Tencent and 13 other companies interviewed End of the era of financial innovation in China

Following the 17-day interview with Ant Group, on April 29, four financial regulators, including the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Bank, the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Securities Regulatory Commission and the Foreign Exchange Bureau, interviewed 13 head network platform companies, including Tencent.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the official media of the Communist Party of China, on April 29, four financial regulators, including the Central Bank of the Communist Party of China, the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Securities Regulatory Commission and the Bureau of Foreign Exchange, jointly conducted regulatory interviews with some online platform companies engaged in financial business. Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the Central Bank of China, presided over the interview.

Official media sources said that the actual controllers or representatives of 13 network platform enterprises, including Tencent, Du Xiaoman Finance, Jingdong Finance, Byte Jump, Meituan Finance, Drip Finance, Lufax, Tianxing Digital, 360 Digital, Sina Finance, Suning Finance, Gome Finance and Ctrip Finance, attended the interview.

According to the official media “State Direct” reported on April 29, the 13 platform enterprises that participated in the interview all have the characteristics of comprehensive operation, large volume and industry influence, the same as the interview with the Ant Group, the regulatory layer should be hoping that through the interview of these head enterprises, to give a warning effect on the whole industry.

The report also said that whether the Ant Group already has a rectification plan, or this time the regulator interviewed 13 online platform companies, it is the “first step” of the Chinese Communist Party’s “rectification” of online platform companies.

Previously, after the CCP issued a sky-high fine to Alibaba, it required 34 platform companies, including Tencent, Jingdong, Byte Jumping, Baidu and Meituan, to “rectify” by a deadline.

In response, Bloomberg reports that the move signals that Beijing authorities have not yet settled the dust on their review of other domestic platform giants.

Chinese regulators have said that Internet platform companies should pay attention to the “warning effect of the Ali case.

As the four financial regulators interviewed 13 top platform companies, Reuters reported on April 29, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the Communist Party’s anti-monopoly body was preparing to issue a hefty fine of at least 10 billion yuan to Tencent, as part of a move by the authorities to crack down on monopolistic practices by domestic Internet giants.

The Communist Party’s General Administration of Market Regulation announced on Monday (April 26) that it had opened a case against Chinese take-out platform Meituan for alleged monopolistic practices, including “choosing one over the other.

Morgan Stanley estimates that Meituan could be fined 4.6 billion yuan, based on Alibaba’s previous fine of 4% of sales in the previous year.

Bloomberg reports that the Communist government is now increasingly concerned about the growing influence of giants such as Ali, Tencent and Meituan in every aspect of Chinese life, as well as the vast amounts of data they have accumulated by offering services such as online shopping, chatting and car rentals.

Expert: End of the Era of Fintech Innovation in China

Eswar Prasad, a professor at Connell University and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote in The New York Times on April 29 that the Chinese Communist government’s heavy-handed attack on Jack Ma and his financial empire is aimed at limiting his growing economic and political power.

Prasad said the CCP government’s approach has spooked investors, which has turned Xi Jinping’s promises to encourage private enterprise and innovation into empty words.

The fall of Jack Ma and the Ant Group incident, Prasad noted, appears to herald the end of the era of fintech innovation in China and, more broadly, it appears to mark the disappearance of the experiment in financial market liberalization, signaling a return to government intervention and a trend of China’s business environment becoming increasingly hostile to investors.

Prasad argues that whatever tough measures Beijing has taken, which it says are aimed at controlling financial risks, their implementation looks chaotic.

According to Prasad, the incident sends a strong signal that Beijing’s tolerance for free enterprise is limited. Businesses can innovate and thrive, but if they challenge government policies, they can be swiftly punished.