Two major developments this week — the US election resulted in no clear winner and Jack Ma got slapped down.
We have long predicted a Biden victory, and that still appears to be the most likely outcome, but the blue wave that was widely predicted just didn’t eventuate. The Chinese government has been silent on the situation, but the obvious observation is that the messier the US is, the more it works in their favor. We have succeeded because we have handled our domestic affairs well, said the leader. The start of the year was just a disaster, but since then, it has been one lucky break after another. The US election result being just the latest. There are all sorts of predictions about how the election might play out, and we won’t list them. It’s not even worth reviewing how a Biden presidency would deal with China relations. Maybe next Friday. But the result throws into question the whole Western model of governance. Even if it may still be the least bad system available, electing Trump once is understandable, but even allowing him to get so close a second time? That is not understandable. What drove the Trump wave? Fear is presumably the answer. Fear of what? Immigrants, black people, change, loss of jobs to foreign countries, changing demographics … Trump played successfully on all of them. It’s all a sobering experience.
And then there is the Ant Financial IPO, which got pulled at the last moment in both Shanghai and Hong Kong. What is going on here, ultimately, is the sending of a message to everyone in the private sector, everyone in the whole system, as to who holds the power. Not even Jack Ma is an exception. If control is the key element that allowed China to transcend the worst of the virus and its economic fallout, then control must be exhibited in all areas, with no exceptions. Australia, amongst many others, take note.
Enjoy the coming weekend, as the counting continues.