China’s humbled tech tycoons pledge their support for Xi’s vision.

The country’s embattled tech tycoons gathered for the annual internet conference to show their support for President Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” policy and market-roiling regulatory onslaught on the digital sector.

At the World Internet Conference, held in Wuzhen from September 26 to 28, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd CEO Daniel Zhang and Tencent Holdings Ltd senior vice president Guo Kaitian backed Xi’s flagship goal of closing the country’s wealth gap.

On the same day, Xiaomi Corp co-founder Lei Jun stated that technology companies should help close the digital divide while also boosting small and medium-sized businesses, two long-term Beijing policy goals.

China’s tech behemoths are embroiled in regulatory squabbles over everything from online gaming to data ownership to offshore financing, which coincides with the summit’s timing.

Meituan, a food delivery service backed by Alibaba and Tencent, as well as Didi Global Inc., a ride-hailing app, are all under investigation.

Jack Ma’s October 2014 rebuke

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma’s October 2014 rebuke of regulators for stifling innovation demonstrated the importance of not questioning government policy in public.

Following the recent influx of new internet policy guidelines, Ant Group Co. chairman and CEO Eric Jing stated on Sunday that it was a “important and timely reminder for us in the industry not to be distracted by the competition.”

In addition to his other accolades for blockchain, the president urged attendees to use it to “contribute to [the country’s] inclusive and sustainable development.”

Xi Jinping launched China’s annual internet summit with much fanfare in 2014, and previous years have seen industry leaders like Tim Cook of Apple Inc. and Sundar Pichai of Google fly in to mix with Chinese apparatchiks.

Due to tight pandemic border controls, there have been fewer networking opportunities at recent events, with US business leaders tuning in via video to learn more about China’s economic and social goals for 2018.

Tesla Inc. posted a video message on its website. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has announced that his company will localise its China data and has praised China’s new regulatory framework for data management.

Qualcomm Incorporated Cristiano Amon, CEO of Cisco Systems Inc., praised China’s 5G rollout and urged US and Chinese companies to collaborate more, while Cisco Systems Inc. CEO Chuck Robbins expressed his support for Xi’s vision of a shared cyberspace community that benefits everyone.

As the conference’s organiser, the Cybersecurity Administration of China, China’s technology crackdown agency, was also present.

“Data should serve the people,” CAC Vice Minister Sheng Ronghua stated. “Information, resources, and outcomes sharing are critical in today’s digital industry.”

The Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission (CAC), established by President Xi Jinping’s Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission (CAC) in 2011, has gained prominence this year after establishing new rules requiring CAC approval for any company with over 1 million users that wishes to go public abroad.

Recently, Chinese authorities issued a warning about the disorderly expansion of capital in platform economies, and Ant has been ordered to participate in a “rectification” programme following the unexpected suspension of the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO).


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