I read the following political article about Trump's executive orders in relation to TikTok and WeChat.


My translation: [The] reason is [at] local-time 6-th [of August, 2020], USA president Trump signed executive orders declaring 抖音's foreign edition (TikTok) and WeChat is a threat to US national security, and after 45 days, forbids any US company or individuals having related dealings with TikTok mother company ByteDance and even Tencent Holdings's WeChat.
iPhone与微信“二选一”?美媒开始担心苹果了!, 8 August 2020; see also Google Translate

I'm confused about why it says ……美国公司个人……, and in particular why it's 或 and not 和 or 跟.

Question: Why is 或 used as highlighted above instead of e.g. 和?

  • 任何美国公司或个人 = any American companies or individuals

  • 或 = or

“And” (和/跟) would be a strange choice here because then it would seems as if two sets of criteria need to be met before a law was broken. Whereas the “or” sets it up for one or the other.


It Just omitted the repeated object for the second subject 个人

The subject is [美国公司 or 美国公民]

任何美国公司 与 TikTok....的 相关交易。

任何个人 与 TikTok....的 相关交易。

[美国公司 and 美国公民] would also make sense. But the following conjunction is 与 (with/ and). To avoid confusion, (mistaking the subject as [美国公司 and 美国公民 and TikTok] saying [美国公司 or 美国公民] is more clear.

[美国公司 and 美国公民] in another context would be fine. For example: "條例適用於 美国公司 和 美国公民" (regulations apply to U.S. companies and U.S. citizens)


Because of the implied negative meaning in the sentence.

(-) 禁止任何A或B:any A or B is not allowed. 'or' is used to make sure neither is allowed, which is the same as in English.

Instead, if the sentence doesn't have any negative meaning (e.g. it's neutral or positive), 'and/or' is used depending on the meaning.

(0) 解禁A和B:the ban is lifted for (both) A and B.

(+) 你支持A还是B?do you support A or B?


My take is that 或 is used in formal/official context and 和 is more casual. It's because 或 put an emphasis on the logic A -> C, B -> C, instead of A and B -> C. With 和, we understand the logic according to context and the logic is a bit loose and it could be either A -> C, B -> C or A and B -> C.

In daily speech, it's fine to say 老师不让我和小明跟你联系. 老师不让他或者我跟你联系 sounds more businesslike, probably even a bit pretentious.

In a formal regulatory document, it usually puts: 任何单位个人不得占用。 In this case, 或 is preferred because of the reason stated above. However, when we talk about the regulation with our friends in a casual circumstance, it's fine to say 任何单位个人都不能占用.

All in all, 或者 is used in the formal (more in written) register and 和 in the casual (more in spoken).

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