by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist considers American companies that kowtow to the Chinese communist government.
Twitter and Facebook are the exceptions to a disturbing trend of U.S.-based companies bowing and scraping before the Chinese Communist Party. Witness the recent spectacle of the NBA censoring fans on American soil and shutting down questions from reporters asking players for comment on Hong Kong. It wasn’t enough to apologize for Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting the protesters. With billions invested in China, the NBA is apparently willing to import Beijing’s authoritarian methods to the United States.
Americans who love liberty—which is most of us, regardless of where we fall on the political spectrum—are appalled at this. The People’s Republic of China is an autocratic state under the pitiless rule of the Communist Party of China. It runs the world’s largest concentration-camp network, suppresses religious practice among Christians, Jews, and Muslims, runs a massive organ-harvesting operation among political prisoners and ethnic minorities, and is in the process of creating—with the help of U.S. technology firms—the largest surveillance state in human history. …
… Companies, especially global companies, are supposed to make money, not play politics. Their only allegiance, as some libertarians like to point out, is to their shareholders.
Okay, fine. If these companies don’t owe allegiance to America and its founding principles, maybe it’s time to rethink what the American people owe them. If Delta airlines is going to affirm PRC territorial claims and adjust its corporate policies to appease the Chinese state, then maybe it shouldn’t receive tax subsidies from state governments and local economic development authorities.