Going Gray

Every morning, we run the Narrative Machine on the past 24 hours worth of financial media to find the most on-narrative (i.e. interconnected and central) stories in financial media. It’s not a list of best articles or articles we think are most interesting … often far from it.

But for whatever reason these are articles that are representative of some sort of chord that has been struck in Narrative-world.


Huawei Founder Says U.S. Won’t Disrupt Business As Analysts Warn Of Sales Slowdown [Forbes]

The U.S. Commerce Department has deemed Huawei a threat to national security, and banned the company and almost 70 of its affiliates worldwide from acquiring U.S. technology without government approval. On Monday, Huawei was granted a 90-day reprieve that allows the company to continue purchasing American goods for its existing handsets and broadband networks until Aug 19.

Ren Zhengfei is 74 years old, yet like all septuagenarian and octogenarian Chinese potentates, he has jet-black dyed hair. But is that a wisp of gray in this picture? I kinda think it is. That’s a big deal in China … they call it “going gray” … when you’ve been disavowed by The Powers That Be and they take away your hair dye. Because you can’t be rehabilitated from that.

You think I’m kidding. But I’m not.

Here’s Bo Xilai, party secretary (i.e., mob boss) of Chongqing, a city with a metropolitan area roughly equal in size to New York.

And here’s Bo Xilai at his murder trial in Beijing.

Pro tip: Bo Xilai’s real crime was not murder. Although … that, too.

How will you know when China is backing down from a national security-oriented trade war with the US?

When Ren Zhengfei is photographed with gray hair.


Comments

  1. This is one of the more interesting bits of reading the tea leaves in China. While the gray hair marker certainly used to signal that your goose was cooked, there is a line of thinking here in China that that tradition is slowly dying. Liu He, Wang Yi, Wang Qishan and even Xi Dada himself, all unqeustionable in favour, are all starting to allow the flecks of aging show through. Not sure how much we can read into the gray hair anymore but, that fact that it was definitely once true shows you the power of symbolism in the games of Chinese power.

  2. Great to bring that up ! yes, at some point the CCP will probably sacrifice him as a sop in the ‘trade war’

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