The Crackdown in China Is a Hot Mess, and It’s Coming for Us

July 20, 2021

Kara Swisher

By Kara Swisher

Ms. Swisher, a contributing Opinion writer, has reported on technology and technology companies since the early days of the internet.阅读简体中文版閱讀繁體中文版

“On one topic, at least, Mark Zuckerberg was right.

Three years ago, in an interview with me — while attempting to dodge questions about the growing misinformation issues on Facebook — he shifted the conversation to the growing dangers from China across the digital landscape. He argued that tech companies like his needed to be large, if only to fend off challenges from the Asian giant and its ever-more-powerful government-controlled companies.

“If we adopt a stance which is that, ‘OK, we’re going to, as a country, decide that we want to clip the wings of these companies and make it so that it’s harder for them to operate in different places, where they have to be smaller,’ then there are plenty of other companies,” he said, “that are willing and able to take the place of the work that we’re doing.” Essentially painting a stark choice for internet leadership between him and China’s President Xi Jinping, he added, “And they do not share the values that we have.”

While I did not buy his “Xi or me” argument (perhaps there’s a third option?), he was correct.”