October 10, 2019

25 companies who are kowtowing to China, & a Few worth supporting who aren’t.

The Hong Kong protests epitomize “Western” values of democracy. It’s up to all of us to pay attention, and support. We can’t count on corporations to do so. Here’s 10 companies who are actively kowtowing to Big Brother China, and a few worth supporting who aren’t.

Via Reddit, two great lists:

Business Hall of Bootlickers

  • Activision Blizzard: banned player for supporting HK democracy protest. Confiscated all his winnings. Fired his interviewers. Apologized to China: condemned incident, swore to defend China’s national dignity

  • Apple: censor Taiwan flag emoji in iOS in HK

  • Applebanned HK protest map from App Store. Approved app after backlash. Banned app once again after China hissy fit

  • Apple: removed from China App Store news app that covered HK protest

  • Vans: censor pro-HK democracy design in its shoe design competition

  • NBA (partial entry): rebuked Rockets manager for his pro-HK tweet, saying NBA was “extremely disappointed with Morey’s inappropriate comment.” Backpedalled after backlash, now saying they support Morey’s freedom of speech.

  • Disney / ESPN: forbid mention of Chinese politics when discussing Rockets manager’s HK tweet

  • Viacom / Paramount: censor Taiwan flag from the jacket worn by Tom Cruise in new “Top Gun” movie

  • Disney / Marvel: censored Tibetan monk from “Doctor Strange” & turned him into white woman. Movie screenwriter: “if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place & that he’s Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people who think that that’s bullshit“.

  • ASICS, Calvin Klein, Coach, Fresh, Givenchy, Pocari Sweat, Valentino, Versace, Swarovski: details here

  • Marriott: apologized & changed “Taiwan” to “Taiwan, China” after China threw a hissy fit

  • Nike: removed Houston Rockets products from China webstore

  • Activision Blizzard: cut livestream when American U team held up pro-HK sign.

  • Apple: handed over iCloud data & encryption keys to China

  • Cathay Pacific: fired employees for FB posts supporting HK protests.

  • Apple: minimized the seriousness of iOS exploits that enabled China to track Uyghurs, when 1M+ of them are rounded up by China in concentration camps

  • Google: censored pro-HK game “The Revolution of Our Times” from Google Play because it was about a “sensitive event“.

  • Gap: apologized for selling T-shirts IN CANADA that didn’t include Taiwan as part of China

  • Tiffany: removed tweet showing model covering 1 eye after China accused it of supporting HK

  • Marriott: fired employee who liked tweet from Tibetan group

  • Mercedes: apologized for quoting Dalai Lama on Instagram

  • American, Delta, United: deleted mention of Taiwan as a country from websites

  • Audi: apologized for using “incorrect” map of China that left off Taiwan

  • Muji: destroyed store catalogs that contain “incorrect” map of China

  • Zara: apologized for listing Taiwan as country

  • Medtronic: apologized for publishing “illegal content” that listed “Republic of China (Taiwan)” as country

  • Ray-Ban: changed “Taiwan” & “Hongkong” to “China Taiwan” & “China Hongkong”

  • Qantas, Air France, Air Canada, British Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Japan Airlines, ANA: changed “Taiwan” to “Taiwan China”

  • TikTok: censor videos that mention Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, Falun Gong

  • Sheraton: banned Taiwan National Day event under China pressure

  • Disney: removed non-white characters from Chinese poster of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

  • Philly Sixers: ejected fans for supporting HK

  • Princeton: don’t talk about 3 Ts: Tibet, Tiananmen, Taiwan

  • Leica: released ad on Tiananmen protest. Apologized & distanced itself from ad

  • Reddit: took $150M from Tencent. Removed thread like this

  • Rockhampton, Queensland: censored Taiwan flag in student project

  • Cisco: helped build Great Firewall including module to persecute Falun Gong

  • MGM: changed Red Dawn’s villain from China to N Korea to placate China

  • Global Blue: fired staff for calling Taiwan a country

  • L’Oréal / Lancôme: canceled HK artist concert for her pro-democracy activism

  • US universities: self-censor in fear of offending China

  • Disney: block Winnie the Pooh website in HK

After decades of opening up Western market to China while turning a blind eye to rampant Chinese IP thefts, forced tech transfers, & protectionism, we are looking at widespread control of Western firms by China. Firms that are not under outright Chinese control still kowtow to China out of fear of China’s retaliation.

This is an incomplete list of what we’re seeing publicly. Imagine how bad it is behind closed doors.

Business Hall of Backbones

  • Matt Stone & Trey Parker: South Park “Band in China”

  • Ubisoft: listened to fans, said no to China after initially saying they would tone down game content to be China-compliant.

  • Prague: cancel partnership with Beijing over 1-China principle

  • Immutable: offer to repay banned gamer’s winnings that was confiscated by Blizzard, got cyber attacked as a result


Via NY Times: “In an effort to avoid losing access to Chinese airspace, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flagship airline, fired employees who wrote posts on social media in support of the protests. In August, Rupert Hogg, the airline’s chief executive, resigned.

Nike, which endorses James, pulled some shoes after a fashion designer’s support for the Hong Kong protests sparked a social media backlash against the brand.

The stakes are particularly high for the N.B.A. in China.

Tencent Holdings, a Chinese tech conglomerate, reported that 490 million people watched N.B.A. programming on its platforms last year, including 21 million fans who watched Game 6 of the 2019 N.B.A. finals. By comparison, Nielsen measured 18.3 million viewers for the game on the American network ABC.

The league recently announced a five-year extension of its partnership with Tencent to stream its games in China for a reported $1.5 billion

Gap was forced to apologize in 2017 after selling a shirt that featured a map of China that did not include Taiwan, a self-governing island off its southern coast. The Marriott International hotel chain apologized in January 2018 for listing Tibet, a region of western China, and Taiwan as countries in a customer survey.

In February 2018, the German automaker Daimler apologized for using a quotation from the Dalai Lama, who is widely viewed as a Tibetan separatist in China, in a social media post from its Mercedes-Benz brand.

In March 2018, China demanded that international airlines refer to Taiwan as part of China in their online booking systems, a request mocked by the White House as “Orwellian nonsense” but eventually obeyed by all major carriers.

Movie studios frequently find themselves at odds with state censors in a country where notions of free expression do not apply but billions of dollars ride on international success.

Disney, which has been more successful at navigating these waters than any other American entertainment company, is now in the position of promoting the live-action adaptation of “Mulan” after Crystal Yifei Liu, its Chinese-American star, prompted dueling backlash in the United States and China by supporting a crackdown on protesters by Hong Kong police.

Disney, which had no comment, has inched forward in its positioning in China for decades, leading to the opening of Shanghai Disneyland in 2016 and spectacular results for films like the recent “Avengers: Endgame,” which took in $858 million in the United States and $614 million in China earlier this year. Last year, Chinese moviegoers bought an estimated $8.87 billion in movie tickets, up 9 percent from a year earlier, according to box office analysts…” ~ read the rest at the NY Times. Reading and subscribing keeps journalism, and democracy, alive and thriving.


‘South Park’ declares ‘F— the Chinese government’ in 300th episode after the show was banned in China.”

    • “South Park” discussion forums were shut down, and videos of the show were removed from the Chinese internet after last week’s episode mocked the country’s censorship.
    • The creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, issued a mock apology to China on Monday, saying “We too love money more than freedom and democracy.”

“James Harden, a Rockets guard and one of the N.B.A.’s biggest stars, directly apologized to Chinese fans on Monday.

“We apologize. We love China, we love playing there,” he told reporters in Tokyo, where the Rockets were preparing for their preseason game.” ~ NY Times

Relephant: “Journalist gets quickly shut down when she asked James Harden, Russell Westbrook if they would refrain from speaking out on politics/social justice after China debacle.” Cowards. Check out Harden and Russ’s faces. As a Redditor noted, “shut up and let us dribble.”

Contrast with ESPN, who are acknowledging China’s claims to the South China Sea by using the Nine Dash Line in a graphic during a story about the Lakers coming to Shanghai.

via Reddit.

Here are images NSFW of the massacre in Tianamen square in 1989. These get censored regularly.





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