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Monday, September 20, 2021

Why Red China's billionaires stay home

A reader, who visits the French Riviera each fall after the French go back to work, reported, "Here on F. Scott Fitzgerald's beautiful Riviera there are no Russian billionaire mega yachts to gawk at this year, no Chinese buying $20,000 bottles of wine as a selfie companion. The reason: the Russian and Chinese vaccines are ineffective. Trump and the USA won. Hahahaha."

I do not doubt it. When you invest more time and effort into stealing technology than in developing it, you come up short on research capabilities when you need them.

But there is a parallel reason for the absence of Chinese billionaires this year. Chairman Xi has put his Fake Billionaires on a short leash because he fears a Chinese Donald Trump.

To seize the world's economy, Red China had to convince the world that it is a capitalist country with a communist government that will eventually die off. To show Red China changed, it created the Chinese billionaire.

Today, it claims it has 1,058 billionaires to only 696 in America.

But a Chinese billionaire is not really a billionaire in the sense that he has a ton of money and can do as he please.

Jack Ma discovered this the hard way.

George Calhoun of Forbes wrote in June, "Last fall, Jack Ma was rich, and famous, and we knew all about him, followed his every move. He was in fact the richest man in China, and the most famous living Chinese person (according to polls). He was poised to crown his career with a triumphant public offering for his company, The Ant Group, the largest Fintech company in the world. The markets loved him."

He was a rock star, even playing guitar on stage at his "Amazon of China" company's 20th anniversary.

Ma made two mistakes. The first was becoming the most famous man in China. The second was believing his money made him free.

Calhoun wrote, "Ma last took the public stage on October 24 of last year, in Shanghai. He gave a speech – The Speech, as it will be known – in which he was bluntly critical of the Chinese financial industry establishment. Days later, the authorities responded. They killed the Ant IPO, and summoned Ma to Beijing for 'regulatory interviews.' And the curtain came down."

No one has seen him since. There was a video of an emotionless Ma speaking for 43 seconds, but that was it.

Ma flew too close to the Sun.

Chairman Xi was not going to risk having one of his 1,058 billionaires believe he could challenge Xi.

I figure Ma is dead now or worse. He likely received the Otto Warmbier treatment. Remember him? He was the young man from Ohio who foolishly visited North Korea and was arrested and charged with being a spy. North Koreans water-tortured him and fed him pills until he reached a vegetative state.

Red China's billionaires know this. They do not want to wind up like Jack Ma. They know their money does not belong to them. Their money belongs to the state. Oh, they can buy creature comforts and the like, but visit abroad like Jack Ma did?

No thanks.

I have no doubt covid is keeping them away from France. I also have no doubt that absent covid, they still would stay home. There are plenty of sights to see in Red China for them.

Like the Uighur slave camps.

And how free are those 696 American billionaires? They rely on Red China to make their Apple products and Nike shoes. Do they really believe they are independent of Chairman Xi?

When was the last time Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Mark Cuban spoke out against Chairman Xi?

They had no hesitation to call out President Donald Trump.


  1. Great Article -- Xiden is the weakest, feeblest country head of the 21st century.

  2. I figured Maybe was gone, at best,he's making Nikes in the gulag.

  3. Spot on, Don. You're on fire lately! Wonderful and insightful reading.

  4. Poor Otto. President Trump brought him home.

  5. Jack Ma is so 2020. As HiLlARy would say, what difference does it make?
    Seriously though, who are the puppets and who pull the strings?
    The ptb who enabled China will soon find they have a tiger by the tail.

  6. "There are plenty of sights to see in Red China for them. Like the Uighur slave camps."

    Now THAT is a great line!

    And commenter LuAnn is right: You are on fire lately!

  7. More than a decade ago, someone asked me why I was such a sinoskeptic, so I gave him a quick run through five issues which all the sinomania seemed to be missing. They seemed so apt that I wrote them in a corner of my office whiteboard... and made sure to never erase them. How do they look today?

    1. Poor. Despite the attempts to tell us otherwise, China remains a rather poor country even today; most visitors get their contact with the country in the big, glittering, dare-I-say-Potemkin cities... while not seeing the rural poverty. Too many consumer-non-durables makers have been smitten with a miasma about selling bluejeans and chewing gum to that huge population... but most of the population is too poor to be regular consumers of such consumer-non-durables.

    2. Police state. It was funny how the self-delusion also had China being (or becoming) a semi-free state - and, having been there myself, the glittering cities seem open and free (no Mao pajamas, no somber glumness of a totalitarian society). But if anyone had any doubts, the past couple of years should have made it clear that China remains a fascist police state that brooks no dissent; Jack Ma learned this the hard way.

    3. Intellectual property. This was another delusion. I was actually at a meeting back 10+ or so years ago with a noted economist (who was regarded as right-leaning), and he went on and on and on about chinachinachina. I had to ask about China's flagrant and never-improving theft and misappropriation of intellectual property, and the best he could do was wave his hands and mumble something about how if China wants to fully join the world economy they will have to clean this up blah blah blah. It's always been much less work to steal than to build - and as long as China can steal, they will.

    4. Old empire. It doesn't tend to get much attention, but much like the old Soviet Union, China is an old empire by virtue of having inherited and re-established a centuries-old empire. Some consciousness of this may be growing (all the "Free Tibet" stuff landed close to the truth, while Xianjiang province (aka "Eastern Turkistan") is getting more attention these days. But there are more divisions than those - and much like the USSR, the CCP will likely at some point break up into its long-forgotten constituent parts.

    5. Demographics. Ten years back, it seemed like only two or three of us in the whole world had this one in focus - and again, the USSR was sliding into trouble on this count and Russia continues on that slide today. (The Indonesian island of Java has a larger population than does all of Russia.) Back then, I would urge anyone who would listen to do a search on: china demographics 2015 . The one-child policy worked too well, and China is rapidly going down a demographic tailspin. This is one reason that Chairman Xi is in such a hurry - he knows that he has a short time window to build out the new empire before the demographics will mean that there will be too little manpower for that.

    China needs to be contained and waited out. PDJT was doing it.

  8. Biden just added France to his list of CILFS or would it be CIFD?

  9. The great Clint Beastwood’s line comes to mind…

    A man’s gotta know his limitations.

  10. An unrelated question: You see discarded masks all around, more than soda cans. If masks are so efficient at capturing germs, why are they not treated as hazardous waste?

    1. Because they aren't hazardous. They might contain remnants of a virus no more dangerous than the flu.

  11. Sergei Kirov praised Stalin and ended up dead.

  12. The Jan. 6th political prisoners abhorrent treatment is no different than what happened to Jack Ma. I've lived in China, working for a US company and the US now is a Corporatist Oligarchy continually screwing the people whom they seem to hate. I think the Chinese do a better job of taking care of their citizens than we do. There is no immigration path to citizenship, they don't want diversity as divided societies always break apart. The US seems to hate Heritage Americans, i.e. Caucasians. I loved the USA of my youth but I hate what it's become. We have no standing to be throwing stones.

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