China’s ‘Big Tech’ crackdown

China’s ‘Big Tech’ crackdown

People often think that regulation stifles innovation. That’s probably why China’s decision to tighten its regulatory grip on its homegrown internet sector sent the shares of some of the country’s tech companies on a bumpy ride. But far from being a hindrance to innovation, could regulation unleash a fresh wave of innovation?

After all, China's moves so far have sought to root out monopolistic practices and encourage competition. China had adopted a relatively hands-off approach towards its own internet sector for years, allowing companies to grow from the small and nimble players they once were to today’s tech monopolies. And as most students of economics should know: it’s monopolies that stifle innovation.

With China’s leaders saying little about any underlying intention behind their move, there are plenty of theories going around. Perhaps it’s best to view China’s actions through the lens of its goals – one of which is to become a leading global technological superpower by 2050. For this vision to come to fruition, there must be fertile ground for innovation. And for China, this may mean having to thin the dense canopies of the trees, so that the plants beneath them can grow.

Here, we have rounded up the views of our Asia experts all around the globe on the matter.

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