June 24, 2021

Jack Ma Shows Why China’s Tycoons Keep Quiet

American and European officials have been looking to rein in internet behemoths for years. But it is hard to imagine Western regulators bringing about a change in fortunes as significant as the one that has befallen Mr. Ma. Mr. Xi has asserted broad control over China’s private sector, demanding commitment to the party and to social stability above profits.

Xiao Jianhua, once a trusted financial lieutenant to many Chinese elites, was snatched from a luxury Hong Kong hotel in 2017. Ye Jianming, an oil tycoon who sought connections in Washington, was detained, as was Wu Xiaohui, whose insurance company bought the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. Mr. Wu later went to prison. Lai Xiaomin, the former chairman of a financial firm, was executed this year.

“The general iron rule is that there should be no individual centers of power outside of the party,” said Richard McGregor, a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute and author of “The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers.”

Beijing’s clampdown on tech is already rippling through boardrooms beyond Alibaba’s.

Ant Group’s chief executive, Simon Hu, resigned in March. A few days later, Colin Huang stepped down as chairman of Pinduoduo, the mobile bazaar he founded and took public within a few short years. Pinduoduo announced his resignation the same day it said it had attracted 788 million shoppers over the previous 12 months — a bigger number than Alibaba.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/22/technology/jack-ma-alibaba-tycoons.html

Speak Your Mind