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Explained: China crackdown wipes billions off top companies

09/15/2021 | 11:49pm EDT

China is cracking down on some of its largest companies with regulatory stings wiping hundreds of billions of dollars off their market value.

From technology, to education and property - it seems no sector is safe from Beijing's far reaching tentacles.

Let's take a closer look at who's been affected so far.

First up is Alibaba.

China's biggest e-commerce company was founded by this man, once China's richest person - Jack Ma.

Ma made a speech back in October 2020 blasting the country's regulatory system.

Those stinging comments are widely viewed as the trigger for what came next. Beijing abruptly suspended the record $37 billion stock market debut of Alibaba's financial affiliate Ant Group.

Later, Chinese regulators fined the company $2.75 billion for abusing its market dominance. Alibaba's U.S.-listed shares have shed more than $400 billion in value since Ma made that speech.

Next up is China's largest gaming and social media company Tencent. It was fined for failing to report past deals to anti-trust regulators.

Tencent has also been affected by China's latest efforts to combat gaming addiction among minors.

In August under-18-year-olds were banned from playing video games for more than three hours a week. The company has lost nearly $350 billion in market value since February.

The food delivery company - Meituan - became another target of an antitrust probe in April, after its founder and Chief Executive Wang Xing posted an ancient poem on social media.

Some perceived it as criticizing the government and President Xi Jinping. Meituan has lost more than $150 billion in value since February.

The company has also been accused of violating consumer rights and mistreating delivery drivers.

China's largest provider of private educational services has seen its value tumble following a policy shift in Beijing.

In July, the Communist Party issued new rules barring for-profit tutoring on the school curriculum.

Since then, the market value of New Oriental Education and Technology Group's U.S. listed shares has fallen by $7.4 billion.

Beijing wants to ease pressure on school children and reduce a cost burden on parents.

But analysts warn that the new rules threaten to decimate the country's private education sector.

So what's the motive behind Beijing's regulatory crackdown?

President Xi Jinping has called for China to achieve "common prosperity."

The campaign seeks to narrow the yawning wealth gap between the rich and the poor.

"Common prosperity" as an idea is not new in China, but a sharp escalation in official rhetoric and a crackdown on excesses in industries has rattled investors in the world's second-largest economy.


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ORIENTAL ENTERPRISE HOLDINGS LIMITED 0.00% 0.69 End-of-day quote.55.06%
TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED -2.99% 487 End-of-day quote.-13.65%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
Latest news "Economy & Forex"