From the 1700s (at least), well before the colony of New South Wales was established in 1788, the Aboriginal people of northern Australia were trading trepang (sea cucumber) with fishermen from Makassar, a port-city on the island of Sulawesi (now Indonesia).
The “Macassan” fishermen would sail to Australia around December each year, with the north-west monsoonal winds.
They would spend months living on Australian beaches, collecting and processing the trepang, before returning home with their haul.
Their catch was destined for China.
“The north coast of Australia, southern China and Makassar were all connected by an international trading network that centred on trepang,” curator Alison Mercieca, of the National Museum of Australia, said in a 2008 lecture.
That trade network matured over centuries, and became a popular source of food for the Chinese market.
“Throughout the nineteenth century it would appear that a majority of trepang traded from Makassar was supplied by the fleets which sailed to Arnhem Land and perhaps even supplying about a quarter of the total Chinese market by the mid-nineteenth century,” she said.
What matters more in an ideological war, though, is influence, and that is why I do believe that ByteDance’s continued ownership of TikTok is unacceptable. My strong preference would be for ByteDance to sell TikTok to non-Chinese investors or a non-Chinese company, by which I mean not-Facebook. TikTok is not only a brilliant app that figured out video on mobile, it is also shaping up to be a major challenge to Facebook’s hold on attention and thus, in the long run, advertising. This would be a very good thing, and I fear that simply banning TikTok will simply leave the market to Instagram Reels, Facebook’s TikTok clone.
One of the gravest errors made by far too many people in the U.S. is taking an exceptionally self-centered view of U.S.-China relations, where everything is about what the U.S. says and does, while China is treated like an NPC.
In many ways TikTok is similar to Facebook in that it vacuums up data.
That is not to say that TikTok is not capturing data: it is vacuuming up as much as it can, from your usage to your IP address to your contacts and location (if you gave the app permission). This, as many TikTok advocates note, is similar to what Facebook does.
We may share your information with a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliate of our corporate group.
However, the focus of this data is as much political as anything else. ByteDance’s focus is primarily about machine learning and building an algorithm that allows it direct access to our thoughts and attention.
TikTok’s algorithm, unmoored from the constraints of your social network or professional content creators, is free to promote whatever videos it likes, without anyone knowing the difference. TikTok could promote a particular candidate or a particular issue in a particular geography, without anyone — except perhaps the candidate, now indebted to a Chinese company — knowing. You may be skeptical this might happen, but again, China has already demonstrated a willingness to censor speech on a platform banned in China; how much of a leap is it to think that a Party committed to ideological dominance will forever leave a route directly into the hearts and minds of millions of Americans untouched?
It is interesting to think of this all alongside Cory Doctorow’s critique of platform capitalism.
Some Chinese camps have been dismantled and heavy equipment withdrawn, but the new road along the banks of the Galwan remains.
“The whole thing is probe, push back and probe and push back, that sort of activity,” says Christopher Snedden, an independent Australian strategic analyst who has written several books about the region.
“I think the Chinese are masters at that.”
I started the day reading Peter Oborne’s piece on whether China will replace Islam as the West’s new enemy — and then got sucked into the rabbit-hole of whether we are sliding into a new Cold War, with China playing the role that the Soviet Union played in the old days. This is all about geopolitics, of course, about which I know little. But if you write about digital technology, as I do, this emerging Cold War is a perennial puzzle that pops up everywhere.
The economic challenges facing China have possible implications for U.S. policy. Rather than worrying so much about what Beijing is up to, Washington might be better off focusing on the home front and enhancing American advantages over China, by, for instance, strengthening the education system and investing in research and development.
Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong have brought outbreaks under control — and without resorting to China’s draconian measures.
In China, many rural students lack the connections or hardware to learn remotely. More nations will confront the same reality as the outbreak spreads.
For her series One Person City, photographer nicoco has been taking photos of Shanghai that emphasize how deserted the city was due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has killed more than 1000 people in China.
More than 400 pages of internal Chinese documents provide an unprecedented inside look at the crackdown on ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.
China’s use of technology for social control of its citizens is extensive – but it could affect users elsewhere too, says security analyst Samantha Hoffman
I would be. You may think “I’m not researching the CCP or testifying in Congress, so I don’t have anything to worry about”. But you don’t really know how that data is being collected and potentially used to shape your opinion and shape your decisions, among other things. Even understanding advertising and consumer preferences can feed into propaganda. Taken together, that can be used to influence an election or feelings about a particular issue.
This comes back tothat:
Ultimately, saying that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different from saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say.
Sauytbay had to teach the prisoners – who were Uyghur or Kazakh speakers – Chinese and Communist Party propaganda songs. She was with them throughout the day. The daily routine began at 6 A.M. Chinese instruction took place after a paltry breakfast, followed by repetition and rote learning. There were specified hours for learning propaganda songs and reciting slogans from posters: “I love China,” “Thank you to the Communist Party,” “I am Chinese” and “I love Xi Jinping” – China’s president.
The Chinese Embassy denied these accounts and instead argued that Sauytbay was suspected of credit fraud.
Asked to respond to Sayragul Sauytbay’s description of her experience, the Chinese Embassy in Sweden wrote to Haaretz that her account is “total lies and malicious smear attacks against China.” Sauytbay, it claimed, “never worked in any vocational education and training center in Xinjiang, and has never been detained before leaving China” – which she did illegally, it added. Furthermore, “Sayragul Sauytbay is suspected of credit fraud in China with unpaid debts [of] about 400,000 RMB” (approximately $46,000).
However, as China has closed the region off and implemented a, it therefore is difficult to actually prove or disprove any sort of testimony, without it simply being discredited by the state.
As the 2020 deadline approaches, China’s Social Credit System still remains largely in development. There are some signs, however, that the system could soon incorporate more forms of data collection. For example, Chen says, the China Credit website already encourages users to log in by scanning their faces, though it’s not mandatory. “So there will be a facial-recognition element if the government can persuade people to use that more,” she explains.
Exposing how China is creating the world’s largest prison.
“People started to literally disappear, communities were being emptied of adult men and women.” China researcher
It’s a remote corner of the world, but what is taking place there is nothing short of breathtaking.
“My older brother, younger brothers and two younger sisters, five siblings were all taken by… masked police. Heavily armed Special Forces police raided their home and taken (sic) them by covering their face and shackling them in front of the kids.” Australian Uyghur
Xinjiang province is a vast area of deserts and mountains where the ancient Silk Road once ran. Today its Uyghur population is being systematically rounded up with estimates of as many as a million citizens being held in detention.
The smart watches use chips developed and designed by BeiDou, a Chinese satellite navigation system, to pinpoint a child’s position within 10 meters.The news: Seventeen thousand students at 60 elementary schools in Guangzhou received fancy new gadgets for their wrists last week, according to the Guangzhou Daily (link in Chinese).
How one BBC correspondent was locked out of China’s top messaging app after posting photos.
Some of the technologies pioneered in Xinjiang have already found customers in authoritarian states as far away as sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018, CloudWalk, a Guangzhou-based tech startup that has received more than $301m in state funding, finalised an agreement with Zimbabwe’s government to build a national “mass facial recognition programme” in order to address “social security issues”. (CloudWalk has not revealed how much the agreement is worth.) Freedom of movement through airports, railways and bus stations throughout Zimbabwe will now be managed through a facial database integrated with other kinds of biometric data. In effect, the Uighur homeland has become an incubator for China’s “terror capitalism”.
This provides another perspective to the report from. This is another piece exploring the rise of .
Children are interrogated. Neighbors become informants. Mosques are monitored. Cameras are everywhere.
What’s the truth behind the Chinese tech giant’s success?,
The speed at which all this is happening in China makes me wonder why we speak about ten year plans in Melbourne, Australia.
In part this scenario of a station in a field reminds me of the discussion of the development of infrastructure before people in Stockholm:
In contrast, places like Vällingby, a Swedish suburb outside Stockholm built in the 1950s, were sited around a new Metro station. Building rail infrastructure through built-up areas is extremely expensive, but building it through farmland, before new neighborhoods are built, is comparatively cheap.