"ByteDance and its addictive video & # 39; s are the first Internet company in China to do better than Americans"

Beijing tightens the censorship of social networks at a time when many of its businesses are suspicious of Westerners. This is not a good news for the young star of the Chinese internet, explains Philippe Escande, economic editor in the & # 39; world & # 39 ;,

By Philippe Escande Posted today at 11.29 am

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Chronicle. In China, the government now places the integrity of the party and the morality of its fellow citizens above the unfounded economic considerations. On Wednesday, January 9, he published a catalog with hundreds of codes of conduct for social networks and in particular microvideosites that are popular with young people. They will always be able to exchange some dance moves or the exploits of their kitten, but will banish any impersonation or mockery of the leaders of the party, including clothing, as well as heroes of the homeland; every separatist allusion (Taiwan, Hong Kong); any attempt to ridicule Chinese culture and finally, of course, the slightest allusion to sex, from the most chaste kiss to foot fetishism.

This does not help the business of ByteDance, the biggest Chinese star of the internet in 2018. With his site that Douyin refused internationally under the name TikTok, he seduced more than half a year in three years. billion young internet users in the world, to the United States. Better than Twitter or Snapchat. The company is already planning to increase the number of moderator censors to 10,000 people and its boss had to publicly apologize for undermining the values ​​of socialism by letting videos or ads pass.

Dangerous slope

This stiffening of the Chinese authorities contributes to the economic climate, which extends particularly within the Middle Kingdom and the rest of the world. The repeated attacks by Donald Trump against Beijing begin to produce their effects. While 2018 broke all trade records between China and its trading partners, the month of December reversed the trend. Exports fell by 4.4% and, perhaps the most worrying, imports fell by 7.6%. This means that domestic demand is weakening, although the intention is to take over export sales.

Aware of this dangerous slope, the country is multiplying stimulus plans and has recently announced the doubling of the foreign investment limit for Chinese companies, bringing it to 300 billion dollars (261 billion euros). However, it will require more to improve the image. His telecom champion Huawei is now suspicious in all Western countries where he sells his equipment. The hand of Beijing everywhere is suspected of standing behind his businesses. Chinese power is scary.