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Opinion
Shuli Ren

How Xi’s Four Pillars of Regulation Will Reshape China’s Big Tech

Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on fintech to education to ride-hailing will alter the corporate landscape and affect foreign investment.

Xi Jinping’s image at a celebration of the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary.

Xi Jinping’s image at a celebration of the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary.

Photographer: NOEL CELIS/AFP

From the U.S. to the European Union, governments are clearly uneasy with the pervasive power of Big Tech: The influence of their social media platforms on elections, the security of the vast amount of consumer data they store, and the exploitation of gig economy workers who don’t enjoy health insurance or receive overtime pay. In the U.S., Congressional hearings have been conducted and anti-trust lawsuits filed, but nothing substantial has come about. Judging by the Nasdaq 100 Stock Index, Big Tech in the West is still thriving.

China’s political leadership perceives the same set of problems as well. But China is willing to go a lot further to rein in the clout of its tech giants.