Digital, Political Nomads: Meet the Chinese-Americans for Trump | Politics & Power | OZY

A lot of them “were very happy, because he was pro-business,” says second-generation Chinese-American Steven Ho, a senior loan officer at Quontic and a lending expert on Chinese buyers. “I’m not talking about the suits-and-shirts businessman, but the small, self-employed mom-and-pop.” While long-in-place Chinese restrictions on money transfers to America affect buying, Trump’s tariffs mostly affect higher-end Chinese citizens, those who “have multimillion-dollar businesses,” Ho says.The conversation online is particularly populist. It has included posts encouraging WeChat users to contact California gubernatorial candidates about affirmative action in 2017 and organizing a Boston protest against Harvard’s admissions process and a supportive state bill in 2018. Chinese parents in Silicon Valley and Hutson, California, started debating a transgender bathroom law during the 2016 elections. Meanwhile, Chinese families in Irvine, California, began a digital charge against a proposed homeless shelter near their neighborhoods — which culminated with county officials changing plans after buses filled with hundreds of mostly Asian residents arrived at the Orange County Hall of Administration with signs saying “No Tent City” and “No Homeless in Irvine.” Their platform of choice? A local company with 40,000 members that uses WeChat messaging services and calls itself “WeIrvine.”CAFT, meanwhile, has persisted in a way other minority-focused Trump groups, such as Latinos for Trump, have not. Volunteers have paid for billboards in more than a dozen states and have flown pro-Trump banners over multiple cities. Wang, its founder, says the group at times will organize social media swarms where users are asked to like, share or tweet something, and respond in mass numbers. “We’re not a one-issue group. Everybody has their own critical thinking,” Wang says. Last summer, the CAFT chapter in Georgia organized an official event supporting Republican congressional candidate Karen Handel; in January, one of its members, Sunny Wong, was named the official Chinese-American liaison to the GOP’s state party. Earlier this month, Gov. Brian Kemp wished the group a Happy Lunar New Year, which was posted to its Facebook page. And it’s expecting its support base to only grow, as core members become even more active close to the 2020 elections. “We are really moms and pops. Working-class everyday folk,” Wang says. “We get together to help when necessary, and go back to everyday life when we are not needed.”

Source: Digital, Political Nomads: Meet the Chinese-Americans for Trump | Politics & Power | OZY