Little Red Podcast

Viral Disruption

The pandemic that's rewriting the global order

An episode of the Little Red Podcast

COVID-19 isn't just destroying economies, it's also reshaping the global order.  In less than a month, the novel coronavirus has moved from being China's Chernobyl to being an advertisement for China’s brand of governance. As Western governments, in particular the US, fail to grapple with this enormous public health challenge, China is presenting itself as the world’s saviour.  Beijing's multipronged approach includes using facemask diplomacy donating medical equipment to the West, while its diplomats try to sow doubt about whether the outbreak began in Wuhan. To discuss the geopolitics of COVID-19 against the backdrop of deteriorating US-China relations, we’re joined by Ian Bremmer, president and founder of the political risk consulting firm Eurasia Group and G-ZERO Media, and host of the podcast “GZERO World with Ian Bremmer”, as well as Bill Bishop, the founder of the Sinocism China newsletter, and Simon Rabinovitch, the Economist’s Shanghai-based correspondent:

Little Red Podcast

Cashing in on Social Credit

The state and commercial agendas of China’s proposed social credit system

AN EPISODE OF THE LITTLE RED PODCAST

By 2020, less than half a year from now, a social credit scheme will cover people and companies across China, “allowing the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.” It’s long been assumed the Chinese state would take the lead, but favored companies will doubtless profit from a database that will house every citizen’s tax records, criminal history, traffic offenses, family background and marriage details. There are signs these companies are likely to export a surveillance-for-profit regime to other regimes keen to keep a close eye on their people. To ask whether China’s future looks like Lei Feng, Black Mirror or Dave Egger’s The Circle, Louisa and Graeme are joined by Gladys Pak Lei Chong and David Kurt Herold of Hong Kong Baptist University. ∎

Little Red Podcast

Post-Umbrella Hong Kong

Post-Umbrella Hong KongLessons, jail and resignation in the wake of the 2014 protests

AN EPISODE OF THE LITTLE RED PODCAST

Hate mail, death threats and shadowy surveillance are facts of life for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists, five years after the Umbrella movement brought a million people onto the streets calling for greater democracy. Since then, 48 legal cases have been brought against 32 different activists, often on colonial-era public order offences. Louisa and Graeme are joined by two leaders of the Umbrella Movement to talk about jail, democracy and political repression. They are Chan Kinman, one of the co-founders of Occupy Central, who faces a verdict in his trial with eight others on April 8, and Nathan Law, the disqualified lawmaker from the Demosisto Party, who is also one of Hong Kong’s first political prisoners. ∎

Little Red Podcast

Choose Your Own Dystopia

China’s social media and surveillance capitalism

AN EPISODE OF THE LITTLE RED PODCAST

With Chinese citizens’ lives increasingly coded into data streams, the question of who owns this data and how it gets used is largely up to private companies. They control massive volumes of personal information and are tasked by Xi Jinping with everything from astroturfing public opinion to monitoring one-to-one chat in real time. As these companies expand beyond China’s borders, their operations and relationship with the Chinese state bear further scrutiny. To shed light on how China’s tech giants do the Party’s work, Louisa and Graeme are joined by Fu Kingwa from Hong Kong University, Masashi Crete-Nishihata from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab and Blake Miller of London School of Economics and Political Science, formerly of Dartmouth College. 

Little Red Podcast

Tiananmen’s Final Secret

Explosive new information revealed at Tiananmen's 30th birthday

AN EPISODE OF THE LITTLE RED PODCAST

Tuesday June 4 marked the 30th anniversary of the deadly crackdown ordered by Deng Xiaoping, which killed hundreds – maybe thousands – of people in Beijing and Chengdu. While the campaign to erase all memory of the event continues, explosive new information has emerged in the lead up to the anniversary.  It reveals new details about resistance to the crackdown among the military and how the Communist Party managed the aftermath of Tiananmen. Former student leaders Wang Dan and Zhou Fengsuo as well as the publisher of The Last Secret, Bao Pu and Joseph Torigian of American University join us in this episode to discuss these revelations and what life is like in exile for the student leaders. Click through to listen to the podcast episode: