China's Xi vows tighter oversight of tech firms, digital economy

President Xi Jinping has demanded that the country's technology sector be better regulated, highlighting the intense scrutiny and turmoil that Chinese internet firms have endured as a result of their fast rise.

Xinhua said Tuesday that improved monitoring will help China take advantage of the digital industry's change, citing Xi at a meeting of Communist Party officials the day before. He advocated for a stronger link between traditional sectors and the digital economy, which includes everything from big data and artificial intelligence to cloud computing and blockchain.

Xi promised to "fix" policies that damage the public and obstruct fair competition. Regulators have caught many in the business off guard. Chinese regulators recently punished Meituan, a U.S.-listed online meal delivery company, $530 million for breaking anti-monopoly legislation. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. was fined a record $2.8 billion for antitrust violations earlier this year, and Didi Global Inc. was subjected to a cybersecurity investigation just days after its spectacular IPO in the United States.

Much of the large digital industry, including online education, has been targeted by the wide-ranging assault. Beijing is taking steps to ensure that the country's sharing-economy behemoths improve the lives of the country's tens of millions of people.

Xi promised to protect the rights of employees and customers of online platforms in his speech on Monday. A more stringent tax inspection method will also be implemented. He also emphasised China's commitment to fostering local technologies and establishing new infrastructure projects.


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