China tightens political control of internet giants

 China tightens political control of internet giants

President Xi Jinping’s government seems likely to stay the course even if economic growth suffers, say businesspeople, lawyers and economists. “These companies are world leaders in their sectors in innovation, and yet the leadership is willing to squash them all,” said Mark Williams, chief Asia economist for Capital Economics.

The crackdown reflects Xi’s public emphasis on reviving the party’s “original mission” of leading economic and social development, said Steve Tsang, a Chinese politics specialist at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He said it could also help Xi politically if, as expected, he pursues a third five-year term as party leader.

Chinese leaders don’t want to reimpose direct control of the economy but want private sector companies to align with ruling party plans, said Lester Ross, head of the Beijing office of law firm WilmerHale.

“What they are worried about is companies…

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