China’s heavy-handed crackdown on tech giants is coming to an end and the country’s economic growth is expected to be back on track soon, according to a top central bank official, Laura He reported for CNN.
Photo Insert: Didi was one of the many tech giants targeted by regulators.
The crackdown on fintech operations of more than a dozen internet companies is “basically” over, said Guo Shuqing, the Communist Party boss at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), in an interview with state-run Xinhua news agency on Saturday.
“Next, we’ll promote healthy development of internet platforms,” said Guo, who is also chairman of China’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission. “We’ll encourage them to come out strong in leading economic growth, creating more jobs, and competing globally.”
His remarks came on the same day Chinese billionaire Jack Ma gave up control of Ant Group after the fintech giant’s shareholders agreed to restructure its business. China’s crackdown on its biggest tech companies began in 2020 with new regulations on fintech, which forced Ma’s Ant Group to suspend its $37 billion IPO days before its launch.
Regulators then targeted the online financial service units of 13 other tech giants, including Tencent, Baidu, JD.com, Bytedance, Meituan and Didi.
These tech regulations were part of a broader government campaign to curb the country’s private enterprise, which had become too powerful in the eyes of the ruling Communist Party. However, Chinese policymakers are expected to shift their focus to boosting growth in 2023, and tech firms will play a key role in that.
The country recently lifted its zero-Covid policy, which had battered the world’s second-largest economy. Guo expects the Chinese economy to get back to “normal” soon, he said.