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Hong Kong Protesters use Tinder, Pokemon Go to Spread Messages

Since AirDrop is peer-to-peer, protesters are able to send information directly to mainland tourists travelling to Hong Kong


Protesters in Hong Kong are taking to Tinder, Pokemon Go and Apple’s AirDrop to invite people to join them on the streets as the city rolls into its third month of unrest triggered by a now-shelved extradition bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China.

Posting information about protests on Tinder is just one of several creative ways Hongkongers are using tech to mobilize people.

For more than eight weeks now, technology has been at the centre of demonstrations against the extradition bill, the South China Morning Post reported citing Abacus, an English-language news brand covering the China tech industry.

These demonstrations have now evolved into a catch-all movement against the local government and are causing disruptions.

The protesters are now demanding an independent inquiry into the police violence, resignation of the territory’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam and democratic reform.

People primarily communicate through Telegram groups and stream their actions on gaming platform Twitch. But as violence has escalated, protesters are resorting to more unorthodox methods of organizing and communicating online.

One of those methods, apart from Tinder, is Pokemon Go.

When the Hong Kong police earlier denied protesters permission to march in one of the city’s suburban neighbourhoods on safety grounds, the demonstrators decided to say that they weren’t going for a march – they were just showing up for a game of Pokemon Go, said the report.

FILE – A Pokemon Go player consults his phone while walking through the Boston Common outside the Massachusetts Statehouse. The game has introduced players to some aspects of history they otherwise might have missed. VOA

The march in Yuen Long town on July 27 was held in response to violent attacks on protesters during which more than 100 white-clad assailants, with some of those arrested having links to triad gangs, stormed into a train station in the area and attacked a group of pro-democracy protesters who were returning from a rally in the centre of Hong Kong.

Another way protesters are spreading their message is through Apple’s AirDrop.

In the old days, people would walk the streets and distribute leaflets to communicate their political causes. These days, the political messages have moved to the cloud, with images sent directly to recipients’ phones – unsolicited.

On Hong Kong subways, people have been receiving posters inviting them to protest through the service that allows Apple devices to send files to each other. The latest call to action involved a general strike that was held on Monday.

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The tool has also been used to communicate with tourists from mainland China.

China’s Great Firewall has largely limited reports on the Hong Kong protests to those in line with government views. This includes information found on social media such as Douyin — China’s version of TikTok.

Since AirDrop is peer-to-peer, protesters are able to send information directly to mainland tourists travelling to Hong Kong. (IANS)

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US Lawmaker Proposes Bill in Congress to Recognise Tibet and Hong-Kong as Independent Nations

US and China ties may face further deterioration amid Coronavirus tension

US lawmaker has introduced a bill in Congress to declare Tibet as an independent country. Pixabay

As tensions rise between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, a bill is proposed in the Congress by a US lawmaker, allowing American President to recognise Tibet as an independent nation, according to International News.

The bill was tabled by the US Congressman Scott Perry, who happens to be a military veteran and a Republican from Pennsylvania. He also introduced a similar bill, to declare Hong Kong, another Chinese-ruled region as an independent territory.

Both the bills could further escalate tensions between two countries.

The two bills introduced by the Republican from Pennsylvania have been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as published by Opindia.

Tibet is highest region on earth and is located in the south-west of China. The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest. China invaded Tibet in 1949 and completely occupied the territory in 1959. Since then the Tibetan population has accused the Communist country of carrying out large scale human right violations and demographic changes.

buddhism Tibet
China invaded Tibet in 1949 and completely occupied the territory in 1959. Pixabay

The bill which has been welcomed by many Tibetan activists will have to be passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate before getting assent from the President to be an act.

US Senate to delist Chinese companies from American stock exchanges

A bill, introduced by Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, and Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland initiated to block Chinese firms from getting listed on the American stock exchanges which are not abiding by the US accounting laws.

Reportedly, the Chinese companies listed at the New York Stock Exchange do not report earnings just like American companies do as published by opindia.

There has been some controversy in the US Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Baidu Inc. amid increasingly tense relations between the world’s two largest economies.

In a major escalation, the Trump administration had issued a new rule on barring Huawei and its suppliers from using American technology and software according to the article published by opindia.

There has been some controversy in the US regarding Chinese companies like Alibaba,etc. Pixabay

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement said that the rule change is to “prevent U.S. technologies from enabling malign activities contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests”. He also added that Huawei and its affiliates “have stepped-up efforts to undermine these national security-based restrictions.”

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“We Could Cut Off The Whole Relationship”, Says Trump on China

US President Donald Trump had earlier said that he had lost all interest in speaking to his chinese counterpart Chinese President Xi Jinping. He also said that US could even cut ties with China following the outbreak of deadly pandemic of the Wuhan Coronavirus.

Donald Trump had said he was very disappointed with China’s failure to contain the disease and that the pandemic had cast a shadow over the US-China trade deal in his conversation with Fox News on Thursday.

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Indian Tinder Users Make International Connections During Lockdown

Indian Tinder users match most in USA, UK, Australia

Dating app Tinder launched a new feature of matching beyond geographical locations. Wikimedia Commons

Newly equipped with the option of matching with potential dates beyond geographical boundaries, the users of Tinder are making international connections during the lockdown. The global dating app features connections across the globe with the top countries being the United States of America, United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Australia.

Called Tinder Passport, available for free while the world stays at home, the feature allows users to navigate between their current location and new destinations. Members can search by city or drop a pin on the map and can begin liking, matching, and chatting with users in a destination of their choice.

tinder dating
The users of Tinder are making international connections during the lockdown. Pixabay

“By looking at data from March to April, we learned which cities and countries members are virtually traveling to, and which cities are frequently interacting with each other. The majority of Tinder members are using the feature to change location within the country, with Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Delhi as the top two cities Passporting to each other,” Tinder said.

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Tinder’s resident psychologist Sonali Gupta thinks it is very telling that majority location change is between members within India.

“One of the reasons could be that while there is a global pandemic world over, what’s different is how countries are dealing with it. When people are reaching out to other people in Indian cities, they could possibly feel that their context and personal reality would be better understood by other Indians. This could be a reflection of realistic expectations – as people see that international travel is unlikely and they stand a greater chance of meeting someone who is based within the country.” (IANS)

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39% Growth in Tinder Conversation Due to COVID-19 Lockdown

COVID lockdown: Tinder conversations up by 39 per cent

Average length of tinder conversations are now 28 per cent longer. Pixabay

Dating app Tinder has some interesting trends to reveal during the lockdown! Conversations have been up by an average of 39 per cent, but here’s what interesting– the average length of conversations is 28 per cent longer, it revealed.

The app also made ‘Tinder Passport’ feature, which is typically paid for, free – meaning that members can match and chat with members in a destination of choice. Before this, users could match only in the geographic region they were in. India has seen a 25 per cent increase in the rate of Passporting to other parts of the world, Germany recorded a 19 per cent increase, France, 20 per cent and Brazil, 15 per cent, Tinder said.

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“Stay home, be safe, social distancing,’how are you’, wash your hands and face emojis are seen being used in personal bios. There is no precedence for this period, and the increase in both conversation length and Passport usage even before it was available for all users, only validated our belief that in challenging times, the community is finding ways to form new connections and discover new social discovery rhythms,” Taru Kapoor, GM, India – Tinder and Match Group told IANSlife.

Dating app Tinder has some interesting trends to reveal during the lockdown. Pixabay

In this unprecedented time, people are feeling a potent mix of anxiety, lonely and uncertainty. The mix of self-isolation and work-from-home means we’re missing out on the everyday exchanges that make us human. And even though we’re socially distancing, this hasn’t meant disconnecting for Tinder members.

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Globally more members are swiping right on someone new, having more conversations overall, and those conversations are lasting longer. Daily conversations have been up an average of 20 per cent around the world, and the average length of the conversations is 25 per cent longer. (IANS)