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22 Oct, 2021 10:25

Beijing signals its tech industry crackdown is winding down

China’s major financial regulator said this week it expects to make significant progress in the ongoing probe of Chinese fintech companies before the end of 2021, which may signify an end to the crackdown is approaching.
Beijing signals its tech industry crackdown is winding down

According to Guo Shuqing, chairman of China’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, authorities discovered over a thousand issues related to the fintech operations of 14 internet platforms. As Shuqing told state broadcaster CCTV, all companies under investigation have responded positively to the findings, implementing nearly half of the changes proposed by regulators so far.

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Shuqing expects “even more significant progress” before the end of the year. The official noted, however, that unfair competition still persists in some areas of China’s financial sector. He said Beijing has zero tolerance for unlawful financial activities and will continue to impose strict regulations in its move to rid the financial industry of monopolies.

Some experts are inclined to see these statements as another sign that the nearly year-long scrutiny of China’s fintech sector is coming to a close. Investors have been increasing their purchases of Chinese tech stocks in recent weeks following the relatively small fine that regulators came up with for food delivery giant Meituan earlier this month. The company was under investigation over alleged monopolistic practices.

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Also, a Dow Jones report this week indicated that Beijing’s cybersecurity agency is ending its investigation of ride-hailing firm Didi Global. The Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index, which tracks US-listed Chinese stocks, was trading high following the news in October, and is on course for its best month in a year.

Beijing launched the campaign to reel in its giant fintech sector early in 2021. The campaign covers multiple areas and tools, from prohibitions on the way corporations use data, stamping out fake product reviews, and preventing unfair competition on the internet, to launching multiple probes into China’s largest fintech companies for “suspected monopolistic practices.”

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