This is a question about threshold, I think. Let's take China, first. China has always made people extremely unhappy, alienating some, outraging others. Throughout the 90s, Hollywood stars and pop musicians were banned from China for being in movies or making songs or statements the Chinese State didn't like. At that time, most of these had to do with Tibet. Brad Pitt was banned for Seven Years in Tibet. Others: Richard Gere, Harrison Ford, Sharon Stone, Martin Scorsese, Bjork, Oasis, Bob Dylan. China also banned most social networks. But this happened one at a time, and to a relatively small amount of people. At this point, China's enemies (in this limited sense of the word) is a small group, not posing a real problem for China.
China currently has a strong control over it's citizens and significant control over foreign businesses and governments, but so far there hasn't been much opposition. At some point, a threshold would have to be met where China had so many enemies this group would form a conglomerate and cause real problems for China.
This week, China banned South Park and the the NBA's preseason games following statements by the TV show and a few Rockets players in favor of the rights of Hong Kongers (Hong Kong 2019 click here: http://tttthis.com/edit/blog/hong-kong-2019 ). South Park and the NBA are entities with huge, established viewer demand in China, who are going to miss them when they're gone, and who are going to try to find out what South Park and the NBA have to say back to China. China's huge market caused the NBA to initially make some movements toward appeasement, but by the end of the day (in which the story went huge and the NBA faced a ton of criticism for bowing down to China and disregarding human rights) the NBA commissioner came out and made a statement in support of free speech which didn't attempt to appease China further.
There must be some point at which China will find itself not controlling the situation through it's familiar economic coercion, but will be out-forced by it's enemies.
Another case of threshold of enemies might be YouTube. YouTube has over the past year come out against free speech in favor of censorship (as have most social media giants), but it has also recently been demonetizing popular YouTubers, removing content, and outraging a lot of people. I think this number is still small and won't cause YouTube a huge problem. It also helps YouTube that they've done this slowly, so that a great number of new enemies aren't made at one time; Instead, they outrage one person here, another there, a few there. Many of these upset creators want to leave YouTube, and a small but significant userbase voice is making protests in YouTube comments (and other discussions), but still YouTube has massive support and popularity, as well as being a monopoly so creators can't migrate comfortably to a competing platform and impel both platoforms to respect them.
An interesting thing to note here is that in the case of China the main cause of their current problems is one specific object (in this case, an event) people just can't ignore. Hong Kong and the demands of people there, who have shown their sincerity with mass, continued efforts respected by people around the world, as well as huge news coverage (huge is important because any less than huge and a story will not make it into the consciousness of most of any population). Everyone believes Hong Kongers are right, that China is the oppressor in this situation, and, unlike Tibet, they're being shown this every day on all of the news stations.
Whereas with Tibet, which most people would never be conscious of because Tibetans, although just as sincere as Hong Kongers or more so, had no power to make their plight known to a large enough audience, news stations didn't cover it and Western governments and news bowed to China and just let it happen, and so Western public figures were not impelled to make public statements about it, the case with Hong Kong basically forces public figures to comment. They can't publicly support China or oppose human rights without losing probably all of their credibility, so they speak honestly in support of Hong Kong. Even those celebrities who don't have political personalities, who would never make a first comment, are impelled to comments when other public figures do so.
This raises the question of willingness to oppose wrongs at a cost. For example, while Canada has traditionally bowed to China and done things not in the interest of people or human rights, it has never been forced publicly to chose. However, any public event large enough to cause Canadian politicians and public figures to make a public statement will create a situation in which they must publicly chose. It would be essentially impossible for them to publicly chose otherwise than against China's human rights abuses, as much as they might privately prefer it or fear they would be the only one to support human rights and would therefore waste their opportunities as a failed martyr.
On an international level, hypothetically, if Canada took the initiative to make a public stand, in spite of the economic consequences of losing one of the most important world markets, other countries would be forced to come out for or against Canada. Would the U.S. side with China against Canada? Would it be even possible for politicians in the U.S. to do so when questions were asked about their reasoning? It was not possible for the NBA to side with China, which some might guess it would have preferred to do if it would not have meant outraging NBA fans (and Americans generally).
I put this as a question here because I don't know. Also, if anyone has a scientific paper that explores thresholds for this sort of dynamic, please link to them in the comments.
A futher point of interest is the formation of alternatives. For the past decades, China has increasingly tightened it's grip on it's citizens, committing uncountable abuses against them with impunity, removing the tools of the people (press, democratic representation, free trials, communication, assembly) while outraging human rights. The amount of Chinese willing to stand up against this is understandably small given their likely failed-martry outcome. The amount of Chinese using VPNs is bigger but still not overwhelming, because normal Chinese can still get enough content and communication. As more content falls outside of the ambit of compliant Chinese, it stands to reason the balance will move further away from the State there. As tools like VPNs, which are not universally known or valued, and whose costs don't have the full benefit of scale pricing or use comfort, would probably become more used alternatives. There would be a sort of slow exodus, sloughing off the previous system, not really opposing the State blatantly, but making their control efforts untenable through scale and complication. This model could also be applied to YouTube (or other social media channels whose policy and behaviour changes alienate users).
I put this as a question, too, because I don't know. Is this something that can be treated by statisticians, and what kind of formula would describe this phenomena?