In a sign of just how much President Trump's threats to hike tariffs (and impose new levies) have rattled Beijing, which is struggling to preserve its world-beating market rally while trying to boost growth as the pace has continued to slacken in the new year, Bloomberg reported on Monday that the Communist Party's censorship machine wiped all traces of Trump's threats from the Chinese Internet.
Though Chinese media has reported that its delegation is still planning on traveling to Washington this week (even if Vice Premier Liu He might delay his arrival or skip the trip entirely), more than 16 hours after Trump tweeted his threats, researchers could find no trace of them on Weibo, Tencent's popular WeChat app or China's search engine Baidu.
....of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%. The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2019
This must have been puzzling to millions of Chinese investors, seeing as with the Shenzhen Composite closing 7% lower, Chinese stocks embarked on their worst session in three years, while the yuan recorded its largest daily drop in just as long. Still, there was no mention of Trump's threats in the official Xinhua News Agency to the more market-oriented Caixin and even the often belligerent Global Times.
On Chinese search engine Baidu, the top US news was President Trump's "very productive" Friday phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But among the savvier Internet users who often manage to circumvent government censorship to tap into foreign news, some compared Trump to Thanos, the villain from the Avengers film series, complaining that Trump wiped out Chinese stocks with a snap of his fingers.