President Xi Invites World To Join China In Building New Internet

Along with the cookouts and beautiful Memorial Day Weekend weather, President Trump offered plenty of distractions for any Americans still tuned into their news feeds - from photos of his golf outing with Shinzo Abe to his presentation of the 'first-ever' US President's Cup.

Meanwhile, in China, President Xi was busy exhorting the rest of the world (presumably excluding the US) to cooperate with Beijing in developing new Internet, big data and artificial intelligence resources in a letter to the China International Big Data Industry Expo, which kicked off Sunday in the southwestern city of Guiyang, according to state-run business newswire Xinhua.

China

Beijing has an obvious use-case for improved big-data resources: Optimizing its growing surveillance apparatus. And with the White House reportedly mulling Huawei-style bans on companies involved in building said apparatus, it's unsurprising that Beijing is already casting about for international support.

Chinese tech and Internet giants dominated the big data expo, which drew some 26,000 representatives from nearly 55 countries to marvel at China's emerging leadership in the big data industry. Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba and other Chinese firms were heavily represented.

China also used the opportunity to denounce Washington's blacklisting of Huawei.

The Huawei ban is a "rough" disruption to the market, Wang Zhijun, vice head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said in an interview on state broadcaster China Central Television. He urged the U.S. government to stop "unreasonable suppression" of China’s integrated circuit and electronic companies.

While Trump and Abe were on their golf outing, Global Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin trolled Abe on Twitter.

Bottom line: As Washington steps up its aggressive trade rhetoric, Beijing is stepping up its efforts to recruit more geopolitical allies to free itself of its reliance on American tech - while reminding the world that it can create serious disruptions in the global supply chain with very little effort.