GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON
Shares in China’s top companies fell yesterday – Tencent closed down 4.1%; JD.com
down 5.2% and Alibaba down 4.8%. Yesterday, as well, The State Administration for Market Regulation released draft rules which focused on bad commercial practices that the Party is determined to eliminate. There is a significant connection between the fall in share prices + the Rules set by the Regulator
These two developments underline the determination of the Party through the Regulators to limit behaviour by internet groups that are damaging to social stability + national security. Never mind the share price of the companies – the overall picture matters more and Capitalists in China, especially China’s Billionaires, have to know they make profits and prosper within limits. There is no such thing anywhere in the world as absolute freedom. Freedom is partial. Freedom, in China, operates, within limits laid down by the Party and enforced by the Regulator. Capitalists may flourish but step out of line and they are in trouble.
The new regulations focus on the elimination of bad practices such as exploiting users’ data to put them off competitors’ products or limiting traffic to other platforms such as blocking hyperlinks, false advertising; fraudulent online reviews, + consumer privacy abuses.
There is much in China that is new + challenging to Western norms. The West has fixed, inflexible + often superficial attitudes to China, the Party and its political + economic development. But China is on the move and the Party is determined to allow Capitalists to flourish + contribute to national prosperity + well-being but within over-arching limits laid down by the Party.