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Shuli Ren

The Hidden Message Behind China’s Big Tech Wipeout

Online giants lost more than $90 billion of market value in two days as the government moved to ease the pressure on mom-and-pop businesses

Food delivery couriers for Meituan.

Food delivery couriers for Meituan.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
Updated on

It’s the $96 billion — and counting — question for investors in China. After last year’s bruising crackdown on Big Tech, Wall Street has been speculating on when Beijing will relent.

The latest selloff in benchmark tech stocks is a wake-up call that the worst is far from over. The government said on Friday that China’s online food-delivery platforms should reduce the fees they charge businesses, sending the shares of industry leader Meituan tumbling. Meanwhile, the National Audit Office demanded that state-owned enterprises disclose their financial exposure to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s fintech affiliate Ant Group, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. plunged Monday on rumors — denied by the company — of more regulatory crackdowns.