My guest today is Jordan Schneider (@jordanschnyc). Jordan is a China tech analyst at The Rhodium group, as well as the host of The ChinaTalk podcast and newsletter.
In this conversation, we cover common prosperity, Xi Jinping’s goals, and how this all ties in with ASEAN and the rest of the world.
I hope you enjoy my conversation with Jordan Schneider.
[00:00:31] – [First question] – The education crackdown, what’s the end goal?
[00:05:13] – Does this tie in with common prosperity?
[00:08:08] – Challenges to the common prosperity goal
[00:11:25] – Lessons from the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution
[00:14:13] – Annoying opinions from outsiders
[00:15:55] – If Jordan was president?
[00:18:03] – Xi Jinping compared to predecessors
[00:23:35] – Thoughts on Xi
[00:25:40] – How might the next transition of power play out
[00:27:52] – China’s relationship with ASEAN
[00:30:02] – US-China Tech
[00:36:17] – Jordan’s goals when starting the ChinaTalk podcast
[00:41:03] – Wrapping up and where to find Jordan online
Connect with Jordan:
- [ARTICLE] After Xi: Future Scenarios for Leadership Succession in Post-xi Jinping Era
- [BOOK] China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed by Andrew G. Walder
Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favourite podcast platform.
Kalani Scarrott (00:31): My guest today is Jordan Schneider. Jordan is a China tech analyst at the Rhodium Group, as well as the host of the extremely popular ChinaTalk podcast and newsletter. In this conversation, we cover common prosperity, Xi Jinping’s goals, and how this all ties in with ASEAN and the rest of the world. So, I hope you enjoy my conversation with Jordan Schneider.
So, the education crackdown, what’s the goal? And what do you think the end goal is, maybe?
Jordan Schneider (00:56): Sure. So, I think before we get to the education sector in particular, it’s important to look at what’s going on more broadly in China from a demographic, as well as governing private sector governance perspective.
So, we had a really, really dramatic few months starting with the Ant Financial IPO zapping, and moving now through 2021, with all of these antimonopoly rulings, the Didi actions. And as you mentioned, the education. And then, just two days ago, this whole gaming crackdown.
So, what is Beijing’s real motivation here, underlying all these policy moves? So, yes, it is about party control. There have been a lot of power centers, or just not even power centers, but just ways in which the Chinese people are influenced through the private sector, which the Chinese government does not have as close a grasp on as they would like to.
And trends are developing, which are impacting people’s lives, which the Chinese government either isn’t happy with, or people in general are unhappy with, that the Chinese government wants to address.
So, the overall response to middle class consumer frustration over various social and tech ailments is something that you can see as a bit of a thread connecting what’s going on with data privacy, with the gig economy workers, dealing with Meituan and Didi. And as you mentioned, the education. The education crackdown.
So, at the end of the day, the CCP is goal is to keep society stable, and growing, and increased China’s power and glory, for lack of a better word. What is very important to do that is keeping middle class city dwellers happy, because that’s where the revolution starts. If there is ever going to be any movement against CCP rule, it’s going to start from that band of society.
So, addressing their concerns and needs is, has really been front and center for the party ever since Tiananmen, where it was very clear that there is a latent potential threat that can come from city driven revolutions. Also, we have this broader push towards reorienting the driving economic energy of the Chinese economy away from consumer in towards science and hard tech firms.
And what that means is reorienting talent, private capital, and the government backing which gives tax credits and free land and whatnot to firms away from what has really been the growth story for Mainland China for the past few decades and into something new.
Now, why? The Chinese government is right in that the consumer story is to a certain extent played out. Their urbanization, which was driving a lot of this is slowing down. The demographics are a serious issue, which China is going to be facing over the next… Over the coming decades.
So, in order to keep productivity growing, China needs to be able to compete in sectors beyond the ones in which it is currently competitive. And that is where you see all of this emphasis by the Chinese government on semiconductors, on EVs, on solar, on biotech.
These new growth industries, which they’re hoping are going to be able to bring waves of growth and employment that are large enough to keep China on a growth trajectory to address its debt bubble and continue its climb up the global value chain. And if everyone is going into… If the capital and talent is going into sectors which don’t necessarily have that growth trajectory in their future, that’s not ideal from Beijing’s perspective.
Kalani Scarrott (05:13): So, do you think this all ties in with common prosperity goal they’re going for?
Jordan Schneider (05:17): So, the common prosperity goals is a really interesting one. And I think… So, just for some context, it is a Communist Party. So, there is a… And in the Mao era, it was one of the most equal societies in the world, equal by everyone being poor. And in the past few decades, there have been a dramatic increase in the Gini coefficient measuring the distribution of wealth in society.
And so, when you think about, like, addressing middle class angst, seeing outrageously rich people drive society is not something that… It is something that has turned. I mean, you had Deng in the 80s, to say, saying to get rich is glorious. And China was able, and somewhat miraculous way to release the potential energy of decades and decades of mismanagement into an incredibly dynamic capitalist society.
However, there are downsides to that. And there’s also a real chance of the CCP overshooting the mark on this one in which you take enough out of the private sector, which is better at allocating capital and driving productivity growth than the state sector, and putting them in too many boxes where the capital and energy ends up not going to where it can drive the greatest return.
So, it’s a dangerous game that Beijing is playing. And it is certainly at risk of overshooting. CCP campaigns are very good at orienting the bureaucracy directionally, but aren’t quite as strong at doing it and gauging how far to go. Because once you’ve let loose the dogs from a Chinese regulatory perspective, everyone keeps running in that direction.
And often, over the 75 plus years of CCP rule, you’ve seen that regulation often overshoots the mark of what’s optimal from a, from a societal perspective. So, this new push towards getting the rich to contribute and not necessarily having the country be dominated by the point of 1% is something that echoes a lot of the rhetoric which you see around the world. It’s like a relatively… There’s a way to look at it as kind of like a boring social democrat take on the way society is run.
But when you put that in the hands of a party, which has far more levers at their disposal than a democratic one in the 21st century, there is a real risk of overshooting in a way that could be potentially dangerous to China’s future economic growth.
Kalani Scarrott (08:08): Is that probably the main challenge you think Xi faces when he’s trying to overcome for common prosperity? Is there any other risks do you think?
Jordan Schneider (08:14): I mean, I think the biggest risk is, China is still really, really poor. They still have like, hundreds of millions of people who make $100 a day. And so, I think for the broader development of Chinese society, rural poverty needs to be addressed. And that is an enormous problem. China, within it contains, like Zimbabwe levels of development. It contains Argentina levels of development, and it contains Singapore levels of development.
And common prosperity, like the extent to which it refocuses policy on the left behind and the under educated, I think is a positive thing for the long-term macroeconomic health of China. But, if all it does is like, push rich people to donate $50 million to charity or something as opposed to driving a real change and a renewed focus on the real development laggards, then it’s not going to have the effect that I guess, I would like as someone who would like to see more people out of poverty.
From Xi’s perspective, I think his incentives are a little different. He is trying to keep the boat afloat, and signal to folks that the CCP is doing a good job and is organizing society in a way which most people agree with. And I think from his perspective, his first big push which is roughly analogous to what seems to be happening today was this anticorruption action in the first few years of his rule.
And by and large, I think that came out quite well for him, both in being able to clear out opposition from the party, as well as to a large extent clean up a lot of dirty dealing, which had really gotten out of hand by the early 2010s. And, this is a different ballgame, and that he is trying to potentially radically increase the amount of control and direction that the party gives to the private sector.
And it’s much more the downside of the anticorruption action is that party members became much more entrepreneurial and in taking steps, because they were worried that they would be whacked for getting out of line. When that happens in the private sector, growth slows. And that could potentially rebound back pretty poorly on Chinese society as a whole.
So, I think that’s the kind of dynamic to watch is to what extent these reforms really end up harming the efficient allocation of talent and capital, which China needs if it wants to keep growing.
Kalani Scarrott (11:25): Yeah, that’s great. And I think this could obviously be a big stretch. But is there any parallels do you think that can be drawn from the Great Leap Forward or the Cultural Revolution, that maybe a non-historian should be familiar with?
Jordan Schneider (11:34): I mean, I don’t want to go that far, like, Great Leap Forward, Fifty million people died. Cultural Revolution, 5 million people died. I think it’s important to understand those periods in history, in that I think, when I’m talking about Chinese, like the CCP overshooting, that is definitely something that happened in those two things. And there’s a potential for both of those times, there were moments, there were real moments in which it was Mao was not in control.
And, he was trying to tamp things down, but it got too crazy. And China is a very large country. And, even nowadays, when you have video conferencing and whatever, the size of the bureaucracy means such that it’s going to be really difficult for Beijing to tune it in such a way where it doesn’t overdo it.
So, if it’s a soak the rich thing, the way you could see it potentially playing out is every province is like, “Okay, we got to do this, soak the rich thing.” And what happened in the… Not the Great Leap Forward, but for Land Reform, the first major political action that the CCP did once it gotten power is, you had people who had one cow, because they had a cow as opposed to everyone else in the village that had chickens, lives get completely destroyed.
I’m not saying that is the way in which common prosperity is going to end up, circa, March 2022. But that dynamic of everyone working towards the direction that Beijing sets, especially when it’s something like common prosperity, where there’s a way in which where you really are playing with fire, and it’s pretty straight.
It doesn’t take too many leaps to see how like, just like squeezing every rich person in China, regardless of where they are in the socioeconomic ladder, if it’s only relative ends up like, really hurting the economic dynamism of a country, is a dangerous thing.
And yeah, I mean, I would really recommend folks to check out China under Mao a revolution derailed by Andrew Walder. If they’re curious in getting a relatively brief 350-page intro snapshot to that point in history because I really do think, it’s important, and there are… If not in degrees, certainly, in kind, when you look at Chinese governance, and CCP governance problems in particular over the past few decades. Though, I would not, I think, the one-to-one comparisons are a little overdone. Because first and foremost, thankfully, no one is dying.
Kalani Scarrott (14:33): Yeah. So, that ties in perfectly for the next one. Is there anything that really annoys you when outsiders express their opinion on CCP and the like? Is there any opinions or anything that are just totally misguided or what really grinds the gears, I guess?
Jordan Schneider (14:46): There is this latent thing in the US were anti-China gets, like anti-CCP gets very quickly conflated with anti-China. Recently, I was on a call with someone, and they were like, “If we don’t handle this right, our grandkids might be speaking Chinese one day.” And I was like, “Honestly, I think they should be speaking Chinese. Chinese is a great language. I speak Chinese. I’m really happy I do.”
So, that thing, I think is a lot more common than it was five years ago before people were freaking out about this. And it’s really unfortunate. And, more than when folks comparing woke culture to the Cultural Revolution, I think is more insidious, because it’s outrageous to write off a billion people. And the more that happens in policymaking communities, the more stupid you get when you try to write those policies to respond to contemporary China.
Kalani Scarrott (15:55): Yeah. So, imagine you’re president of the US, how do you think that the US should approach China men, and more specifically, the CCP, do you think? What would you go about?
Jordan Schneider (16:04): Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if I have a bumper sticker, to be honest. I think, I’m going to take the Biden line in which, at the end of the day, there are two things which really matter. First is, America being functional. And second is, the strength of its allies, and its network of allies.
So, first off, even if China eclipses the US from size perspective, if America is still the world’s most dynamic, technologically advanced economy that bodes well going forward, and if China remains a bit of an island diplomatically and the US can still call on the likes of Australia and Korea, and Taiwan, and Japan, and the EU to do stuff with them, when the going gets tough, then that matters a lot more than the one-to-one US-China comparison.
So, I think, that was probably the worst. I mean, Trump was really bad. But one of the most dangerous, long-term impacts that he had was telling all the allies to go fuck themselves. And that is really unfortunate, because you don’t earn that trust back, ever?
I don’t know. Maybe, a decade or two of having normal governance in the US, which is really scary and unfortunate, because those are the two real pillars of America, making sure that it still is able to do its thing and influence the world in a nice way, which is a really weird thing to say two weeks after, or leaving Afghanistan to the dogs. But, yeah, that would be my two load stars going forward.
Kalani Scarrott (18:03): Yeah, some great points. To come back to Xi Jinping, and maybe compare him to his predecessors, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, is there any particularly in terms of China’s role in the world, how do you think they differ? Maybe, is Xi more aggressive do you reckon? Or is it… You mentioned before just trying to not rock the boat, is it just more of a case of that, do you think?
Jordan Schneider (18:20): Yeah, I think Xi is a lot more confident. And I think he has the right to be, and that China’s growth story is a really incredible one. And a lot of people were betting on it ending, and it hasn’t. And, there have been a handful of Chinese firms which have made it to the technological frontier, which is also an open question up until 2013, 2014, whether China can innovate, whether Chinese firms are really creative.
And, that enables the swagger, which he has now carried to a degree, which I think is counterproductive, but is one that is, to a certain extent justified, it’s not like a welter, it’s not like a bantamweight, like walking into a heavyweight bout at this point. Thinking about how past Chinese leaders have conceptualized their relationship to the world. Mao thought he was that head of a global revolution and wanted to be perceived as such, and was more aggressive than want it to be like, more hardcore than Khrushchev because he wanted to be supporting like the most badass rebels and making sure that he’s causing the most mischief around the world.
After Mao, Deng thought that was ridiculous. And justifiably so, given that China was one of the poorest countries on the planet. And, there has been a… And Xi, and over the subsequent decades, China’s kind of chilled out diplomatically, and really focused on domestic economic reform.
Xi is not Mao. He does not want to create world revolution. Thankfully. However, at the same time, he does have like an aggressive nationalist vision of China’s place in the world and the respect that it should engender, and its relations abroad. And that also coupled with a very fast aisle view of diplomatic relationship building.
I don’t think that Xi necessarily has internalized the power and what it took to build the alliance network that the US has created, and how it’s kind of like, a few world wars, and a lot like a shared democratic tradition, which all builds that up.
And I think the one of the corollaries of the Belt and Road Initiative was that, doing all this development would end up creating true allies for the Chinese, which, regardless of what you think about the economic implications of the Belt and Road, it certainly has not done much besides maybe winning one or two random votes in the General Assembly for things that do not really matter in the long run.
And I think he also sees the Wolf Warrior-dom of the way Xi sees the world is also a domestic game in as much as… And probably, more a domestic game than it is a foreign than it is an international game. And that, part of showing that China’s made it, and that the CCP is legitimate, and deserves to rule the country is to show that it won’t be messed around with. And it can stand up strong to the bullying which China has been subject to ever since, 1840 in the Opium Wars or what have you.
And that leads to this loud for international ears, like obnoxious, aggressive stuff happening with fighting with Australia over exports, and in the border with India. The one thing I will say is that, I think the two most counterproductive things that Xi has done from his international stand his international standing are the crackdown and takeover of Hong Kong, and the treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
And both of those are entirely driven by domestic political logic, without taking into account, what the rest of the world thinks about what’s going on, and what China considers to be its internal affairs. But, at the end of the day, those two developments are really dramatic, and shaped the way a lot of folks view China now and will view China for the duration, at least the duration of Xi’s rule. And that’s not something that can be undone with building bridges. I mean, literal dams and bridges around the world.
Kalani Scarrott (23:35): So, going forward, I know, this is… How do you feel with Xi in power? Like what are you positive about, obviously there’s a few common negatives that are well-known, but how are you feeling towards the direction, maybe?
Jordan Schneider (23:46): Sad. It’s sad. It’s really sad. Because it didn’t have to be this way. There’s definitely a path that the CCP could have taken, which did not lead to the tightening, and horrible things that have happened in western China. And that’s really unfortunate, because a lot of folks, again, a billion people live in China, and it’s like, they’re the ones who are dealing with the brunt of the tightening.
And, I don’t think Xi is like, of all the outcomes, I wouldn’t say he is the worst possible one. There are like, I guess, positive attributes of his reign. He has been able to avert a financial crisis thus far. And I think this broadly speaking, growing an economy at 6%, 7% for another decade, when a billion people are benefiting from that, is a positive thing for sure.
But I think it’s a fallacy to think that it needed him and his vision of the role of the state should plan society to deliver that economic growth and stability. And it’s going to be a real mess going forward because things don’t end well when leaders spend more than 10 years in power.
And, what happens next after Xi is going to be made much more complicated than had China continued in its path that it established after Deng of having semi regular transitions of power and ruled by an elite collective.
Kalani Scarrott (25:40): Obviously, it’s hard to predict what might happen, but how do you see the next transition of power playing out? Does he have any inclination of what might happen or?
Jordan Schneider (25:48): So, I mean, I have no idea. That said, it is fun to speculate about. The best piece, which you can link to in your show notes was written by, it happened by an Aussie, Richard McGregor, along with Jude Blanchette. They had four possible scenarios. First, an orderly transition in 2022, which would be a real dark horse. Second, Xi setting up retirement plan in 2027, and then retiring in 2032.
We could get a leadership challenge or a coup, or he could die or become an incapacitated. I mean, he’s not the most svelte guy in the land. All of those have a fair amount of… Like, a lot of branching possibilities that flow out of them. And none of which I feel qualified to necessarily comment on. But all I can say is that, orderly transition 2022 is like a vanishing possibility. And, given that he has broken the mold and has not groomed a successor, and doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in doing that.
And just given the way the world has going, and more people being able to think more leaders around the world, like thinking they can make this work. It makes me very pessimistic that we’ll end up having something, clean and orderly. And when you’re talking about one sixth of the planet, that’s a dangerous, a very dangerous game, in situation to be in.
Kalani Scarrott (27:14): Just quickly and more curious, just from my point of view, with your work, and you’ve written on Xinjiang, as well before, what is the blowback been like, has it been much? What does it look like from your end? Because I’m just curious for myself, really.
Jordan Schneider (27:27): The one thing I’ll say is like, it is now no longer an uncommon thing, to be a westerner talking about Xinjiang in a way in which it may have been when I started blogging about the topic. And I think that has probably changed the dynamics, both online and in the real world about speaking out on this issue, in particular.
Kalani Scarrott (27:52): To touch on maybe China’s relationship with ASEAN, especially given that there’s a common thought maybe within ASEAN, that maybe Vietnam will become the next stronger and the like, what do you think about China’s relationship with them and how that goes forward?
Jordan Schneider (28:04): Preface, I don’t know. That said, what has happened over the course of 2020 with respect to China, and Australia is a real canary in a coal mine. We’ve had a decade plus of China on the one hand, trying to integrate and say, “You guys are a favorite, you’re in our backyard.” And then, this awkwardness with the South China Sea, and picking weird fights, which from economic perspective, don’t seem all that justified with the Vietnam and Philippines, and I guess, Malaysia too of the world.
But, I feel like that narrative was… You could put that out of sight and mind, because it was like this thing happening in an ocean, and was not super impactful to anyone’s daily life. Fast forward, 2020, and you have these pretty aggressive, pretty obnoxious sanctions, which on Australian exports, which were like… The only justification being like, we were pissed off that you guys asked for an investigation of what happened, what the real story with COVID was, and you started talking about Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
I would guess that that is as glaring a signal as any to the rest of ASEAN and the rest of the world, frankly, of where the line is. And the line I think, is drawn a lot tighter than a lot of democratic countries are comfortable with, and will continue to be comfortable with going forward.
So, that means something different if you’re talking about Vietnam versus Malaysia, or Indonesia. But at the same time, I would imagine it has in a lot of ASEAN capitals made folks a lot less comfortable about their future engagement with the PRC, or with Xi’s PRC in particular.
Kalani Scarrott (30:02): To touch quickly on US China tech, especially with your own now, I think you’re doing a much more coverage of it, what’s the landscape looking like these days do you think? And is there anything as well that US can learn from China in their approach to tech and vice versa? Sorry, a bit of big question, but…
Jordan Schneider (30:15): Yeah, sure. I mean, I think from a from like, how much is the US going to crack down on Chinese technology? China is doing the cracking down, man. Biden, such an afterthought, at this point, if you’re talking about Chinese tech firms. I mean, there was this like, worry in the investment community. I remember in 2019, 2020, oh, well, like the US delist Chinese firms, because they’ll have these new accounting requirements.
No, Beijing’s delisting them for them. So, Marco Rubio, and all the right wiggers are super happy that the Chinese firms are going to be leaving soon, maybe, I guess. Not a development I predicted. But, anyways, here we are. The question, which drove a lot of Trump era tech policy of how much is the US going to try to constrain Chinese access to the most advanced technology like the semiconductor level stuff, like fancy biotech and AI.
I think there’s a lot more continuity than there is discontinuity when you’re looking at what Biden is doing. I think, he, by and large accepts the premise that China’s technological rise is a threat to the US from an economic and national security perspective.
And, the US has some pretty, pretty nifty tools at its disposal to make it a little harder for Chinese firms to get to that technology frontier, and it’s deploying them at a rather judicious way, both probably more driven by human rightsy stuff, then, we just want to screw over Chinese firms that are doing well, because we don’t want to fight a fair fight with them on the open market.
But, there have been a ton of entity listings and whatnot over the past nine months or so, which are, definitely, impacting leading Chinese firms. To your second question of like, what should the US… And, we can brought it out to ASEAN, the Europe, in particular, learn from Chinese firms. I mean, I think, some of the things that are… I spent like a year and a half in the Chinese tech ecosystem, it was really interesting, because there are lots of aspects of it, which were aping the west.
When I was at Didi, everyone was like, we want to run our company just like Facebook does. So, it is really interesting, the ways in which this is cyclical, or not, it’s not cyclical, it’s the wrong word. There are ways in which this… There are global feedback loops to these things. And, the entire Chinese VC ecosystem is largely based off the west. The China does have some unique wrinkles, these like government guidance funds, which we’re only kicked off a few years ago.
And I’m not necessarily sure that the US should be aping because just the state is not as good at allocating capital as the private market. And I think, once you start putting hundreds of billions of government money into stuff, especially in a nontransparent society. You start getting suboptimal things happening with all that cash.
The one thing that I think the US is starting to internalize is that, you can subsidize your way into a dominant global position in certain sectors, in a way that may not be Pareto optimal, if everyone’s playing by the rules. But screws you over, if you’re the country not playing that game.
So, this is the straightforward one, which folks are probably familiar with is, like Airbus and Boeing, where both the EU and the US were like, we want to have an airline manufacturer, and we will subsidize them, even if it means that we end up losing a bit because we don’t want this firm to die.
This has happened, the Chinese government has been pretty strategic at a hands on, they’ve wasted a ton of money. But, they have had some hits. For instance, the solar sector received a fair amount of… Not a fair amount, a substantial amount of subsidies, which are allocated in a smart, relatively, like market leaning way, to the point that China makes 90%, 95% of global solar panels.
So, I think this sort of like, and also the importance of manufacturing as the baseline, or through which a lot of soft expertise gets built up, and being able to build up through the value chain, and not just only doing the top software stack, is something which I think the west is starting to… The rest of the world is starting to internalize, probably for the better.
Though there are dangers in spending government money, less smart ways and distorting it. And, if an industry… I would argue potentially solar is not something that where you like, for like, deep national security reasons like airplane manufacturers need to have one in your borders. It should be okay, if China can make this stuff cheaper and good, and good enough for the world to buy their solar panels from very well-run Chinese firms.
Kalani Scarrott (36:17): Yeah, before we move and a couple of my closing questions, what was your goals to start the podcast, and what are the biggest things you’ve learned, I guess, along the way?
Jordan Schneider (36:25): Yeah. So, I started the podcast when I was in grad school, and I didn’t like my assignments. And I was just reading on the side, and I figured, oh, maybe these authors would talk to me. And shockingly, they did. That was really awesome. Everyone should start a podcast. My response rate, even when I literally couldn’t say I had one person listening to my show was 50% to 60% with folks who are… Maybe not, HR McMaster or Jake Sullivan, but have written books and are like actual humans in the world.
So, I think, the most rewarding thing for me has been… Not the friends I made along. The friends I made along the way, but also the knowledge you get and the amount to which if you pick a topic and do… I’m like at 175 shows now. A ton of episodes about it, that kind of compounding knowledge that you just absorb by osmosis. Because every time I do a show with someone, and it’s their book, I read their whole book, because I don’t want to feel like a jerk.
And by reading someone’s book, and making a three-page outline of all the interesting quotes and things I want to say, you remember that in a way where half reading something, falling asleep at night, or for class when a test and the test ends, and you never think about it again, you don’t.
So, yeah. I started this four years ago, I knew nothing about China. I had never taken Mandarin before. And ChinaTalk has held in the interviews I’ve done have held my hand as I’ve learned stuff. And I don’t think I’m like the smartest analysts out there. But I was able to talk to you for 45 minutes off the top of my head with no notes about these developments. Relatively cogently, I think, I hope.
So, I would like very much attribute that to having this show and building in the discipline of doing of these interviews one or two times a week, and doing the prep and doing the editing. So, I heard it one or two extra times, and let all the knowledge that my guests have sink into my brain.
So, selfishly, just from a personal development perspective, it’s been fantastic. And then, I think it’s incredibly rewarding knowing that I’m creating something, which is… I’m not making like TikTok dance videos. This is a complex, I’m putting very high level educational stuff out there to the world. And, 7,000 people download it every week from everywhere, and that’s so gratifying to know that I am doing something with my life, which people digest and enjoy, and like adds to their lives.
So, yeah. And lastly, I mean, just from a China specific perspective, it’s a really… It’s an incredibly understanding China is one of the most important things that is happening intellectually, today. It is a really fraught thing. It is a thing that a lot of people are doing irresponsibly. And as a lot of… And it’s upsetting, and sad watching analysis of the country be simplified and skewed and flattened in a way which, is dangerous.
I wouldn’t necessarily… I don’t think in my interviews, I necessarily, give off a real political opinion. When you asked me like, what do you think about Xi in China? I was like, “Oh, I don’t know, I’m just… I’m trying to be objective here.” But the one thing I will very strongly feel is that, doing objective analysis is important. And making sure that you are starting from the facts and building up as opposed to starting with, “Oh, I don’t like China,” or “Oh, China is great.” And going from there is bad.
And I tried to do that on my show. And just promote the… If there is a worldview with that like, China, you can approach, you can try to… Maybe, you can never understand China, but you can be on a path towards understanding China. The fact that I can promote voices that I think are doing that in a responsible and thoughtful way. And be able to give them an audience they might not have otherwise is, incredibly rewarding.
Kalani Scarrott (41:03): Yeah far out Jordan, that’s a beautiful answer. I think probably a great way to wrap up. Anything else you want to plug? Where can people find you?
Jordan Schneider (41:09): Yeah, I’m on Twitter. Yeah, search and try and talk podcast. I’m on Twitter. I also have a newsletter, which I write every week. I translate stuff in Chinese, which is probably more like tech and investor relevant than hour-long conversation that we had now. But, yeah, this is great. I’d love to do it. I love to do it again.
Kalani Scarrott (41:30): If you enjoyed this podcast episode, be sure to check the website, compoundingpodcast.com. On the website you’ll find every episode complete with transcripts, show notes and other related resources. Also be sure to sign up to my weekly newsletter, Curated by Kalani, where I share what I’ve been reading, learning, and watching for that week. Same as the podcast, it’s compressed to impress and I aim for maximal return in the time invested. So sign up at kalanis.substack.com. You can also connect with me on Twitter @ScarrottKalani. But until next time, have a good one.