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Shuli Ren

Gaming? China’s Big Crackdown Is Really on Big Capital

Beijing is worried about where the huge flows of hot money are going. It doesn’t want the liquidity to create rival power centers.

Young gamers in Shandong.

Young gamers in Shandong.

Photographer: Tang ke/Imaginechina

Does Big Tech in China have a future? That’s the question investors are asking after Beijing launched a series of regulatory crackdowns on the country’s consumer technology companies. Where will the axes fall next? Billions of dollars have been lost and more is at stake, almost all in companies listed offshore in Hong Kong or New York. Can a predictable pattern be made out of this whirlwind of new policies? 

Four pillars of regulatory oversight do appear to exist, as you can read about here. But there have also been portents, which make the targets of the crackdowns not altogether surprising.