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China Doesn’t Care How Much Money You Lose

DiDi, TAL, and now Meituan—Beijing’s crackdown continues, and it has less to do with foreign money than domestic control.

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Illustration: George Wylesol for Bloomberg Businessweek

Whether you’re a bond or stock investor, chances are you’ve been burned by the Chinese government this year. For example, just days after DiDi Global Inc. raised $4.4 billion in a New York initial public offering, Beijing started an investigation over the ride-hailing giant’s data security practices. DiDi has lost about $29 billion in market value in less than a month.

On July 23 there were official reports that Beijing was planning to force companies that offer school tutoring to turn into nonprofits. Gaotu Techedu, New Oriental Education & Technology Group, and TAL Education Group, some of the largest Chinese education companies traded in the U.S., lost more than half their value. On July 26, food delivery super-app Meituan learned of the Chinese government’s resolve to protect gig workers and promptly lost about $30 billion of market value.