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  • Ernie Diaz

The Thin Red Lines

This “red line” business is the worst China meme since the West Point-inspired “no excuses” meme of ’05, which led to years of hair salon and restaurant staff lining up on the sidewalk pre-shift for military inspection.


Sure, it makes sense (objectively speaking) for territorial demarcations, but last year it was used to label a whole category of centrally-determined liquidity ratios for SOEs and banks to stay on the right side of. SOE bad-asset-manager Huarong’s long jump over that line is putting the meme’s longevity to the test.


Another two red lines have been drawn to rein in tech giants

overstepping healthy boundaries limiting monopolistic maneuvering and data mining. Twelve tech giants, including Bytedance and JD, solemnly swore neversoever to cross those lines.


“It’s kind of like Bart Simpson repeating on the blackboard before the fact,” says Jimmie Jeremejev. “It’s an act of public good faith. But behind closed doors? Tech companies will simply become more adept at what they’d call “securing a competitive advantage.”


Still, it would be nice to see Zuck & Jeff write “We will not monopolize or exploit data,” 1000 times on the blackboard, before skateboarding out the window, wouldn’t it?

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