Post Reports

How China called foul on American businesses

Jeanne Whalen examines how Western businesses are bowing to political pressure from China. Samantha Schmidt on how a vulnerable community of transgender sex workers takes care of its own. And Luisa Beck unpacks the implications of a shooting in Germany.
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Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

In this episode

U.S. businesses struggle to please in America and China
As China proceeds to break with the NBA this week after the general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, delivered a pro-Hong Kong message, other American companies — such as Blizzard Entertainment and Tiffany & Co. — are scrambling to avoid a fallout of their own. 

China has long been sensitive about its image at home, with its government controlling what it allows its own citizens to say about their country. Now, as Hong Kong continues its pro-democratic protests, Beijing has started to force those standards on foreign businesses raising questions among Americans about how flexible Western companies can be on traditional values of free speech and democracy. 

“The NBA had to make a series of statements over the course of a few days attempting to really balance between the U.S. and the Chinese sides here,” says business reporter Jeanne Whalen. “They were in a difficult position — not wanting to offend China further, but also not wanting to completely kowtow.”

That balance raises the question of how flexible Western companies are willing to be when it comes to traditional values of free speech and democracy, and doing business with China.

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Transgender sex workers look out for their own as work grows more dangerous
For transgender sex workers in Washington, D.C., everything seems to be on the rise — threats to safety, police intimidation, rents that have pushed many to seek work on the streets to survive. 

For many, Tamika Spellman is like a guardian angel. The sex worker and transgender rights activist drives around the District every weekend with condoms and a stack of business cards in tow, checking in on the vulnerable population she once belonged to. 

She has made these rounds every weekend since Zoe Spears, a black transgender woman, was shot and killed in June just outside of the District, less than three months after another black transgender woman, Ashanti Carmon, was fatally shot just blocks away from that same spot. 

“Trans women — particularly trans women of color — are very vulnerable, and often are particularly prone to homelessness and trouble finding work, and a number of other issues that might lead them to sex work for survival,” says reporter Samantha Schmidt

Schmidt joined Spellman on one of her drives around the city, who she says “feels particularly responsible for protecting members of her own community,” especially after well-meaning legislation made their work more dangerous than it already was.

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The rise of anti-Semitism in Germany
Authorities announced Thursday that the gunman suspected of killing two people outside a synagogue in Germany is a right-wing extremist who operated with a clear anti-Semitic motive and hoped to inspire others to follow his lead, live-streaming his attack with a head-mounted camera. 

Reporter Luisa Beck, who is based in Berlin, traveled to eastern Germany to speak with residents of Halle, where the attack took place. She says residents told her that “to address this problem, we need a much larger societal change that addresses xenophobia and hatred as a whole.”

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.