hoka shoes

Archive for August, 2020

Watch RNC live: Melania Trump addresses Republican National Convention on night 2

The 2020 Republican National Convention continues on Tuesday, with first lady Melania Trump due to deliver the keynote speech in primetime from the White House Rose Garden. Other speakers on night two include Tiffany and Eric Trump, Sen. Rand Paul, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Nicholas Sandmann, the senior from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Ky., who confronted a Native American activist outside the Lincoln Memorial last year.

Tune in here beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

Tonight’s lineup:

Here is the list of speakers for RNC night two, in the order they are scheduled to appear:

• Norma Urrabazo, Las Vegas pastor
• Myron Lizer, vice president of Navajo Nation
• Richard Beasley, retired FBI agent
• Jon Ponder, founder of Hope for Prisoners, Inc.
• Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
• Jason Joyce, Maine lobsterman
• Cris Peterson, Minnesota dairy farmer
• Larry Kudlow, White House economic adviser
• John Peterson, president of Schuette Metals
• Cissie Graham Lynch, daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of Billy Graham
•Robert Vlaisavljevich, Eveleth, Minn., mayor
• Abby Johnson, anti-abortion rights activist
• Nicholas Sandmann, student who sued news outlets after confrontation with Native American activist
• Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
• Tiffany Trump, youngest daughter of President Trump
• Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
• Ryan Holets, Albuquerque police detective
• Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez
• Eric Trump, second son of President Trump and executive vice president of the Trump Organization
• Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
• Megan Pauley
• First lady Melania Trump

Biden and Trump set to receive nominations in historic virtual DNC, RNC

The Democratic National Convention, which starts Monday, will take part online. The Republicans’ event kicks off a week later.Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

The Democratic and Republican nominating conventions, long mainstays of the US presidential election cycle, have been forced online, creating the biggest test yet for conducting life remotely during the coronavirus.

Robbed of the energy of convention halls, the parties will seek to re-create that enthusiasm in high-production streaming events that beam their luminaries from around the country to online audiences. The Democrats, whose convention begins on Monday after a roughly month-long delay, have lined up the party’s most visible figures, including former President Barack Obama. The Republicans, who will make their case for four more years in the White House, grab the spotlight on Aug. 24.

Done with savvy and pizzazz, the Democrats and Republicans could galvanize support for their candidates — former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, respectively — despite the absence of cheering crowds, over-amplified rock music and blizzards of confetti. If technical glitches hobble the proceedings, the parties risk broadcasting a mammoth Zoom call derailed by freezes, connection mishaps and mute fails.

“For decades, the conventions have been splashy media events that have always involved an awful lot of choreography,” said James McCann, a professor of political science at Purdue University in Indiana. “The challenge will be whether they can replicate or devise some functional equivalent virtually to create that excitement.”

Nothing about 2020 is normal, and the conventions are just the latest example of our new bizarro lives. Court cases are conducted online. School is held remotely. Baseball is played without fans in the stands. The Democrats and Republicans moving to virtual conventions is more evidence of how our world is intermediated by the internet, particularly during a pandemic that has already killed more than 166,000 Americans.

National party conventions date back to the 1800s and were originally raucous, spontaneous affairs filled with backroom deals and political horse trading. In 1924, the Democratic convention stretched nine days — the longest in US history — and required more than 100 rounds of voting and a couple of fistfights before a nominee, John Davis of West Virginia, was chosen. (Davis went on to lose to Republican incumbent Calvin Coolidge.) It wasn’t until 1932 that the candidates themselves even started showing up. That year, Franklin D. Roosevelt decided he’d travel to Chicago to accept his nomination in person. Prior to that, candidates often felt showing up at the conventions was too presumptive.

Today, conventions are scripted, choreographed affairs where little, let alone the nominee, is up in the air. Still, the events are important for generating excitement and introducing the country to up-and-coming political stars. This time around, organizers will have to balance a host of moving parts: live-streamed speeches, in-person voting, and the health and safety issues that will inevitably arise in producing a professional blend of messaging and entertainment during COVID. Conventions are designed to engage and energize voters. It’s an open question whether that can be accomplished without the fanfare and pageantry that normally accompany these events.

Kate Malloy, the creative director at New Hampshire-based Malloy Events, said interest in the 2020 election cycle has been in high gear even before COVID-19. It’s only picked up, she says, with Black Lives Matter protests, debates over masks and Biden’s VP choice.

Now, the question is whether the parties and their candidates can deliver excitement at the same level of a traditional live convention.

“The challenge lies in how these politicians will connect with viewers at home, through the TV or computer, when there’s no live audience,” Malloy said, adding that she expects the production quality of both conventions to be top notch.

Convention organizers could get creative on social media to infuse the event with energy and drama, says Jill Schiefelbein, owner of Dynamic Virtual Events, a consultancy that helps companies plan online conferences and events. The committees could, for example, arrange for behind the scenes access to the candidate or push people to take selfies with their own signs and post them on Facebook or Twitter.

“Historically, these events have not been open to everyone in the same way,” Schiefelbein said. “The RNC and DNC could leverage that access to reach a broader base.”

A ‘reimagined’ DNC

The Democrats originally planned to hold their convention last month in Milwaukee, a symbolic choice after the party failed to win the state in the 2016 election. Now, the party will have a scaled-back presence in the Cream City: even Biden won’t make the trip, live-streaming his acceptance on the final night of the convention from his home state of Delaware.

The scaled-down virtual event, whose theme is Uniting America, will feature pre-recorded video stories of everyday folks struggling through the pandemic and the economy it’s left behind. The DNC has for months been soliciting videos from supporters via stories.demconvention.com, responding to prompts like “I know Joe” and offering feedback to the party platform.

Over the course of four evenings, some of those videos will be interspersed with a cavalcade of speakers — including former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican — championing the ability of Biden and running mate Kamala Harris to lead the country out of crisis.

Read more: Here’s where Joe Biden stands on some of the biggest tech issues facing America.

The Democrats are pulling out the stops in making sure the event will be available wherever potential voters want to watch it.Viewers can stream on mobile devices through social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook and  Youtube channels. The stream will be available on TV streaming platforms as well including Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Prime Video. The Democrats have created a video about the video options they’re offering. YouTube will live stream both the DNC and RNC, as it did in 2016.

The DNC live stream, which will also be available at DemConvention.com, will run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET over the course of the event, which culminates in Biden’s formal nomination. Network TV will carry the last hour of the convention nightly. Featured guest speakers include Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and former First Lady Michelle Obama, among others.

Organizers of the DNC, who spoke to CNET, say they’ve “reimagined” the roll call, the delegate vote usually conducted from the convention floor that results in a candidate’s nomination. Instead, a Tuesday night virtual vote  “will take convention viewers to all 57 states and territories,” where viewers will hear from delegates, parents, teachers, small business owners, essential workers, activists and elected leaders.

Outside of the primetime, highly produced show in the evenings, organizers have arranged virtual meetings at which the party will conduct the business of the convention: adopting the party platform. Delegates will meet virtually to vote on the platform, which was finalized in July.

To help stir up excitement the DNC has created a digital media kit to help supporters get engaged on social media. It includes social media cover photos, profile picture frames, Zoom backgrounds and printable signs. It’s also asked supporters to use the hashtag #DemConvention on social media.

The convention concludes on Thursday night when Biden will formally accept the party’s nomination from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.  It’s a moment when during a normal convention there would be an arena of cheering delegates, balloon drops and mountains of confetti.

Malloy, the New Hampshire event planner, said the DNC will find a creative way to keep its virtual audience involved.

“I wouldn’t be shocked if the balloon drops still happen,” she said, “and they find a way to bring the cheers in the room.”

An ever-shifting RNC

Plans for the Republican convention, which takes place Aug. 24 to 27, have been in a state of constant flux. Originally slated for Charlotte, North Carolina, a swing state, the event was abruptly moved as tighter coronavirus protocols were put in place there. The alternative site, Jacksonville, Florida, has looser rules and also represents an area where the Republicans are looking to shore up support.

But as coronavirus cases spiked in Florida, organizers opted for a scaled-down, virtual version of the convention and moved it back to Charlotte. Trump says he won’t give his speech in the host city and is instead mulling the White House or the Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania as potential backdrops. Experts say, though, that giving the speech on federal ground like Gettysburg would put park rangers and employees at risk of violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from engaging in certain political activities.

Only “official business” will be held on-site in Charlotte. Earlier this week, the GOP said it will livestream the formal renomination process, a move that followed pushback from the media because the committee had initially planned to hold the event behind closed doors. Major TV news networks, as well as C-SPAN, will cover the event.

Still, the vote is expected to be a muted version of an event that is normally a frenzy of excited crowds. Six delegates from each state or territory will meet in person, for a total of 336 people. The delegates will wear masks, practice social distancing, receive temperature checks and get tested before they arrive in Charlotte, the committee said last week.

The committee hasn’t yet released a list of speakers, but the broad focus of the convention will be the “forgotten men and women of America,” according to Axios. Each night of the convention will have its own theme, such as “land of greatness” and “land of heroes.” The program will be a mixture of live and taped events, both in person and virtual.

Attendees will also wear special badges that include contact tracing technology, according to NPR. The badges will keep a log of who’s been near whom, and match attendees against names in a database in case anyone comes down with the virus, Jeffrey Runge, the committee’s senior health advisor, is cited as having told city officials. Runge called the convention, which will host about 500 people instead of the once-expected 50,000, a “high-risk event.”

The RNC didn’t respond to multiple requests for interviews with its leadership or staff.

Trump says Americans need to learn Chinese if they lose

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday (11th), U.S. President trump praised the effectiveness of Taiwan’s epidemic prevention, but he has no plan to visit Taiwan.

Regarding the recent visit of US health secretary ASAR to Taiwan, which is regarded as a major diplomatic change of the United States, Hewitt asked trump whether he would consider a historic visit to Taiwan before the end of this year. Trump responded that novel coronavirus pneumonia was purely discussed in Assar’s visit, but he did not have a plan to visit Taiwan.

In addition, U.S. national security adviser O’Brien said in an interview that the mainland did not want trump to be re elected. Trump said that if he lost the election, the mainland would “own” the United States, and the Americans would learn Chinese; on the contrary, if he was re elected, he would punish the mainland with tariffs.

Disney Plus hits 60.5 million subscribers, helped by Hamilton bump

Despite uncertainty about the release plans for many of Disney Plus’ original shows
,a second season of its breakout hit The Mandalorian will premiere in October as planned.Disney

Disney Plus has grown to 60.5 million subscribers as of Monday, Disney said as it announced fiscal third-quarter results. It’s lightning-fast growth that even Disney never predicted. Initially, the company projected its streaming service would reach between 60 million and 90 million subscribers about five years after launch. Instead, within eight months, it’s already crossed the low end of that range.

The latest figures, announced Tuesday, also suggest that Hamilton on Disney Plus sparked a wave of new members. Disney was adding members at about a million a month in April, May and June, but then it drew in another 3 million members in just the past five weeks. Hamilton, a filmed capture of the hit Broadway musical with most of the original cast, came out July 3.

On the back of Disney Plus’ rapid growth since launching in November, Disney has crossed 100 million subscribers among its three streaming services: Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus.

“The global reach of our full portfolio of direct-to-consumer services now exceeds an astounding 100 million paid subscriptions — a significant milestone and a reaffirmation of our [direct-to-consumer] strategy, which we view as key to the future growth of our company,” CEO Bob Chapek said in a release reporting the figures. As of June 27, Hulu had 35.5 million subscribers in the US, Disney said, and ESPN Plus had 8.5 million.

By comparison, Netflix, the biggest subscription video service in the world, has more than 192 million global subscribers.

With the coronavirus pandemic keeping cinemas shuttered and forcing families to entertain themselves at home, Disney has been tweaking Disney Plus’ role to make it a bigger and earlier outlet for how it releases its films. On the bright side for movie fans starved of their summer blockbusters, the streaming service has been releasing a string of surprise titles, including movies originally intended for the big screen. And the continued delays to the theatrical releases for Disney’s big-budget movies raise questions about whether some of those movies will come to Disney Plus instead.

The latest surprise release will be the live-action version of Mulan, which Disney said Tuesday will be available to subscribers to stream online through Disney Plus for $30 starting Sept. 4. Mulan, which was supposed to premiere in theaters in March but had been delayed multiple times, will be available on Disney Plus in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a number of countries in Western Europe. It will be released at the same time in places that don’t have Disney Plus yet but where theaters are actually open.

The decision marks an unprecedented approach to releasing a big-budget movie that had been destined to be a blockbuster back when theaters worldwide were open. It’s also a stunning change to the rigid windows that usually keep new movies only in theaters for 75 days or more, as well as a surprising shift for how Disney Plus has been pitched to audiences since it launched in November.

Disney Plus is the company’s online hub for streaming almost everything Disney produces, but it was developed primarily as an all-you-can-eat buffet like Netflix, where your subscription unlocks everything on the platform to watch. Mulan will bring a store-like element to Disney Plus that its 60 million subscribers haven’t yet encountered.

At first during the pandemic, Disney Plus simply started streaming already released movies months earlier than planned. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker began streaming three months early on the May the Fourth fan day. Before that, Disney released animated hit Frozen 2 three months early as well, and Pixar’s Onward landed on Disney Plus just weeks after it premiered in theaters.

But then Disney started ratcheting up the streaming releases with new movies too, such as Hamilton.

But for its biggest-budget movies, Disney — like all other major studios — was delaying theatrical releases. As theaters remain closed with no wide reopening in sight, the company may be forced to make unconventional decisions to move even some so-called tentpole films to Disney Plus instead.

But like all studios, the pandemic has shut down Disney’s filming, and that’s starting to force Disney Plus to delay some of its high-profile original series and throwing the release plans for big-screen pictures into uncertainty.

Last month, Disney Plus scrapped the planned August release for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the first of its live-action Marvel original series that tie in directly with all the blockbuster movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney Plus pulled The Falcon and the Winter Soldier from its August slate, but it hasn’t provided any guidance about when the show will premiere instead. The second season of Disney Plus’ breakout hit The Mandalorian series is set to premiere on the service in October as planned, though.

China’s aviation future rests with the Comac C919 aircraft

n May 5, 2017, at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, a new passenger airplane took off on its first flight. The Comac C919 that soared into the sky over eastern China that day wasn’t trying to set any records in size or speed or to demonstrate amazing new aviation technologies to the world. Rather, the slim white airliner with the lime green tail was built to send the world a simple message from the Chinese government: China can design and build a commercial aircraft. It won’t seriously challenge the Boeing-Airbus duopoly for now, but that’s not really the point.

It may sound like a bizarre move for a rapidly growing power like China, which in 2019 was the world’s second largest market for commercial air traffic. But the country sees plenty of upside in its attempt to break into an enormously complicated and fiercely competitive industry valued at almost $200 billion. More than just a vehicle to fly the Chinese flag, the C919 is both a first step and an insurance policy.

Even if it never flies outside of China, the plane is part of the country’s long-term goal to become a leader in technology and heavy manufacturing. Selling those goods to the world is one part of this effort, but moving beyond the production of cheap commodity products also would allow the country to become more self-sufficient in everything from telecom equipment to transportation. And by building its own aircraft industry — an area where the country remains dependent on Western suppliers — China will keep billions of dollars at home and have its own airliner free of tariffs.

If it ever happens. Scott Kennedy, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., calls the C919 a practice plane that has little chance of commercial success.

The first C919 was rolled out of Comac’s Shanghai factory on Nov. 2, 2015.

Getty images

“They’ve decided to spend as much as needed and take as long as necessary until they have their own plane that can rival Boeing and Airbus,” Kennedy says. “The political ambition from the top leaders is that China has its own aircraft because, in their mind, great nations have their own airliners.”

Advancing the C919 to the point where it can even carry passengers will be arduous. The airliner is years behind schedule — though it was supposed to first fly six years ago, it’s not expected to enter service until late 2021 at the earliest. It’s also dependent on parts made in the US and Europe, and it brings nothing that similar aircraft from Boeing and Airbus don’t already have.

“I would describe [the C919] like a Nokia phone competing against Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S,” says Shukor Yusof, a Singapore-based aviation analyst at Endau Analytics. “It’s just not ‘cool.'”

The C919 also faces significant regulatory hurdles in getting certified to fly outside of China and in gaining the confidence of airlines that aren’t run by the Chinese government. But through its manufacturer Comac, China is pushing ahead to a bigger aviation future, even if it takes a generation.

Made in China

Generation China is a CNET series that looks at the areas of tech where the country is seeking to take the leadership position.

Brett Pearce/CNET

Comac was formed in May 2008 by five companies, including the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, which has built a number of military and turboprop passenger aircraft. Though the new state-run firm announced the C919 the same month with a flight scheduled for 2014, the first plane didn’t roll out of the factory until November 2015. Further developmental problems delayed the flight to 2017.

In building the C919, Comac is focusing along a narrow, purely nationalistic line where the experience of building the jet is what’s important, says Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst with the Teal Group in Washington, D.C., who calls the C919 a “national jet.”

“It’s basically a matter of pride to build a tube with a flag on the back and the ability to fly through the air and not a whole heck of a lot else,” he says. “But when joining the aerospace industry, you have to put your pride in the backseat.”

Comac didn’t reply to repeated email requests for comment.

Like the Airbus A320neo and the now-grounded Boeing 737 Max 8, the C919 is meant to be a short- and medium-haul workhorse connecting both large hubs and smaller cities. Comac’s aircraft has a two-class passenger load similar to that of its would-be rivals (see chart below), it flies about as fast (0.78 Mach) and it uses similar Leap engines manufactured by CFM, a joint venture between General Electric and France’s Safran. It’s also about the same size as both planes, but with a profile that closely resembles the A320neo.

Aboulafia says the similarities are the C919’s main problem — it doesn’t have new technology, nor is it more fuel-efficient, a feature that safety- and budget-conscious airlines place at the top of their shopping lists. “That’s the difference between developing new technology and developing a tube on the flag on the back,” he says. “There’s no technological selling point for this jet.”


Comac C919 Airbus A320neo Boeing 737 Max 8
First flight 2017 2014 2016
Entered service 2021 (planned) 2016 2017
Length (in meters) 38.9 37.57 39.52
Wingspan (in meters) 35.8 35.8 35.9
Passengers (2-class) 158 150-180 162-178
Range (in kilometers) 4,075 6,300 6,570

Yusof, of Endau Analytics, whom I spoke with over email, takes a similar view. “China is now the world’s second largest economy, but significantly lags the US and Europe militarily in terms of technology.”

There’s a reason for the C919’s cautious design: Engineering and building a passenger jetliner is really hard. Boeing’s been in the business for close to a century, and Airbus grew out of a handful of British, French and German airplane makers that had existed long before the consortium’s 1970 founding.

But China doesn’t have a long history of aviation engineering experience to rely on. Though the country has built military aircraft, planes carrying paying passengers are different — it’s not just about being powerful, they also need to be safe and reliable. Boeing and Airbus have operations in China: Airbus has an A320 final assembly line in Tainjin, and Boeing a facility for outfitting completed 737s in Zhoushan. But Chinese workers aren’t performing the critical engineering work. Beefing up homegrown talent is key.

A C919 under construction on Comac’s final assembly line.

Qilai Shen/Bloomberg/Getty images

“There’s nothing more complicated than making a commercial airliner except making 1,000 of them, essentially identical to each other,” Kennedy says. “And then you have to service those thousand planes wherever they lie in a cost-effective, reliable way that convinces people to sit in them.”

Comac’s only other aircraft, the little-used ARJ21 regional jet, hasn’t given the company an auspicious start. Though it entered service in 2016, only about 30 of the 90-seat aircraft have been delivered to a handful of Chinese airlines. In a March 2019 report he wrote on the ARJ21, Aboulafia called the aircraft “an overweight and stunningly obsolete product.” AirineGeeks last year said it is “a poorly designed copycat of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80” (one of Comac’s predecessor companies produced some MD-80s in China in the late 1980s).

Kennedy blames the inefficiencies on Comac’s hierarchical structure, which he says prioritizes confidentiality and secrecy. Chinese companies that aren’t state-owned, like Huawei or Alibaba, would be better suited to the job. “Building a successful commercial aircraft requires horizontal coordination across many different suppliers from around the world in a very open transparent way,” he says. “Comac is really unfit for the task.”

An Air China ARJ21 lands in Chengdu on July 3.

iu Qingyuan/VCG via Getty Images

Price and performance

Yet, there is an area where the C919 can potentially compete: price. Most estimates put its per-unit cost at around $50 million, about half the price of both the A320neo and 60% cheaper than the Max 8. For China’s nearby allies and airlines in developing nations eager to build an air travel infrastructure, the cheaper cost may be enough to win over some customers.

“There’s a desire to offer an Asian-made aircraft to Third World countries at lower prices compared to those marketed by Boeing and Airbus,” Yusof says.

In a statement, Airbus said it welcomes the competition from Comac, which will be good for the development of the industry. “We believe that the C919 will bring new competition to the market and the Chinese market is big enough to have more than two manufacturers. Airbus was born in competition and thrived in competition.”

Boeing expressed a similar sentiment. “Competition makes all of us better as it spurs innovation and the development of new technologies that meet the evolving needs of our customers,” the company said in a statement. “This is good for airline and cargo operators and the broader flying public.”

Kennedy is more skeptical about the C919’s chances. While a Chinese company like Huawei can compete on price and technology, just relying on the former won’t be enough for Comac. “The only other advantage is that it’s got a Chinese label,” he says. “Maybe for some that will be good enough. But in this industry, typically, that’s not been a strong enough selling point — that it’s a new entrant and you buy it for nationalistic reasons.”

Either way, Comac still has major hurdles ahead. Though certification by Chinese authorities is certain, letting the C919 fly within Chinese airspace, approval by the US’s FAA and Europe’s EASA is a much higher hurdle. Though the two bodies only regulate aircraft flown by their airlines or within their respective airspace, many other countries without a strong aviation safety agency follow their lead.

Kennedy says the FAA and EASA may even try to use their influence as a protective measure. “You could also see the US or Europe try to extend their regulatory authority even to countries where they’re not certifying,” he says. “They could try to push countries to not buy these planes.”

Though currently grounded, the Boeing 737 Max could start flying again later this year.

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Aboulafia sees another large hurdle the C919 will need to fly over, one that he says really matters. If Comac has any real hope for the C919 to succeed, he said the company must create a support structure for its airline customers to keep its aircraft flying. That includes not just supplying parts on demand, but also building a team of technicians who can travel anywhere quickly around the world to maintain and fix aircraft.

It’s an endeavour more complicated than building the plane itself.

“To develop that organically for a 150-seat jet is many billions of dollars,” he says. “If you have a [faulty] airplane on the ground for more than 24 hours, you’re not a serious person. You might as well just go into children’s confectionery or something like that.”

Boeing’s troubles with the 737 Max family are unlikely to give Comac a boost, either. If the Max can return to service as predicted in the last half of this year — Boeing has conducted certification flights after repairing the flight control system blamed for two crashes that killed 346 people — it will be back in the air long before the C919 ever carries people.

Still, Yusof says Comac may be able to take advantage of the situation. “It provides breathing space to fix the technical shortcomings and inadequacies and perhaps to use the MAX crisis to highlight to its potential customers that even a major aerospace player like Boeing is not averse to making mistakes.”

Like the 737 Max 8 and the A320neo (pictured here), the C919 will use CFM Leap engines.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

A divorce jet

Aboulafia also calls the C919 a “divorce jet” for a potential future when free trade relations between China and Western countries break down to unsolvable levels. At that point, Chinese airlines will have to turn to a domestically made airplane. “I’ve spent decades now saying they’re trying to break into the market and they’re not gonna succeed,” he says. “But I got it all wrong. The reality is that they’re preparing for a great decoupling between the West and China.”

Even if the country takes decades to grow a homegrown airplane business, it’s a future that Western companies should worry about. China is a giant market for airliners, and the major Chinese airlines buy virtually all of their planes from Boeing and Airbus. By 2030, the country should surpass the US in terms of annual air passenger traffic, and in a report issued last year, Boeing predicted China would spend $3 trillion on 8,090 new planes by 2038.

Kennedy says Comac is all part of a larger effort by the Chinese government to develop an import substitution strategy. Called “Made in China 2025,” it pushes China to become a leader not just in aerospace, but also in sectors like telecom equipment and phones and 5G, AI, semiconductors, automobiles and medical products. “The goal is to comprehensively upgrade Chinese industry, making it more efficient and integrated so that it can occupy the highest parts of global production chains,” Kennedy wrote in a reportfrom last year.


Global production chains, however, are something Comac is unlikely to avoid. The company is no different than Boeing and Airbus in that it designs and builds airplanes, but it doesn’t make most of the parts that go inside. Beyond CFM and its engines, suppliers include Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and Parker Aerospace. (China’s Ministry of State Security has also been accused of hacking the C919’s foreign suppliers in order to steal their intellectual property.)

For now those arrangements will continue, but if Western countries decide to restrict the sale of aircraft components — a possibility the Trump administration has hinted at — Comac has no Chinese-made products to fall back on, for engines or anything else. And though the country wants to develop its own aviation parts infrastructure, a completely domestically produced plane is unlikely — it’s not how the industry, Boeing and Airbus included, works.

“The plane doesn’t exist without those supplies, and if the US and EU decide to turn this off, they can stop the plane right away,” Kennedy says. “No one builds a plane all by themselves.”

Comac’s next planned airliner is the wide-body C929, which it says it will build as part of a partnership with Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation.


Order and entry into service

Comac has now built six C919s and is continuing test flights with a plan to start carrying passengers in 2021. Yusof says hitting the 2021 target is possible, though the end of 2022 is more likely if there are further production delays. Aboulafia, meanwhile, doesn’t see the plane entering service until 2023 at least.

It’s also unclear how the coronavirus pandemic, which has sharply depressed air travel demand worldwide, will affect its development. And further on, Comac says it is developing its next airliner, the 280-passengerwide-body C929, in a partnership with Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation.

To date, the company says it has 815 C919 orders from 28 airlines and aircraft leasing companies, almost all of which are Chinese (the airlines include China Eastern, Air China, Hainan and China Southern). Outside of the country, only Connecticut-based GE Capital has signed a letter of intent to purchase 20 C919s, but airlines in neighboring countries like Myanmar and Laos could be buyers. Yusof says orders could also come from Indonesia and from some countries in Africa, a continent where China has been investing heavily for years to extend its soft power.

Until the plane actually enters regular service with an airline, though, the analysts I spoke with say the Comac’s announcements about orders don’t mean a whole lot. “They don’t necessarily bear any resemblance to reality,” Kennedy says. “To me those numbers of orders and timelines are really just PR rather than reflection of the plane’s actual readiness to be delivered in and put in service.”

Apple Watch Series 5 vs. Apple Watch Series 3: Which is the best smartwatch for you?

You’ve decided you need an Apple Watch in your life, but now the question is which one? There have been six different versions of the Watch over the years and a new one may be coming in a couple of months, but Apple currently gives you two models to choose from: the Series 5, which starts at $399; and the Series 3, which starts at $199.

The good news is you can’t go wrong with either if you have your heart set on an Apple Watch. Both have the same fitness tracking features, notifications and seamless integration with your iPhone. So if price is your main concern, rest easy, you’ll get everything you need from the Series 3 for $200 less. But if you have some wiggle room in the budget, the Series 5 has some standout features that might just make it worth the splurge.

Read more: Apple Watch: The two features that finally won me over 

Apple Watch Series 5

The Apple Watch Series 5 is on when you need it

Sarah Tew/CNETThe Series 5 is the gold standard when it comes to smart watches. It has all the basics plus some added features like an always-on display and an FDA-cleared electrocardiogram app that elevate it above the rest. And if you need your Apple Watch to stand the test of time, then the Series 5 is a better bet. With its latest update to WatchOS 7, Apple has phased out the first three generations of the Apple Watch, and the Series 3 could be next on the chopping block.

Apple Watch Series 3

The better value

Josh Miller/CNETIf you’re buying your first smartwatch and you’re on a budget, the Series 3 is the Apple Watch for you. It has the exact same fitness tracking functionality as the Series 5, heart-rate alerts to keep you in check, and seamless integration with your iPhone. More importantly, it’s half the price of the Series 5 so you could also put the money you save toward the cellular model or keep the extra $200 in your pocket.

Always on is convenient, but not a must

The cellular version of the Series 3 has a red dot on the crown, while the Series 5 only has an outline.Angela Lang/CNET

The first major difference between the Apple Watch Series 5 and the Series 3 is the display. The screen on the Series 5 is always on so you can see the time or your workout stats without raising your wrist, while the screen on the Series 3 turns off when you’re not using it. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but once you’ve had a taste of the always-on screen, it’s hard to go back. Good luck discreetly checking the time during a meeting, because looking at anything on the screen of the Series 3 requires a very intentional flick of the wrist. The Series 5 has a dimmer version of your watch face that’s visible at all times. And even with the always-on display, the battery of the Series 5 doesn’t drain any faster than the Series 3’s.

Watch this: WatchOS 7: What’s new on the Apple Watch?

Slightly better battery life on the Series 5

Both the Series 5 and the Series 3 last about 18 hours with normal use, which includes getting notifications from your phone, checking the time and tracking a workout (battery life is slightly less if you’re using GPS during a workout). The advantage of the Series 5 Apple Watch is that it allows you to disable the always-on feature if you need to get more mileage out of the battery. In that case, you may be able to squeeze almost two full days worth, or a full 24 hours once sleep tracking becomes available with the update to WatchOS 7 in the fall. You’ll also get an extra hour of battery life during outdoor workouts, which might be key if you’re training for a race. The Series 5 will track about 6 hours worth of continuous activity (5 with LTE enabled) compared to the 5 hours (4 with LTE enabled) on the Series 3.

Better visibility during workouts

The Series 5 is only a couple of millimeters larger than the Series 3, but the screen will seem noticeably bigger because it has smaller bezels. It’s still a tiny screen compared to your phone, but it’s definitely easier to read. The Series 5 display is also brighter than that of the Series 3, making it easier to see outdoors and in direct sunlight. This will be especially helpful for checking live stats during a run without having to pause and squint at the screen to see your data.

They’re both great at tracking workouts

Both these watches are great fitness companions that track just about any workout and give you reminders to get moving on your off days. They both have a built-in GPS, which means you can leave your phone behind on a run and still be able to track route and distance info via the Watch, and they’re water resistant up to 50 meters for both salt- and fresh-water swimming. The key difference is that the Series 5 has a compass, which may come in handy if you do a lot of hiking.

Both watches keep tabs on your ticker with heart health notifications that alert users when their heart rate is too high, low or give signs of atrial fibrillation (aFib), a serious heart condition. But only the Series 5 has an ECG (electrocardiogram) feature built-in. In addition to the traditional optical sensor that tracks heart rate, the Series 5 has a sensor that allows users to take an electrocardiogram by way of the ECG app, which can then be shared with their physician.

The Series 5 is better in an emergency

The Series 3 and the Series 5 have an SOS feature that can be triggered by long-pressing the side button in a pinch. Once activated, the Watch automatically calls 911 and then sends a text to your emergency contacts with your coordinates. On the Series 5, this feature also works even if you’re traveling abroad. The Series 5 also has fall detection, which is like an automated version of the SOS feature that’s triggered by a hard fall instead of a long press. If the user doesn’t move for about a minute, the Watch then notifies both emergency services and emergency contacts.

Faster processor and more storage space on the Series 5

Unless you have both watches side by side running the same tasks, you may not even notice the difference in speed. But the Series 5 has a faster processor and Wi-Fi chip so it’s generally more responsive at performing tasks like starting a workout and switching between apps. It’s also more reliable when connected to LTE and has more storage space for listening to your music offline.

The best deal may be short-lived

If you’re buying your first smartwatch, the Series 3 seems like the better deal. It has most of the same features as the Series 5 and costs $200 less. But there is one more thing to consider when making your decision, and that’s the shelf life of the Watch. Apple has been known to stop updating older models, and the Series 3 is currently the oldest model compatible with WatchOS 7, which means it’s next on the chopping block to stop receiving support on future OS versions. Whether that means it won’t receive an update to WatchOS next year remains to be seen, but it’s something to consider if you’re planning on holding on to your watch for a couple of years and you want to continue getting the updates.


Apple Watch Series 5 Apple Watch Series 3
Display size, resolution 40mm, 44mm Retina OLED 368×448 pixels 42mm, 38mm Retina OLED 312×390 pixels
Always-on Yes No
Dimensions (millimeters) 40mm: 40mm (height), 34mm (width), 10.74mm (depth) 44mm: 44mm (height) 38mm (width) 10.74mm (depth) 38mm: 38.6mm (height), 33.3mm (width), 11.4mm (depth) 42mm: 42.5mm (height) 36.4mm (width) 11.4mm (depth)
Weight (grams) 40mm Wi-Fi: 30.8g, Wi-Fi + Cellular: 30.8g 44mm Wi-Fi: 36.5g Wi-Fi + Cellular: 36.5g 38mm Wi-Fi: 26.7g, Wi-Fi + Cellular: 28.7g 42mm Wi-Fi: 32.3g Wi-Fi + Cellular: 34.9g
Materials/ finishes Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Ceramic, Titanium Aluminum
Colors Silver, Space Grey, Gold, White (Ceramic) Space Grey and Silver
Interchangeable bands Yes Yes
GPS Built-in Built-in
Automatic workout detection Yes Yes
Compass Yes No
Altimeter Yes Yes
Water resistance Yes, up to 50m Yes, up to 50m
Calls Yes Yes
Notifications Text replies Text replies
Microphone Yes Yes
Speaker Yes Yes
Voice assistant Siri Siri
Music Onboard, playback and streaming (with Cellular model) Onboard, playback and streaming (with Cellular model)
Mobile Payments Apple Pay Apple Pay
Sleep tracking No (starting in WatchOS 7) No (starting in WatchOS 7)
Period tracking Yes Yes
Special features ECG app and HR notifications, fall detection, hearing health alerts HR notifications and hearing health alerts
Emergency features Emergency SOS, International emergency calling, fall detection Emergency SOS calling (911 and emergency contacts)
Compatibility iOS/iPhone only iOS/iPhone only
Software WatchOS 6 WatchOS 6
Processor S5 chip dual-core processor and W3 wireless chip S3 chip dual-core processor and W2 wireless chip
Connectivity Wi-Fi and Cellular option ($100 more) Wi-Fi and Cellular option ($100 more)
Storage 32GB 16GB (Wi-Fi and Cellular model), 8 GB (Wi-Fi-only model)
Bluetooth 5.0 4.2
Power Magnetic Apple charging cable and USB connector (backward compatible) Magnetic Apple charging cable and USB connector (backward compatible)
Battery life All day (18 hrs.) All day (18 hrs.)
Price (USD) Starting at $399 (40mm aluminum) Starting at $199 (40mm aluminum)
Price (GBP) £399 £199
Price (AUD) AU$649 AU$399


Dyson V11 Outsize cordless vacuum


Model: Dyson V11 Outsize


shop: https://www.dysonvacuum.net/dyson-v11-outsize-cordless-vacuum-p-20.html

Dyson V11 Outsize

Full-size bin. Full-size cleaner head engineered for whole-home, deep cleaning.

Twice the suction of any other cordless vacuum. LCD screen displays run time countdown and performance.

2 click-in batteries for up to 120 minutes of fade-free run time.

Dyson V11 Outsize cordless vacuum

When will my order ship?

Usually all orders are processed and shipped within 7 working days.

Most order ship within 24 hours. After execute an order, we will send tracking number by e-mail, and providing inquiry addresses.

Can you ship to my country?

we can ship to your country.we can ship single item samples or large orders to more than 100 countries.

When will my order arrive?

This shipping method is the fastest available. Delivery times are between 3 – 5 days to all major destinations. Shipping costs vary with item, but all orders that use expedited shipping will receive a 36% discount on shipping costs.We also have Expedited options available for most items, which means your order will arrive 3 or 4 business days after it leaves the warehouse.

Easy 365-Day Returns 

We’re committed to your total satisfaction. If, for any reason, you’re not completely happy with your purchase, you can get a full refund of the product price and any associated tax, within 60 business days of receipt of the item(s). To receive either a credit toward an exchange or a credit on your charge account, please note that all returns and exchanges must be in new, unused or unworn condition with the original tags and stickers attached. Items deemed worn, used, dirty or missing tags will be returned to purchaser at their expense and no refund will be issued. Women’s swimwear is eligible for return only if the sanitary liner is place. Underwear, Customized and personalized items are not returnable. Since lost return shipments are the responsibility of the customer, be sure to obtain a tracking number from the courier for the return shipment.








When will my order ship?

Usually all orders are processed and shipped within 7 working days.

Most order ship within 24 hours. After execute an order, we will send tracking number by e-mail, and providing inquiry addresses.

Can you ship to my country?

we can ship to your country.we can ship single item samples or large orders to more than 100 countries.

When will my order arrive?

This shipping method is the fastest available. Delivery times are between 3 – 5 days to all major destinations. Shipping costs vary with item, but all orders that use expedited shipping will receive a 36% discount on shipping costs.We also have Expedited options available for most items, which means your order will arrive 3 or 4 business days after it leaves the warehouse.

Easy 365-Day Returns 

We’re committed to your total satisfaction. If, for any reason, you’re not completely happy with your purchase, you can get a full refund of the product price and any associated tax, within 60 business days of receipt of the item(s). To receive either a credit toward an exchange or a credit on your charge account, please note that all returns and exchanges must be in new, unused or unworn condition with the original tags and stickers attached. Items deemed worn, used, dirty or missing tags will be returned to purchaser at their expense and no refund will be issued. Women’s swimwear is eligible for return only if the sanitary liner is place. Underwear, Customized and personalized items are not returnable. Since lost return shipments are the responsibility of the customer, be sure to obtain a tracking number from the courier for the return shipment.

TikTok: For you, it’s fun, but for Trump and lawmakers, it’s a security threat

TikTok is owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance, headquartered in Beijing.

Getty Images

This story is part of Generation China, CNET’s series exploring the nation’s technological ambition.

When Marcy Granger first downloaded TikTok early last year, the 29-year-old Transportation Security Administration officer had no idea that a Chinese company owned the popular short-form video app.

Then the TSA barred workers from using TikTok for the agency’s social media engagement because of national security concerns. That’s when Granger learned that the video app belonged to ByteDance, a technology company based in Beijing.

The revelation didn’t stop Granger, who has racked up more than 166,000 followers on the app, from making TikTok videos. The Denver resident lip-syncs to pop music and posts motivational messages about life and motherhood on the app during her free time. She occasionally wears her TSA uniform at home in her videos but doesn’t give away security details about her job.

“It didn’t really scare me too much because some people don’t realize all social media and all data is tracked,” said Granger, who also runs a social media marketing business.

TikTok is China’s first global social media hit, capturing the attention of users through short videos of people lip syncing, dancing and goofing off to music. The app’s success, though, has fueled scrutiny from politicians who worry that the Chinese government could use the app to spy on citizens and spread political propaganda.

On Friday, President Donald Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he plans to ban TikTok in the US, according to CBS News. He’s also considered signing an order directing ByteDance to sell TikTok’s US operations, Bloomberg reported earlier in the day. Microsoft is potentially an interested buyer, according to The New York Times. A spokesperson for TikTok said the company doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation. The White House and Microsoft didn’t comment on the divestment reports. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s remarks aboard Air Force One.

Some cybersecurity experts say Trump’s focus on TikTok is more about politics than national security concerns. TikTok is competing in an environment dominated by US social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, even created a similar app called Lasso but shut it down in July after it failed to gain traction. Facebook’s photo service Instagram is expected to launch a TikTok competitor called Reels in more countries, including the US, in August.

“The Trump administration sees pushing back against TikTok as part of its strategy in containing China’s rise as a science and technology power and competing with China in the future about how data is governed, collected and analyzed,” said Adam Segal, who oversees the digital and cyberspace policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Fears about privacy and security have already prompted some TikTok users to think about whether it’s too risky to stay on the service, while others hope to remain on the app. Some users have already pulled the plug on TikTok. In July, gaming star Tyler “Ninja” Blevins tweeted that he deleted TikTok from all his devices.

“Hopefully a less intrusive company (data farming) that isn’t owned by China can recreate the concept legally, such funny and amazing content on the app from influencers,” Blevins, who has more than 4 million followers on the app, said in a tweet.

TikTok has pushed back against allegations the app is “spyware” for the Chinese government, noting that it has an American CEO and that its safety and public policy teams are based in the US. TikTok said all US user data is stored in the United States, with a backup in Singapore. TikTok said that none of its data is subject to Chinese law and that it has “never provided user data to the Chinese government” and wouldn’t do so.

This week, CEO Kevin Mayer said in a blog post that the company launched a new Transparency and Accountability Center so experts can view TikTok’s moderation rules in real time and look at the code that drives its algorithms.

“The entire industry has received scrutiny, and rightly so. Yet, we have received even more scrutiny due to the company’s Chinese origins,” Mayer said. “We accept this and embrace the challenge of giving peace of mind through greater transparency and accountability.”

ByteDance’s investors, including Sequoia and General Atlantic, have also proposed transferring the majority ownership of TikTok to them amid more scrutiny from the US, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, government officials are still looking closely into TikTok, an app known for its quirky dance videos that last up to a minute. US lawmakers say that even if TikTok doesn’t store US data in China, they’re still worried that the government has some control over the app.

“Security experts have voiced concerns that China’s vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws compel Chinese companies to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party,” US Sens. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, and Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, wrote in a letter last year asking for an assessment of the app’s national security risks.

In 2017, ByteDance purchased social media app Musical.ly, which had offices in Shanghai, China, and Santa Monica, California. The Chinese company then rebranded Musical.ly, already popular among teens in the US, as TikTok and promoted the app with an aggressive marketing campaign. The US government last year launched a national security review of ByteDance’s acquisition of Musical.ly.

Some employers, including those with government ties, have taken their own action against the app. Wells Fargo told employees to remove TikTok from its work phones. The US Navy, Army and other military branches have banned TikTok from government-issued mobile devices because of cybersecurity concerns. Democratic and Republican national committees have warned staffers about it. Joe Biden’s presidential campaign barred staffers from downloading TikTok on their personal and work devices and asked them to delete the app if they already had it, reaffirming guidance from the DNC, a campaign official said. Last week, legislation that would bar federal employees from using the app on their work devices cleared the US House of Representatives and a Senate Committee.

India has taken a step further and banned TikTok, citing national security concerns. The move came after at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed during a clash with Chinese troops along a disputed border in the Himalayas. Now other countries, including the US and Australia, are considering whether they should bar the app too.

Some TikTok users like Granger are keeping their fingers crossed that a US ban doesn’t happen.

“I like being able to have that reach to share positivity. So it does worry me a little bit that if [TikTok] goes away that I’ll lose that ability,” she said. “I really do hope that they don’t ban it just because I have seen so much good come out of it.”

Watch this: Why the US might try to ban TikTok

US weighs TikTok ban

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last earlier this month the Trump administration was looking into banning TikTok. In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo said that people who downloaded the app are putting “private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

President Donald Trump then confirmed in an interview with Gray Television that the US is considering a TikTok ban to punish China for its response to the novel coronavirus. “It’s a big business,” Trump said. “Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world, is disgraceful.” Trump’s campaign then began running ads on Facebook asking people to sign a petition if they think the US should ban TikTok.

“TikTok has been caught red handed by monitoring what is on your phone’s clipboard. Do you think we should ban TikTok? Sign the petition NOW!,” one of the ads stated. iPhone users discovered in June after upgrading to an early version of iOS 14 that TikTok and other apps were accessing their phone’s clipboard.

This isn’t the first time the Trump administration has targeted a Chinese company. Taking aim at Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies and telecommunications equipment maker ZTE, Trump extended for another year a 2019 executive order that barred US companies from using telecommunications equipment created by firms that pose a national security risk.

The Trump administration is considering action against TikTok under a federal law called the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, according to The New York Times. The law allows the president to regulate international commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to any unusual or extraordinary threat to the US. The US Commerce Department could also put TikTok on its “entity” list, restricting the company’s access to US technology. Adding TikTok to the list would mean that Googleand Apple would have to pull it from their app stores. Trump’s administration could lobby US lawmakers to enact legislation that targets TikTok as well.

Preventing people from using TikTok, though, won’t be easy. There are other ways to install apps outside of downloading them from the app stores. Tech companies could put up a fight as well.

“The tech community will be very hesitant to go along with this app ban,” said Wayne Lam, an independent technology analyst. “It sets a precedent for the government to ban other apps or even for other global apps to be inaccessible to the US market.”

TikTok’s security concerns

As TikTok faces more scrutiny, some cybersecurity researchers have identified vulnerabilities within the app. Concerns about government officials tracking user data and security, though, aren’t unique to Chinese social media apps.

“They’re fundamental problems in how we consume information and how information is exchanged,” said Serge Egelman, who oversees research about security and privacy at University of California, Berkeley. “What TikTok is doing isn’t particularly new or novel, but it’s pretty much how most apps collect data and monetize themselves.”

The Trump administration, for example, has purchased cellphone location data from a company called Venntel and uses it for immigration and border enforcement, The Wall Street Journal reported in February. China is a “useful political punching bag rightly or wrongly, in many cases,” Egelman said, but the questions facing TikTok should also be asked about other apps and governments.

Oded Vanunu, head of products vulnerability research at Check Point Software Technologies, said that hackers and cybercriminals are putting a lot of resources into finding vulnerabilities on social media and messaging apps because the data is valuable. Russian trolls have used social media apps to sow discord among Americans during the 2016 US presidential election. Since the US government doesn’t control TikTok’s infrastructure, it’s no surprise the government is concerned about its risks, he said.

Social media apps, including TikTok, collect information about its users such as their location and images. Users also have private videos they don’t post to the public. A version of TikTok called Douyin (that’s the word for “shaking sound” in Chinese) available in China was using facial recognition to police foreigners, The Telegraphreported.

“In the world of cybersecurity, this kind of data is gold,” Vanunu said.

In January, cybersecurity firm Check Point Research found TikTok security flaws that could have allowed attackers to manipulate content in TikTok accounts, delete videos, upload unauthorized content, make private videos public and reveal an account owner’s personal information. The researchers told TikTok about the issues and they’ve been fixed.

Using any social network comes with risks, experts said. Users have to be wary about uploading any private content that they aren’t comfortable with having leaked. They shouldn’t also believe everything they see on social media apps because videos can be altered to spread misinformation.

The Washington Post, while working with privacy company Disconnect, concluded that TikTok doesn’t appear to collect any more data than Facebook — but “that’s not a compliment.”

TikTok was also one of more than 50 apps that security researchers discovered regularly sought access to what users copied content on their mobile device’s clipboard. Researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk in March published a list of iPhone or iPad apps that “snooped” on a device’s clipboard. Apple then released a developer version of iOS14 that included a feature that alerted users when an app accesses a person’s clipboard. TikTok told BBC that it didn’t store or receive any data from these clipboards.

Last year, a California researcher and college student Misty Hong sued ByteDance, TikTok and Musical.ly, alleging in the lawsuit that the short-form video app has been illegally and secretly harvesting vast amounts of personally identifiable user data and sending it to China.

Censorship worries

Yaqiu Wang, who researches China for the Human Rights Watch, says concerns about TikTok go beyond just privacy. There have also been fears TikTok has been censoring videos that are critical of the Chinese government, a claim TikTok denies.

Wang and her colleagues last year posted video clips of an unidentified Chinese protester called Tank Man, who stood in front of Chinese Army tanks leaving Tiananmen Square a day after the military’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 1989. One video the researchers posted couldn’t be viewed by the public, but TikTok said that it made a mistake by restricting the content. The video was “incorrectly partially restricted based on guidelines related to displaying identifiable military information,” and it was reinstated, the company told Wang.

Last year, TikTok apologized to a US teenager Feroza Aziz after the company suspended her account after she posted a makeup video where she criticized China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims. The company said it mistakenly pulled the video and that she was blocked from the app for prior behavior not because of her views on Chinese politics.

Other tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter also have content moderation policies and say they abide by local laws. But these US companies are making different decisions about how they handle political content, Wang said. Facebookdoesn’t send speech from politicians to fact-checkers while Twitter has labeled political posts with misinformation.

“The worry with TikTok is to what extent can the Chinese government compel TikTok to make certain decisions?” she said. “We need more evidence, but I think that the concern is valid.”

How Congress could take on ‘monopoly power’ in Big Tech

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies remotely in Wednesday’s hearing about antitrust law and the tech industry.Getty Images

The CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google may have been in the comfort of their own homes (or bland corporate offices) Wednesday, but they faced uncomfortable questions from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The grilling came as part of a hearing on potential antitrust law violations, held by members of Congress in the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law.

Lawmakers paraded examples of potentially anticompetitive behavior from the tech giants, leaving the chief executives to scramble for generalized responses in which they usually didn’t admit knowledge of the activity or disputed its characterization. “I disagree with your premise” was an oft-repeated refrain.

There was also a fair amount of posturing over issues that split along party lines. Lawmakers accused Facebook, for example, of either silencing conservative media outlets or abetting Russian election manipulation. As Rep. Jim Jordan was repeatedly instructed to stop talking out of turn and put his mask back on, the Ohio Republican shouted about issues as far afield as the treatment of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Still, big questions about fairness in the tech industry — whether the giants are too big, and if they should be broken up — remained in focus at the hearing.

“These companies as they exist today have monopoly power,” Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, said at the end of the hearing. “Some need to be broken up, all need to be properly regulated and held accountable. We need to ensure the antitrust laws, first written more than a century ago, work in the digital age.”

How Congress will turn its concerns into action, of course, is another question entirely. Here’s why lawmakers are so concerned and what they might be able do about it.

What was the point of the hearing?

Lawmakers dug into whether giant tech companies have too much control over the industry as a whole. With that power, tech giants can shut down competitors or warp markets. Lawmakers worry that such power could let Big Tech stifle innovation and reduce consumer choice, which could push up prices.

That’s what we typically call monopoly power, and it isn’t just a board game in which one person slowly grinds everyone else to dust by charging rent on Broadway. Monopoly power can harm regular people by making goods and services cost more, keeping wages stagnant and stopping new products from reaching the market.

It’s also illegal to pursue or maintain a monopoly with nefarious means under federal antitrust law, including the Sherman Antitrust Act and others.

What’s the Sherman Antitrust Act?

The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed to stop companies from taking improper steps to either become or persevere as monopolies. That includes striking backroom deals or entering into conspiracies to fix prices or wages.

Watch this: Tech CEOs vs. Congress: Everything you need to know

The cornerstone of US antitrust legislation, the law dates back to 1890, when the federal government was breaking up the industrial giants of the late 19th century, also known as the Gilded Age. Huge “trusts” monopolized the steel, meat and, most famously, oil industries.

The trusts controlled every aspect of how these products were brought to market and found ways to give themselves unfair advantages over competitors to preserve their status, federal investigations found. Journalist Ida Tarbell documented how Standard Oil, for example, leveraged its power to pay less to ship its products by rail than competitors did.

What are some of the things Big Tech has reportedly done?

Lawmakers came with evidence on Wednesday, describing examples of potentially anticompetitive behavior from each of the tech companies represented at the hearing.

The examples included Amazon’s purchase and destruction of competitor Diapers.com. There was also Facebook’s power to acquire competitors like Instagram and WhatsApp, or to force them to compete with similar products from the deep-pocketed social network. Lawmakers zeroed in on Google, especially the company’s ability to dominate competitors in the world of online advertising because it also owns an advertising platform.

Finally, Apple didn’t escape without questions about its control of the company’s App Store, which gives it the ability to squeeze out apps that compete with its own services.

Can Congress break up a tech company?

Lawmakers pondered whether the tech giants should be split up into smaller companies to improve competition.

What would that look like? Instead of Google being an advertising powerhouse that also displays a huge proportion of online ads through its search engine, for example, it could hypothetically be split into one company that sells ad space and another company that places ads.

Congress can’t take this step on its own. The Sherman Act and other antitrust laws are enforced by the US Department of Justice, which can investigate companies, fine them and take them to court. In 1998, the government initiated a long-running case that restricted Microsoft’s activities in the tech industry for years. But lawmakers can still take action to make enforcement more likely.

OK, but can Congress really do bipartisan?

It’s unclear if Congress can enact bipartisan legislation now, at a time when cooperation is in short supply between the Democrats and Republicans. But there are signs lawmakers really could take action. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle took the issue of Big Tech’s power seriously on Wednesday and left no doubt that they were concerned.

What would bipartisan action look like? Congress could write new laws that strengthen antitrust laws and tailor them to an online economy. Lawmakers could also come up with new ways to fund regulators, devoting more resources to keeping companies accountable when they’re in violation of current laws.

If they don’t do anything, someone else might. US President Donald Trump has also called for action. In a Wednesday morning tweet, he said Congress needs to take action against Big Tech, though he didn’t specify what that action should look like. If lawmakers don’t do something, Trump tweeted, “I will do it myself with Executive Orders.”