Chinese authorities have recently shifted their approach towards China’s top platform tech companies. The crackdown that began in November 2020 with Ant Group’s cancelled IPO has now transitioned into extending an olive branch. By June 2023, China’s economy was struggling and youth unemployment had risen above 21 percent.
Author: Martin Miszerak, Renmin University
Since early 2023, Chinese authorities have started extending an olive branch to China’s top platform tech companies after over two years of ‘regulatory crackdown’. The crackdown started in November 2020 with the cancellation of the initial public offering (IPO) of e-commerce giant Ant Group — an affiliate of Alibaba.
Besides Ant Group, the ‘rectification’ affected most of China’s large platform companies. Yet by June 2023, a cold was blowing over China’s economy. The post-COVID-19 recovery was faltering. Youth unemployment rose above 21 per cent.
The authorities also likely concluded that they had accomplished most of the objectives of the rectification. At the China Development Forum in March 2023, Premier Li Qiang bent over backwards to assure prominent Western CEOs that China was welcoming the private sector, both foreign and domestic.
There is no consensus among academic and journalistic commentators about the crackdown’s ‘true’…