{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Was on a group call and discussing Team vs zoom. One partner mentioned Zoom security issues and another partner mentioned Zoom being a Chinese company and made a comment that “ that makes sense, you can’t really trust the Chinese” I am Chinese American and somewhat felt offended. Am I being too sensitive?", "post_id": "5f32ee2004df11002432b399", "reply_count": 38, "vote_count": 16, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Was on a group call and discussing Team vs zoom. One partner mentioned Zoom security issues and another partner mentioned Zoom being a Chinese company and made a comment that “ that makes sense, you can’t really trust the Chinese” I am Chinese American and somewhat felt offended. Am I being too sensitive?

likefunny
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I would have two concerns about this. First, I think it’s important to remember that words form thoughts. So while he may think CCP, by saying “the Chinese” he may influence his own thinking after saying it enough times. Additionally, mind reading has not been proven, so while he may be thinking CCP, others only hear his words and this may influence or embolden others thoughts.

likefunny

I agree with OP. I would feel offended. It’s hard to say if he knew the company was based in the Bay Area or was a Chinese owned company but I imagine his firm is tracking Zoom as a (potential) client...If you have a good rapport with him, it might be worth just asking for clarification on what he meant when he said “you can’t trust the Chinese”. If you don’t have that rapport, I would recommend speaking to your coach for advice. Going to HR directly seems risky since they tend to side with the business (aka partner)

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I'm hoping this person meant the Chinese gov't, but either way, I don't think you're wrong at all for being offended.

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I have had it happen to me before and made a joke saying “can’t you trust me”. Person apologized and elaborated

likefunny

Isn’t Zoom based in the Bay Area with a Chinese (American?) CEO? That comment seems insensitive at best and racist at worst.

likesmartfunny

I'm Korean and I agree, can't trust China. Don't think he met all Chinese but in the context of the country.

likefunny

I’m sorry you were offended and it probably was not said in a tactful way, but it is reasonable to assume that the Chinese government engages in corporate espionage and use of Chinese-owned companies for critical or sensitive software or hardware represents a security risk. That said I haven’t heard this about Zoom, but I have about TikTok. If the only connection to China for Zoom is a Chinese American CEO, then this was 100% racist.

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What’s your point? I agree a Chinese company wouldn’t be out of line to view American companies with skepticism as well. But that’s not the point of this thread.

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I felt a bit offended because the partner is generalizing company with a Chinese American as CEO as Chinese/Chinese government that can’t be trusted. I mean it is just stereotype and racist. Would he not put me on his project because I am Chinese American?

likefunny

In this context, it’s misinformed at best and racist/ignorant at worst. As a chinese American, I think the CCP is as horrible and bad as most Americans do. Doesn’t mean the people are

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I’m Chinese American and I think China is trash

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That emoji is Asian?

Zoom isn’t a Chinese company. That was racist. Period. This is how the Japanese internment happens

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Oh I've had this happen as a Chinese American and I've always doubled down to make them feel uncomfortable. "You can't trust the Chinese" "Yeah I know right, I can't stand the Chinese" *Awkward silence takes over as they realize I'm Chinese

likesmart

i know people like to forget it a lot, but there’s a difference between a country’s government and a country’s people. that statement, although it was probably about the CCP and very valid, continues to make people think the citizens are synonymous to the corrupt government think about ALL the other corrupt governments in the world. no one is going around hating on lebanese, venezuelan, or north korean people even though those governments are all horribly corrupt too

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Can never say 100% without being in the conversation / knowing the person. But I imagine there’s a very very high chance this person meant the country / government structures and how they relate to the business rather than the race or Chinese people. Turn the tables >> How would the race of Chinese people make zoom a security threat? That’s something that the company / govt would be responsible for

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You’re not being too sensitive. US and China do hundreds of B $ in trade every year, so there’s a pretty big level of cooperation generally. US also has huge spy agencies and have released documents about direct interfering with other countries’ elections, etc etc. Plus, those comments reinforce negative stereotypes of Asians.

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All you saying that context matters... my $0.02: the Partner made the comment with respect to a company being Chinese and that you can’t trust a company that was run by Chinese. Although he likely is extrapolating that to mean the government he does not say that explicitly. One can assume he means “Chinese” as a broad catch-all. Yes, you should be offended in this situation. As would be the case if someone at a Chinese company said “yes, you can’t trust those Americans”

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Ask someone from Hong Kong

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I’m from HK... yes, the comment was insensitive and inappropriate.

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Not too sensitive. Even if the comment was intended as an irreverent joke, it has no place in a professional setting.

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People say never to trust the Russians but you don’t see others getting into a frenzy about that. Maybe it’s bc I don’t know many Russians.

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Nailed it. You don’t know enough Russians.

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Many applications and systems whether founded by US or externally have security flaws, that implied bias without factual evidence was not a productive comment or “value add”. It really doesn’t matter what they intended to say, it’s rather how it made you feel. Leaders must lead by example, demonstrating non biased, inclusive and thoughtfulness in one’s speech is a basic expectation of a Senior leader, I’m sorry this Partner failed at that.

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Zoom isn’t Chinese though.

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Their data goes through servers in China and I don't even know where their application resides.

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