tirsdag 13. juli 2021

Why China Is Going After Its Tech Giants

Just days after its lucrative listing on the New York Stock Exchange, China ride-hailing giant Didi Global was hit withanother round of sanctions by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). On July 4, the country’s Internet regulator ordered the removal of its mobile app from Chinese app stores. This came two days after the same regulator opened an investigation into the company, suspending it from adding new users. The app, alleged CAC, “has serious violations of laws and regulations pertaining to the collection of personal information.”

Didi is not the only company to face heightened scrutiny in recent months. Other Chinese Internet giants, including Meituan, Tencent, JD.com, Bytedance, and Alibaba have faced government regulatory investigations and even been slapped with hefty fines. Most notably, of course, Ant Financial saw its mega IPO in Hong Kong and Shanghai halted by the Chinese government. These actions were often carried out by China’s State Administration of Market Regulation, the anti-trust regulator. Its policy decisions on such major companies undoubtedly are driven by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership at the highest level.

Even smaller Internet companies are not immune. Most recently, CAC opened probes into Zhipin.com, an online recruiter, and truck-hailing apps Huochebang and Yunmanman, which merged to become Full Truck Alliance. Both Zhipin.com’s owner, Kanzhun, and Full Truck Alliance went public last month in the U.S. Now, they are also under review to “prevent national data security risks and safeguard national security.”