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Amazon Partnerships with China Reveal Complicity in CCP Evils

AP Photo/John Locher

According to fresh reporting out this week on Amazon's relationship with and dealings in China, the web giant caved to demands from the Chinese Communist Party to become something of an accomplice in the genocidal regime's evils by censoring reviews of a book made up of Chinese President Xi Jinping's writings, providing the IP address of a dissident, and partnering with a propaganda arm of the CCP.

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Two individuals familiar with the situation who spoke to Reuters explained how Amazon complied with a request from the Chinese government to turn off written reviews and star ratings for "The Governance of China" by Xi Jinping. "I think the issue was anything under five stars," one of the individuals quoted by Reuters said. According to their report, on Amazon's Chinese site, "the government-published book has no customer reviews or any ratings. And the comments section is disabled."

It's hardly news that a large and successful American business is bowing to the illiberal will of the Chinese Communist Party — numerous sports leagues, companies, and other U.S. entities have censored themselves or others, even within the United States, to avoid angering the ChiComs and losing their right to continue doing business with China and its 1.4 billion citizens. 

And if you're thinking Amazon's decision to censor reviews of Xi Jinping's book from within his country was a one-off fluke that came amid some kind of negotiation, think again. Amazon's complicity and blind eye with which it looks at China's evils is an expressed and acknowledged viewpoint.

According to Reuters, "an internal 2018 Amazon briefing document that describes the company's China business lays out a number of 'Core Issues' the Seattle-based giant has faced in the country. Among them: 'Ideological control and propaganda is the core of the toolkit for the communist party to achieve and maintain its success,' the document notes. 'We are not making judgement on whether it is right or wrong.'"

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So Amazon knows that the Chinese Communist Party imposes its will by manipulating information and limiting its citizens' fundamental human rights. And not only will Amazon not condemn such censorship as "wrong," the company leaves the door open that such actions might be "right."

Unsurprisingly, then, Reuters review of that internal briefing along with two dozen or so interviews with individuals who worked on or were involved in Amazon's efforts in China "reveal how the company has survived and thrived in China by helping to further the ruling Communist Party's global economic and political agenda."

Doing business — ethically, mind you — with China may be one thing, but helping the regime that's engaged in a genocide against Muslim religious minorities and which engages in routine suppression of its citizens human rights is unforgivable. Increasingly, due to companies like Amazon being willing to back the CCP, it's impossible to do one without the other. 

Amazon, a company which often heralds its "wokeness" and commitment to social justice in the United States, is partnering with an evil empire on projects that don't even make them much money, but they do prove fealty to a dictator. The hypocrisy is stunning. Amazon has a page on its site stating its commitment to "bring about social justice" and endorsing Black Lives Matter, but it continues to bow to demands from a regime engaged in a genocide against Muslim religious minorities. Amazon has also donated more than $25 million "to support education and justice for Black communities across the U.S." but continues to help the Chinese Communist Party prosecute dissent and cover up its evil actions.

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Amazon's involvement with the CCP also goes beyond complying with its edicts to involve direct working relationships with its censorious officials. Reuters explains that it learned "Amazon partnered with an arm of China's propaganda apparatus to create a selling portal on the company's U.S. site" known as China Books. According to Reuters, the venture "hasn't generated significant revenue" but "was seen by Amazon as crucial to winning support in China."

Among the books sold through Amazon's partnership with a CCP propaganda outfit are glowing stories about life in Xinjiang, the same place where the CCP and Jinping are keeping Uyghurs in camps and forcing them into slave labor, among other atrocities. The book, reviewed by Reuters, repeats the CCP claim that ethnicity is "not a problem" in Xinjiang. Other books sold by Amazon though its CCP-blessed deal include heroic stories of China's fight against the Wuhan coronavirus and quotes President Jinping — who has not allowed U.N. or other inspectors to access information in their hunt to confirm COVID's origins — saying "Our success to date has once again demonstrated the strengths of CPC leadership and Chinese socialism."

Amazon responded to questions from Reuters about its sordid deals and complicity with the Chinese Communist Party by saying the company "complies with all applicable laws and regulations, wherever we operate, and China is no exception," apparently trying to strike a law-and-order tone. Amazon's reply continued saying that "as a bookseller, we believe that providing access to the written word and diverse perspectives is important." Does Amazon not realize they're engaging with a government that believes diversity ought to be corrected and dissenters deserve criminal punishment? Of course they do. There are no diverse perspectives within the CCP's approved narrative. None. Zero. And Amazon is helping Xi Jinping and the CCP accomplish its nefarious goals.

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As if all of that wasn't enough, Reuters' report also details how Jay Carney — a former communications director for now-President Joe Biden who now serves as Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs at Amazon — traveled to and worked with the Chinese government and CCP officials to secure access for Amazon's Kindle and other products and services. 

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