Editor’s note for Thursday, August 27, 2020

A note from today’s editor of the SupChina Access newsletter.

Today’s top stories:

  • Walmart and Microsoft team up to buy TikTok as Disney dream boy quits
  • WeChat user jumps to death after protesting Tencent’s ‘arbitrary’ suspension

My thoughts today:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears:

The SupChina Women’s Conference is going virtual this year and will be held on September 9 and 10. Access members can attend the conference portion on September 9 for free and can get a 60% discount on tickets to the gala portion on September 10. Use the promo code WC20ACCESS when registering to receive your SupChina Access benefits.

Check out our top story below on TikTok. Also: On May 19, I wrote this:

Chinese short video app TikTok has hired a rock star businessman from The Walt Disney Company: See our first story for an early look at how Beijing-based ByteDance is about to massively up its international profile. The question is: Will an all-American frat boy from Disney cut it at a Chinese company like TikTok? Previous examples of Westerners in similar positions, like ex-Googler Hugo Barra, who joined Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi for a short time, suggest that Kevin Mayer’s employment at TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, may be a short-term phenomenon.

I don’t totally want to toot the trumpet, but Kevin Mayer resigned today.

Other things I would recommend reading:

China’s Xpeng Motors raises $1.5 billion in a bumper New York IPO while BlackBerry (remember it?) makes a China push as the OS for Xpeng smart cars.

The WHO did not go to Wuhan. The investigative team from the World Health Organization, allegedly sent to probe the origins of the origins of the COVID-19 virus, was not granted permission to visit Wuhan, which may have been the source of the virus or its first superspreader event.

More pain for Uyghurs: There are huge networks of new prisons that have been built recently in Xinjiang, according to reports from BuzzFeed.

Our word of the day is Walmart (沃尔玛 wò ěr mǎl).

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief