Pompeo Wants US to Cut Ties With Chinese Tech Companies

Proposes 'clean' Internet cleansed of Chinese influence

In comments on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo provided a first glimpse of what the new Cold War with China is going to look like. If Pompeo has his way, it’s a lot of technological decoupling between the US and China.

With Chinese companies gaining popularity in the US, Pompeo called on companies to deny all access to those apps on their stores, to prevent US customers from accessing Chinese apps. He further called on US appmakers to keep their own apps from being available in China.

Even more ambitious, Pompeo called for a “Clean Network,” whereby the whole world would agree to cobble together a new Internet and keep China off of it. It’s not clear why this would benefit anyone other than the US, which is hostile to China just as a matter of course.

Since the real point of the Internet is global communications, not excluding one country that the US is kinda mad at, there probably won’t be a lot of uptake on this idea. Still, the US may hope to find some function for which “everyone but China” is an appealing draw.

Chinese officials criticize the US effort as hypocritical and misguided, noting that things they are accusing Chinese app providers of doing are the exact things the US has been doing with American apps for years, and calling for a free and open cyberspace.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.