The outgoing president Donald Trump has banned WeChat Pay and Alipay transactions with the order to come into force later next month.
“By accessing personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, Chinese connected software applications can access and capture vast swaths of information from users, including sensitive personally identifiable information and private information.
This data collection threatens to provide the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information — which would permit China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, and build dossiers of personal information,” the order said.
China has banned Facebook, Google, Twitter and other tech giants, with it to be seen whether the incoming president, Joe Biden, will leave the order in place.
That’s especially amidst an ongoing probe on Alibaba as the world witnesses what appears to be a significant transformation with terms such as “bloodsucking capitalist” now again uttered in the single party country.
Xi Jinping some fear is the new Mao Zedong, the dictator who starved tens of millions with Jinping removing term limits in addition to prohibiting public criticism of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
To illustrate this descend into overt authoritarianism, Jack Ma is apparently “under supervision” which presumably means in house arrest.
His sin was to point out the lack of technological advancement and modern thinking in China’s banking system, with Ma suggesting how algorithms could manage credit risk and thus expand credit access without requiring collateral.
This benign speech is now being used as an excuse for China’s drastic action of potentially taking over much of Alibaba, or at least its better parts.
So finally revealing to all what this space learned in 2017: there are no property laws in China, at least not where the state is concerned.
This capricious manner of governance will certainly make any entrepreneur that wants to go into China think more than twice. Not least because it isn’t clear any longer whether semi free markets are starting to become “evil” in the world’s second biggest economy.
The state directed defaming of Jack Ma with terms used in the era of Mao Zedong has plenty speculating China is turning its back on free markets and is moving at full speed towards a state run economy.
The liberal wing is being purged, with old style communists consolidating and extending their power. Alibaba first.
No one is now comparing Xi to Winnie the Poo, for his calculated Machiavellian ways have brought terror to China’s business class in a country where the party is the banks and soon perhaps the party is the country.
In this atmosphere where centralized digital finance is very much under attack, bitcoin may well be one avenue of ensuring property rights at the technical level rather than relying on trusting the party won’t just raid your business to chop it up among the rich families of Xi and the party accolades.
Now that these apps are being banned, making payment to and from China might also become more difficult, making bitcoin a perfect instrument due to it bypassing entirely centralized and controllable infrastructure.
Hence bitcoin volumes seem to be rising in China as shown in a proxy way by peer to peer international trade.
They have their own platforms and an entire grassroots ecosystem which has proven impossible to stamp out despite CCP’s best efforts.
Despite banning exchanges since 2017, now and then we still get reports of CCP closing down hundreds of centralized exchanges, showing they keep popping up.
They doing their best to block peer to peer fiat movements, but have seemingly found the task impossible due to sheer volumes and because new even more resilient platforms just rise.
Necessity being the mother of invention, a whole decentralized infrastructure has now been set up that neither Trump nor Xi can ban. So leaving entrepreneurial Chinese people with few options but bitcoin amid a state level crackdown on financial apps.