China targets U.S. IPOs, algorithms, cloud in most recent tech takedown

The Chinese nationwide flag is viewed in Beijing, China April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

  • New moves to further clip tech firms’ wings
  • China’s already difficult material principles tightened
  • Battered tech organization shares choose a further more hit

SHANGHAI, Aug 27 (Reuters) – China has launched a multi-pronged attack on its tech corporations, threatening to suppress their skill to listing in the United States, looking for to tighten up regulation of their use of algorithms and sidelining their cloud computing enterprises in a big town.

In a further shift amid a wave of polices on the tech sector introduced in latest months, Beijing has also cracked down on what it described as a “chaotic” movie star admirer culture, imposing new restrictions on now tightly controlled content in China. browse a lot more

The moves even more clip the wings of Chinese tech behemoths these kinds of as Alibaba Group (9988.HK) and Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) and have unnerved buyers, hammering Chinese shares traded at property and abroad.

Chinese tech corporations have lifted billions of dollars in overseas listings, notably in the United States, as Beijing for a long time pursued a a lot more laissez faire tactic to the business.

Now China is framing procedures to ban online corporations whose knowledge is deemed to pose a probable protection chance from listing overseas, a person familiar with the subject stated.

The new principles would also place an emphasis on the legal accountability of underwriters in overseas listings and require a much more extensive disclosure of shareholdings for those people with so-identified as variable curiosity entities (VIE) construction.

The VIE structure, used commonly by tech firms, was designed two many years in the past to circumvent principles restricting foreign financial investment in delicate industries this kind of as media and telecoms.

It provides firms extra overall flexibility to increase money offshore through preliminary public offerings (IPOs), though bypassing the scrutiny and prolonged vetting that domestically-included businesses encounter.


As China’s tech sector has developed in dimensions and prominence so Beijing has grow to be increasingly wary of its impact and the mountains of knowledge it controls.

In a go underlining that worry, Tianjin, a metropolis of 14 million lying south of Beijing, informed corporations managed by the municipality to migrate knowledge from clouds operate by non-public operators like Alibaba and Tencent to a point out-run process by September 2022, a document dated Aug. 12 confirmed. browse a lot more

Shares in Alibaba, China’s most important cloud company service provider, closed 4% lessen in Hong Kong on Friday. Its U.S.-detailed shares have been down extra than 3% in pre-market place trade in New York.

Alibaba Cloud, whose revenues continue being modest in comparison to its parent firm’s large e-commerce business, has been seriously promoting its cloud services. Final year, it mentioned it planned to shell out $28 billion above three a long time on subsequent-era knowledge centres.

Chinese engineering stocks have seen tens of billions of pounds wiped off their stock market place valuations because Beijing commenced its crackdown on the sector in November 2020 with the shock halt of Ant Group’s IPO, billed as the world’s greatest share sale. Given that then, the tech sector (.HSTECH) has dropped just about 20%.

The Cyberspace Administration of China explained on Friday it was also tightening oversight of algorithms utilized by tech firms, telling them to act reasonably and not use algorithm models that entice consumers to commit cash in a way that could disrupt public order.

The recommendations involve a proposal to let consumers convert off algorithm recommendation providers, providing shoppers a bigger say in excess of an area of the online that has also been the focus on of authorities in the United States and Europe.

“This policy marks the instant that China’s tech regulation is not just holding tempo with data regulations in the European Union but has absent beyond them,” reported Kendra Schaefer, head of tech policy analysis at Beijing-based mostly consultancy Trivium China.

China also cracked down on what it explained as a “chaotic” celeb admirer culture, barring platforms from publishing reputation lists and regulating the sale of supporter items. study a lot more

Online superstar admirer golf equipment have develop into common in China. The Paper newspaper has projected that China’s “idol economy” could be worth 140 billion yuan ($21.59 billion) by 2022.

The golf equipment have been criticised for their affect more than minors and for creating social condition in China, which previously has stringent rules on information, from video online games to flicks and tunes. Beijing censors anything it thinks violates main socialist values.

Reporting by Tony Munroe, Ryan Woo, Colin Qian, Brenda Goh in Beijing, Zhang Yan in Shanghai, Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru Writing by Edmund Blair Enhancing by Carmel Crimmins

Our Expectations: The Thomson Reuters Trust Ideas.