China wound down a more than two-year crackdown on tech companies, with a central bank official declaring the government’s push to reform online platforms is basically over, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Chinese Communist Party secretary of the People’s Bank of China Guo Shuqing told Xinhua News Agency a campaign to clean up the operations of 14 internet companies was completed, adding some problems still need to be addressed and it will continue to supervise the companies to encourage compliance.
The easing of restrictions comes as the government backs away from a prolonged zero-Covid-19 (coronavirus) policy and takes measures to open the economy after facing a slowdown over the past few quarters.
China is looking to the tech giants to drive economic growth, job creation and international competitiveness.
Guo said the pace of China’s financial opening up will not stop, and it is exploring financial measures to promote growth and deal with the risks and challenges of 2023.
Chinese authorities began to tighten supervision of internet companies in November 2020, when stock market regulators suspended a planned dual listing by Ant Group on the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges. Regulators later ordered a restructure of Alibaba’s financial arm Ant into a financial holding company to address government-mandated changes requiring it to cut links between Alipay and other financial units.
Other companies targeted by new rules covering recommendation algorithms, competition, overseas listings and online gaming included Baidu, Didi and Tencent.
At the end of 2022, Ant Group received approval from a banking and insurance regulator to expand the capital base at its consumer credit arm Chongqing Ant Consumer Finance by CNY10.5 billion ($1.5 billion).
The move was a clear signal the government is backing off its aggressive crackdown on internet platforms.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back