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A lexicon of China’s tech crackdown jargon

A short primer from today's Quartz Daily Brief email:
China’s regulatory crackdown has its own lingo. Here are a few of the most widely used terms that explain the political ideas and economic concerns that are driving Beijing to unleash measures that have upended the lives of millions, both in China and beyond its borders:

Common prosperity (共同富裕 gong tong fu yu): Simply put, it’s a bleak message to China’s wealthy elite: It’s time to redistribute their fortunes.

Double reduction (双减, shuang jian): The “double” refers to the effort to reduce both work and pressure on children coming from public schools, but also the time children spend on after-school studies at private institutions.

Savage growth (野蛮生长, ye man sheng zhang): This term is the Party’s clear warning to its tech giants: The freewheeling period under which the firms flourished thanks to relatively light regulation from the government is over.


  • edited August 2021
    A short South China Morning Post article with a few examples of how these terms are being put to work by Chinese regulators. The depth, breadth, and expected duration of the crackdown somewhat surprise me. But, suspect most Chinese businesses will adapt and continue to thrive. Still have the shares of MEGMX (30% China/Hong Kong per latest report) purchased when it opened for trading in mid spring 2020. Nothing so far is making me think about selling.

    Xi Jinping says Big Tech crackdown is making progress, calls for Communist Party to ‘guide’ companies
  • I like their idea of limiting screen time for kids. Sad that parent's need parents these days.
  • bee said:

    I like their idea of limiting screen time for kids. Sad that parent's need parents these days.

    I don't necessarily disagree, but this is not a sovereign entity's job.
  • somewhat off-topic, but I heard on a podcast the other night, that in fact of their quite different economic and political systems, the Gini coefficients for China and the US are about the same
  • This is a wide ranging review of current thinking about the ongoing transformation. Here are a few examples:
    The party Central Committee shifted its economic emphasis “from efficiency to fairness” in late 2020, a researcher at a Beijing think tank wrote in August in Caixin, China’s most prominent business magazine.

    The party moved from “early prosperity for some to ‘common prosperity’” and “from capital to labor,” wrote Luo Zhiheng of Yuekai Securities Research Institute. He said leaders are emphasizing science, technology and manufacturing over finance and real estate.

    As the previous decade’s economic boom fades, “Xi sees himself as the only person capable of recreating the momentum,” said June Teufel Dreyer, a Chinese politics specialist at the University of Miami.
    China chases ‘rejuvenation’ with control of tycoons, society
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