China-U.S. Relations

Regional News • Americas • United States
Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Joe Biden on election as U.S. president
President Xi Jinping
President Xi Jinping Credit: Global Panorama (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message on Wednesday to congratulate Joe Biden on being elected U.S. president.

Technology • Internet & Web
TikTok has two more weeks to sell US operations, regulators say
TikTok has two more weeks to sell US operations, regulators say
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, LogoTikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

TikTok will now have two more weeks, until Nov. 27, to reach an agreement with Oracle and Walmart and persuade the U.S. government to approve the proposed deal, a court filing on Friday showed. The company said on Tuesday that it requested an extension of 30 days to complete the sale but had not heard from the government for weeks.

Last October, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which investigates the national security risks of certain business deals, began examining ByteDance's 2017 acquisition of Musical.ly, a Chinese-owned lip-syncing app that became a hit among teens in the U.S. and would be relaunched as TikTok. The review came at the urging of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin raising fears about political censorship and the possibility that the Chinese Communist Party could use the app to advance its foreign policy agenda.

Business • Markets
Ant Group's IPO will raise $34.4 billion, sees record $3 trillion in retail demand
Ant Group logo
Ant Group logo Credit: Ant Group

The initial public offering for Jack Ma's Ant Group will raise some $34.4 billion and value the company at more than $310 billion after retail investors placed bids for a record $3 trillion.

Xiaomeng Lu, a senior technology analyst at Eurasia Group, said that Ant is also poised to benefit from the Chinese government's latest economic development plans, which are being drawn up this week. Lu noted that Ant faces tough competition inside China from rival Tencent, while potential regulatory pressure from countries like the United States could limit opportunities abroad.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump maintains a bank account in China
Trump maintains a bank account in China
Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

According to the New York Times, US President Donald Trump has a Chinese bank account and spent years pursuing business projects in the country. The account, controlled by Trump International Hotels Management, paid $188,561 in local taxes between 2013 and 2015.

President Trump has been critical of US firms doing business in China and sparked a trade war between the two countries.

The newspaper's previous reports show Trump paid $750 in US federal taxes in 2016 and 2017 when he became president.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
US government offers Brazilian telecoms financing to buy 5G equipment from Huawei rivals
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR (Public Domain)

The US government, via the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. EXIM bank and the National Security Council, offered financing to Brazilian telecoms to keep them from buying Huawei Technologies 5G equipment.

The Chinese Embassy in Brazil on Twitter accused the American government of seeking a networking "monopoly." Still, it said it believed most countries would remain independent and make their own decisions regarding 5G.

Technology • Internet & Web
U.S. judge halts order to remove WeChat from app stores
U.S. judge halts order to remove WeChat from app stores
Credit: WeChat

Early Sunday, the U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler blocked the Commerce Department from requiring Apple and Google to remove WeChat for downloads. The judge issued a preliminary injunction at the request of the U.S. WeChat Users Alliance.

The preliminary injunction also blocked the order barring other transactions with WeChat in the United States that could have degraded the site’s usability for current U.S. users.

Technology • Internet & Web
After Trump "blessing" of Oracle deal, the U.S. will delay TikTok app store ban by one week
After Trump "blessing" of Oracle deal, the U.S. will delay TikTok app store ban by one week
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Logos TikTok & Oracle (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The U.S. Commerce Department on Saturday announced a one-week delay until September 27 on order to remove TikTok app from mobile application stores owned by Apple and Google. The decision came after President Trump has given tentative approval to an Oracle-Wallmart deal that will keep TikTok alive in the country.

Trump said, on Saturday, that "I have given the deal my blessing, I approve the deal in concept."

Regional News • Americas • United States
TikTok sues Trump administration to block U.S. ban
TikTok logo
TikTok logo Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, have filed a complaint in Washington federal court on Friday night, asking a judge to block the Trump administration's executive order that would block Chinese social-media networks, especially TikTok and WeChat, to do business with U.S. companies.

TikTok, which has over 100 million users in the United States, said the ban would "irreversibly destroy the TikTok business in the U.S."

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Huawei to reduce smartphone production by 74 per cent
Huawei to reduce smartphone production by 74 per cent
Credit: Huawei

The Korean electronics industry media magazine The Elec has reported based on insider information that Huawei will reduce the production of smartphones by 74% following sanctions from the United States that lead to a decline in sales.

Also, Samsung and SK Hynix have stopped delivering microchips to the Chinese company.

Technology • Internet & Web
WeChat users sue Trump administration over US app ban
WeChat users sue Trump administration over US app ban
Credit: WeChat

A coalition of WeChat users in the US launched a legal challenge to the Trump administration, questioning its ban on the popular Chinese messaging app. The users claim the ban violates their constitutional rights and that the app became an essential digital service for millions of Chinese-Americans.

President Trump signed two executive orders, effective September 20, banning US transactions with WeChat, the app owned by Tencent Holdings, and ByteDance, the owner of the video app TikTok.

The US WeChat Users Alliance, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, claimed that the ban had been "issued in the midst of the 2020 election cycle, during a time when President Trump has made numerous anti-Chinese statements that have contributed to and incited racial animus against persons of Chinese descent — all outside of the national security context".

Technology • Internet & Web
Microsoft to continue discussions on potential TikTok purchase in the United States
Microsoft to continue discussions on potential TikTok purchase in the United States
Credit: Aaron Weiss

The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The two companies have provided notice of their intent to explore a preliminary proposal that would involve a purchase of the TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in these markets. Microsoft may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.

Regional News • Americas • United States
FBI arrests Chinese researcher for visa fraud
Chinese consulate in San Francisco
Chinese consulate in San Francisco Credit: InSapphoWeTrust (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The FBI arrested a Chinese researcher who took refuge in the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. The researcher, Juan Tang, will appear in court on Monday after allegedly made fraudulent statements on her visa application by concealing that she served in the Chinese military.

If convicted, Tang faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Regional News • Asia • China
China orders closure of U.S. consulate in Chengdu
The building of U.S. Consulate General Chengdu
The building of U.S. Consulate General Chengdu Credit: U.S. Consulate General Chengdu (Public Domain)

The Chinese Government on Friday ordered the closure of the United States consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu. The announcement was made just hours before Washington's deadline for the Chinese government to end its diplomatic mission in Houston, Texas.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement: "On 21 July, the US launched a unilateral provocation by abruptly demanding that China close its Consulate General in Houston. The US move seriously breached international law, the basic norms of international relations, and the terms of the China-US Consular Convention. It gravely harmed China-US relations. The measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the US. It conforms with international law, the basic norms of international relations, and customary diplomatic practices."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Alleged Chinese military researcher sheltered by Chinese consulate in San Francisco
Chinese consulate in San Francisco
Chinese consulate in San Francisco Credit: InSapphoWeTrust (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

According to court filings, the FBI alleges that a Chinese citizen that is affiliated to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) appears to have entered the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. The FBI had previously interviewed the person in question and searched her home. According to them, the person had stated to have any affiliation with the PLA, but an investigation revealed a connection to the Air Force Military Medical University (FMMU) and that she is considered active military personnel.

The person in question is being charged with visa fraud and similar to other cases where Chinese military scientists have been allegedly directed to steal information from U.S. insitutions.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Chinese consulate in Houston ordered to close by US government

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China has been ordered to "cease all operations and events" at its consulate in Houston, Texas. The police in Houston has reported smoke from the consulate courtyard as Chinese officials allegedly have burned documents.

Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, has stated that the closure of the consulate has been ordered "to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information".

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
iPhone assembler Foxconn allegedly plans $1 billion investment into plant in India
Foxconn factory at Czech Republic
Foxconn factory at Czech Republic Credit: Nadkachna (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The Taiwanese hardware and technology company Foxconn allegedly plans to invest up to $1 billion in India. The goal is to expand an existing factory southeastern India near Chennai where the company assembles iPhones for Apple.

According to a source published by the news agency Reuters "There’s a strong request from Apple to its clients to move part of the iPhone production out of China". Neither Foxconn nor Apple have commented on the news.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo states that the United States are considering to ban TikTok
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo states that the United States are considering to ban TikTok
Credit: unsplash.com / Kon Karampelas

During an interview at Fox News, Laura Ingraham asked the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo if the Trump Administration is considering to ban Chinese social media apps such as TikTok. Pompeo stated that "With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura" and that he doesn't "want to get out in front of the President, but it's something we're looking at". He also stated security concerns with TikTok and suggested that people should only install the app on their phones if they want their "private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party".