The purge of Jack Ma and his Ant Group extends to the officials behind him – involving Xi Jinping’s close associate Li Qiang. As the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China draws near, the top-level personnel arrangements are attracting much attention. According to outside analysis, Li Qiang is not only one of the candidates for the next Standing Committee, but also one of the candidates for Premier. However, the recent sensitive incidents in Shanghai have caused a public outcry.
Ma Yun was investigated Li Qiang involved?
The Wall Street Journal, which has disclosed the reasons behind the suspension of Ant Group’s IPO, cited sources familiar with the matter again on April 27, saying that Beijing’s investigation of Jack Ma did not end when Ant Group was forced to rectify the situation, but instead, the focus of the investigation is now shifting to the officials behind Ma’s IPO – the Chinese government is investigating how quickly Ma’s Ant Financial Services IPO was approved by officials. How quickly it was approved by officials. Ma’s ties to relevant leaders are part of the review, the sources said.
The listing standards and procedures of both the Securities Regulatory Commission and the Shanghai securities regulator are also reportedly under scrutiny by Communist authorities.
The Science and Technology Venture Exchange (STAR Market) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange is the point of Anthem’s current planned listing. So far, the investigation has led the China Securities Regulatory Commission to tighten listing requirements for the Shanghai STB to ensure that only companies whose primary business is technology are allowed to trade there.
The report mentions Li Qiang, the current Communist Party secretary of Shanghai, who is considered a close ally of Xi Jinping. One of the focal points of the investigation is the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Science and Technology Board, as Ma had planned to have Ant Group list on both the board and the Hong Kong exchange. This was initially seen as a smart move; after all, the SSE’s version of the STB was announced by Xi Jinping during the U.S.-China trade war, and local officials and securities regulators were well aware of the importance of the STB to the top leadership, while Li Qiang, who first learned of the STB plan from Xi, is the former governor of Zhejiang province, the stronghold of Ma’s business empire, and has been supportive of Ali Group and Ma himself.
In 2018, the Shanghai government signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Ant Financial Services and Alibaba. Both Li Qiang and the mayor of Shanghai pledged full support for Ma’s business in Shanghai when they met with him.
It is widely believed that as a close friend of Xi Jinping and the “head” of the municipality of Shanghai, Li Qiang is likely to be promoted to the Standing Committee of the Politburo at the 20th Communist Party Congress next year, and is also a candidate for premier.
Some analysts say that if the investigation into Jack Ma, Ant Group and the powerful people behind them points the finger at Li Qiang, it seems that Xi’s camp has the intention to mess up its own position. If it is the intention of the Jiang camp to involve Xi’s own family members in this investigation through overseas leaks, then the excitement of the future CCP infighting is expected to escalate.
Current affairs commentator Li Linyi said that this time it was the Wall Street Journal that released the information again. The media has released information about Jiang Zemin’s family and Xi’s cousin. Who is the one who is releasing the news?
“Li Qiang is a key figure in next year’s Communist Party Congress and is also considered one of the top candidates for premier, as is Hu Chunhua. This time, if Li Qiang is really implicated, it will affect the issue of Li Keqiang’s successor selection. Coupled with the recent unrest in Shanghai, it seems that Zhongnanhai is also in for a mountain of rain before the 20th National Congress.”
According to an article by Radio Free Asia contributor Gao Xin, by the 20th National Congress in 2022, Chen Miner, 59, and Li Qiang, 60, will become the two strongest members of the Standing Committee of the Central Politburo. Among the current Politburo members, Li Qiang, Chen Miner and Ding Xuexiang, the possibility of entering the Politburo Standing Committee at the 20th Congress is nine out of ten.
In the early hours of April 12, Yang Xiong, the former mayor of Shanghai, who was considered to be a horse of Jiang Zemin’s son Jiang Mianheng, died of a sudden heart attack. Officials did not mention the details of Yang Xiong’s sudden death.
Yang Xiong’s funeral was held at Longhua Funeral Hall in Shanghai on April 16, with the highest-ranking officials in attendance being current Politburo member and Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang and former Politburo member and former Communist Party Secretary for Political and Legal Affairs Meng Jianzhu. Official information shows that Jiang Zemin sent a wreath along with the current top echelon of the CPC. The official website of the Shanghai University of Science and Technology, where Jiang Mianheng is president, clearly shows an article mourning Yang Xiong.
On April 18, Zhou Zhengyi, the richest man in Shanghai who was released from prison last year, held a high-profile 60th birthday party at a hotel on the Bund in Shanghai, inviting a wide range of celebrities to attend, including a number of celebrity hosts from the official Shanghai Oriental TV station. According to sources, these hosts collectively spoke on stage to congratulate, claiming that “the Oriental TV Spring Festival Gala is only such a lineup”, the incident alarmed the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department, asking the station to investigate and verify.
April 19, 2021 Shanghai International Auto Show, Tesla booth appeared owners “rights” incident. A woman wearing a T-shirt with the words “brake failure” stood on the roof of a Tesla car and shouted, “Tesla brakes are not working.”
On April 26, a video widely circulated online showed a man holding a red “rights banner” at Tesla’s booth at the Shanghai International Auto Show, clashing physically with staff and finally being led away from the scene by a black cloth fence. However, according to the Daily Economic News, Tesla China responded that “the man was not a Tesla owner and did not come to defend his rights, but only wrote a banner to display at the Tesla booth and was finally taken away by the security guards of the exhibition hall.”
The two Tesla “rights” incidents have ignited public opinion and made Shanghai officials extremely passive. Several of the signs are suspicious. And Li Qiang’s role in Shanghai may be questioned by the Xi camp.
Recently, the U.S. and its allies have intensified their siege of the Chinese Communist Party. Xi Jinping mentioned the “bloody battle of Xiangjiang River” during his recent visit to Guangxi, saying that “the most difficult time ……” The battle of Xiangjiang River is traditionally regarded as the predecessor of the Chinese Communist Liberation Army ” The most disastrous defeat in the history of the “Communist Workers and Peasants Red Army”. This statement was immediately followed by speculation from all sides. The official photo of Xi shows a grave expression and gray hair.
According to a commentary by the French broadcaster, Xi’s statement may reflect his mood of internal and external difficulties.
Domestically, Xi faces his biggest challenge, the 7th Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, which may be held this fall. The meeting will finalize the leadership of the 20th Communist Party Congress, as is customary in the CCP.