The “main page of the Internet” is joking at totalitarianism in the country.
On February 11, Reddit raised a $ 300 million investment at a valuation of $ 3 billion. According to site CEO Steve Huffman (Steve Huffman), this money will be spent on improving the service and competing with Google and Facebook in the digital advertising market. But new investors have raised concerns among users: along with Sequoia and rapper Snoop Dogg, the Chinese technology giant Tencent (owner of WeChat and League of Legends) invested in Reddit.
On Reddit, it was assumed that the appearance of a Chinese investor will lead to the appearance of censorship on the site, which is called the “main page of the Internet.” In protest, users began to massively publish memes banned in China. Many users also noted the irony – now Reddit is also blocked in the country.
Winnie the Pooh and the “Unknown Rebel”
Site users began to post pictures of Winnie the Pooh, because the character was banned in China after the Internet noted the similarity of the head of state Xi Jinping with a popular bear cub.
Reddit is now funded by Chinese investors. Let’s remember that Xi Jinping is so not sure of himself that he banned Winnie the Pooh all over the country.
Given that Reddit had just received $ 150 million from the Chinese censor, I thought it would be nice to post this picture of Winnie the Pooh before our new glorious overlords decide that we can no longer publish it.
Since Reddit has taken $ 150 million from the Chinese company Tencent, which censor content, please welcome our new leader, President Xi.
Users also recalled a cult photograph of an “unknown rebel” standing in front of tanks on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Then the frame with a guy in a white shirt with two shopping bags, who stopped the tank column, became a symbol of protest against the totalitarian state.
Given that Reddit had just received $ 150 million from a Chinese censor, I thought it would be nice to post this photo of an “unknown rebel” from Tiananmen Square before our new glorious rulers decide that we can no longer publish it.
“China censures memes, and then invests 150 million in Reddit / It becomes the object of even more memes” TravelinMan4
Some users have seriously decided that the service will be subject to censorship.
Reddit has just received $ 150 million from Tenсent, which also owns 40% of Epic Games. Do not be surprised if the messages start to block, and we can no longer openly discuss Epic Games, Metro Exodus or something else that they don’t like. Please stay tuned.
Let me correct you – do not be surprised if we can no longer criticize the Chinese government.
However, skeptics found themselves on Reddit, who thought that the hype had risen from scratch.
The Chinese government is, of course, incredibly influential, but I do not think they will drag me out of America for some of my posts.
This strange anti-Chinese position on Reddit scares me. Many Chinese companies own American corporations and have no influence on them.
Tencent has invested in Discord, Tesla, Riot Games, Epic Games, Bluehole and other companies. They decided to buy 5% Reddit to get good revenue. Users began to go crazy and think that Xi Jinping will personally break into the site and remove all memes.
Tencent and its WeChat social network are becoming more and more famous outside of China. The company has offices around the world, including its headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley. WeChat, which has more than a billion users, is popular domestically. Due to the simplicity and wide range of services, many Chinese-speaking immigrants around the world also use the application.
The media did not panic, but expressed their concerns
The Verge notes that Tencent has also invested in Spotify, Epic Games and Snap, and none of these companies have encountered the censorship that Reddit users fear.
According to the columnist The Guardian, no one expects the Chinese Communist Party to increase influence directly through investments in companies like Reddit. However, the normalization of the repressive regime with the help of investments in Western capitalism deserves attention. He believes that relations between the United States and China revolve exclusively around profits, and not around human rights. He is concerned that amid the obviously hardening of censorship, internment camps and the strengthening of totalitarianism, Western companies are blindly accepting Chinese investments.
A Bloomberg journalist decided that Tencent’s overseas investment was mainly strategic in nature and generally harmless – the company is not interested in restricting freedom of speech in the West, but doesn’t mind making money. However, he does not believe that investing money in free companies like Reddit will make the Chinese company more open.