some respects this has been the case for years. Russians do not use Google but Yandex, a search engine headquartered in Moscow where it is subject to Vladimir Putin’s security laws. Likewise Chinese smartphone users have access to an array of censored and monitored versions of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Western technology companies – software and hardware – have always been shut out of the Chinese market to a great extent. The change we are now witnessing is a response in kind, which security hawks might say is not before time. Huawei is by far the biggest loser in

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China needs to be brought to heel on trade, but let’s do it by example

China’s potentially vast internal market is plainly something worth aspiring to, but may be ultimately unobtainable. If access is based more on genuflection and obedience than on internationally agreed rules, it may in any case not be worth pursuing. If there is any economic sense at all in Beijing’s growing geopolitical assertiveness, it is presumably based on a similar calculation – that having leveraged Western markets so aggressively to turbocharge China’s economic development, a critical mass has now been reached where Western markets are no longer needed quite as much as they used to be to keep the growth machine

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