When Wu-Tang said, “Cash rules everything around me / C.R.E.A.M. Get the money / dollar dollar bill ya’ll,” they cemented the acronym. With Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted, “fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” he gave us all a reason to revisit the acronym.
It’s still Cash, but it also could be China, Culture, Capitalism, or….?
Ben Thompson wrote one of his most profound Stratechery posts on the topic (the tweet, not the Wu) titled, “The China Culture Clash.” He followed it up with the podcast we’re highlighting today, Exponent episode 175, “The Abyss Stares Back.”
Ben and James discuss how the great American move to profit from the Chinese consumer isn’t a one-way, but a two-way street. American tech isn’t just exporting liberalism, it’s also importing authoritarianism. The nuance here is that “tech” itself is amoral, but the choices companies and users make impose their own morality, and those choices have consequences.
Do listen – this shapes every the strategy of every company we will work with, work for, and buy from.
And, for good measure: