China’s Xi calls for stronger fintech surveillance and security

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A high-level Chinese government meeting led by President Xi Jinping has called for stronger oversight and better security in fintech, state media reported, as the sector has been hit hard by a regulatory crackdown.

The government action has hit some of China’s biggest tech companies, wiping out hundreds of billions of dollars in market value since last year.

But with China’s economy hammered by Covid lockdowns, the government has rolled out a range of support measures, including a call for “predictable” tech regulation.

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“As for major payment platform and fintech companies, Xi called for efforts to improve regulations, strengthen institutional weak links, ensure the security of payment and financial infrastructure, and guard against and defuse threats. potential systemic financial risks,” according to a reading from Wednesday’s meeting. by the official Xinhua news agency.

The Chinese leader “also called for these companies to be better supported to serve the real economy,” Xinhua said.

Officials at the meeting discussed promoting the “sound development” of fintech companies, he added, and said “China will strengthen supervision” of financial holding companies and internet financial services. .

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Investors have been encouraged in recent weeks by similar statements from the Chinese government, with some seeing them as signals that the tech crackdown is finally easing.

Hopes also soared this month as dozens of new video games were approved and tech stocks rose on reports that authorities were concluding a cybersecurity probe into ride-hailing giant Didi.

But regulators this month denied reports they were discussing the potential relaunch of Ant Group’s botched IPO, which would have been the world’s largest public offering at the time.

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Ant Group – the payments subsidiary of e-commerce giant Alibaba – had its stock offering canceled at the last minute in 2020.

Alibaba was later fined $2.75 billion for alleged unfair practices.

Ant Group is expected to apply for a financial license as early as this month, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

tjx/qan/dan

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