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Flashback: China is Flexing its Economic Muscles by Buying Up Italian Companies

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The Wuhan virus has been a black eye for the Chinese Communist Party, now that the entire world is suffering from this pandemic caused by the Chinese government’s incompetence.

One of the pandemic’s hot spots, Northern Italy, has received international attention for its notable Chinese economic presence in factories throughout the region. This has raised speculation about how the virus has spread so quickly in the southern European country.

6 years ago in an article by Annalisa Merelli at Quartz, readers were reminded about China’s steadily growing influence in the Italian peninsula.

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Historically, Italy has taken enormous pride over its domestic production. However Merelli notes that “cheap imports from China are often demonized as inferior knock-offs—some 90% of fake ”Made in Italy” merchandise allegedly comes from China, and even staples like tomato sauce and olive oil are not immune.” Unemployment, which has recently been high in Italy, has also been threatened by increased economic interactions with China.

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Merelli also highlighted how certain sectors of the Italian economy are encouraging more Chinese investment:

To encourage Chinese investment in Italian companies, publisher ClassEditori set up an online portal—vendereaicinesi.it, which means “sell to the Chinese”—that features all sorts of classified ads directed at Chinese investors. Advertisers list everything from real estate to consumer products to entire companies.

At the time this article was written, around 200 Italian business are under the control of Chinese owners according to La Repubblica. Similarly, China’s central bank holds stakes in several of Italy’s prominent companies such as Fiat, Telecom Italia, Generali, and Eni.

Thanks to the new wave of nationalization and the skepticism towards globalism, people are beginning to question the China economic partnership narrative.

Hopefully, policymakers start implementing measures that socially distance Western countries from China.

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Black Rifle Coffee Does Not Support Second Amendment Hero Kyle Rittenhouse

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Black Rifle Coffee, a coffee company based in Salt Lake City, is not defending 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.

The company said that it was against a tweet that Blaze Media reporter, Elijah Schaeffer,  posted that featured Rittenhouse wearing a Black Rifle Coffee Company shirt captioned “Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America.” Rittenhouse was released on November 20, 2020 after supporters were able to raise $2 million for his bail. 

In the tweet, Schaeffer posted a discount code for the coffee. Sara Tabin of The Salt Lake Tribune noted that online Twitter users “questioned whether the coffee company had a sponsorship deal with Rittenhouse and accused it of supporting murder and hate.”

This prompted Black Rifle Coffee, the sponsor of the Slightly Offens*ve podcast, to release a statement on November 21 declaring that it is not sponsoring or supporting Rittenhouse.

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Initially, there was a misunderstanding about the company withdrawing its sponsorship of Slightly Offens*ve. However, a spokesperson for the company told the Salt Lake Tribune on November 21 that “We are not fluctuating our ad spend.” The coffee spokesperson added “We did have a conversation with Schaffer, and he understands that the post was a mistake.”

She stressed, “We don’t traffic in national tragedy and to us, that’s what this is. We are not legal experts or members of law enforcement. We fully support all law enforcement officials and believe in the integrity of the legal system.”

The spokesperson reiterated that the company will maintain its sponsorship of Blaze Media. She explained: “Our concern is that use of the discount code in the post did not reflect our values. That’s a concern we’ve addressed with the journalist and that he understands.”

Blaze employees “make decisions about how to allocate ad dollars within the Blaze,” she remarked. Although the spokesperson did not go into further detail about the company’s status as a podcast sponsor, it noted that the coffee company and the Blaze are in talks about “how to move forward with the allocation of ad dollars.”

Black Rifle Coffee positions itself as a pro-Second Amendment, conservative company that was founded by veterans. Black Rifle Coffee co-founder Evan Hafer released a statement on November 21 declaring that “We do not support legal advocacy efforts. We do not sponsor nor do we have a relationship with the 17-year-old facing charges in Kenosha, WI.”

At the moment, Rittenhouse is facing two counts of first-degree murder for shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber during a Black Lives Matter riot back in August. In addition, he’s being charged with one count of being a minor in possession of a firearm. During the riots, Rittenhouse was attacked by Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse was carrying an AR-style rifle as he was walking down the street to protect private property from looters.

It is disappointing to see supposedly pro-Second Amendment businesses fold to the mob. Although the Left is very effective at mass politics and causing certain businesses to get cancelled, some businesses will have to take a stand. Submission to these radicals only encourages them to become bolder in their attacks. 

Can Americans actually grow a spine for once?

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