Amazon has one last accommodation for the delicate sensitivities of China's dictator Xi Jinping
Amazon, along with the other tech barons, has bent over backward for China. Some of these characters have turned in dissidents, embraced slave labor, failed to protect Americans' data, suppressed news for censors, actually employed Chinese censors, handed over dissident information to Chinese state goons, gone silent on Chicom transgressions, and the like. In Amazon's case, embracing slave labor and failing to protect Americans' data makes its initial cut.
So now we have Amazon going really obsequious: They've decided to give China's General Secretary of the Communist Party (the big kahuna) special privileges through its book-rating star system. Nothing less than five stars will do, or there will be no rating at all.
Here's the news:
"Amazon quietly removed criticism of President Xi’s books by scrubbing bad reviews, ratings and comments from its Chinese site...[It] agreed to Beijing’s demand to have anything below a 5-star review of Xi Jinping’s book The Governance of China removed."https://t.co/AwLWKKa1MB— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) December 22, 2021
The Times item is subscription only, but the point is clear: Nothing less than five-star reviews for Xi, and Amazon willingly agreed to allow it, effectively destroying the integrity of its ratings system, (it's manipulable now, and this is the case we know about), and for Xi, pretty well getting word out there that the book stunk.
You can kind of tell by the picture of it, here, that it wasn't exactly a breezy, page-turner. The look of this book is identical to that of dull-witted, boring, communist-party "literature" the world over, all of it alike, dating from the Mao, Stalin, and Lenin eras. If you scroll down, you can see how all the reviews have been removed.
Xi, it seems, is a sensitive, delicate soul, a fragile flower really. Like his counterpart Kim Jong-un of North Korea, who gets out the firing squads when someone calls him fat or falls asleep during one of his speeches, Xi doesn't like bad book reviews. He also doesn't like being compared to his doppelganger, Winnie the Pooh -- the sentence for that is an immediate ban on Weibo, China's version of Twitter. Perhaps he bursts into tears like a five-year-old girl:
If Xi is never offended by anything, why does Chinese Weibo ban any user wo compares Xi as Winnie the Pooh ?? pic.twitter.com/lc4RM1pBFn— Tomich (@vaish123456) June 8, 2021
Oh, we know what game the dictator's playing. He's suppressing news of anything negative as a threat to his grip on power. Suppressing criticism from the Chinese public permits Xi to escape all accountability for his entire career of socialist failure and error.
Communist dictators do this, it's their specialty. In the past, such suppression would mean mass surveillance, opening letters and eavesdropping on private conversations and doing all that other grubby, vile stuff the East German secret police would do to keep the public in a state of terror, as had been accurately portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film, "The Lives of Others." They'd pay for a monster security apparatus for this surveillance apparat and employed something like one out of six East Germans as a snitch, and being Germans, they kept files, zillions of files.
Today, modern communist dictators have Amazon to do all of that for them, much more efficiently through big tech, and all free of charge.
Incredibly, Amazon went along with it, kowtowing to the dictator's delicate sensitivities the same way the grovelers used to crawl before Mao and Stalin. What else do they go along with when Xi snaps his fingers, that we don't know about?
Some day Xi or his successors will be thrown from power, as all repressive dictatorships eventually come to an end. When that happens, the files will come out and Amazon's role as a collaborator is going to be exposed. Way to win the China market in the long term, Amazon.
Image: Twitter screen shot
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