Government intervention

Traders work during the IPO for Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Global Inc on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) floor in New York City, US, 30 June 2021. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

If not the US, can the Chinese government provide better IPO choices for internet companies?

Analyst Zheng Weibin notes that the clampdown on Didi shows that the competitive relationship between China and the US has affected the global interactions of tech giants, and political factors will matter more in global investments of startups in China. In the aftermath, will technological innovations such as digital manufacturing through artificial intelligence be straitjacketed?
Children stand at the entrance of the Forbidden City in Beijing on 12 June 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

China to impose strict measures on tuition centres to allay anxiety over education

In recent years, Chinese children have been sacrificing their playtime to shuttle through various tuition centres after school and during the holidays so that they can become more powerful “examination machines”. Now, China has released a set of guidelines that aims at easing such anxiety over education. It details requirements in reducing homework and improving the quality of education and after-class services provided by schools. It will also impose unprecedented strict measures on tuition centres and their activities. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan discusses the impetus behind these measures and the challenges of its implementation.
An aerial view shows cars sitting in floodwaters at the entrance of a tunnel after heavy rains hit the city of Zhengzhou in China's central Henan province on 22 July 2021. (Noel Celis/AFP)

Zhengzhou floods: Netizens berate local government and media for inadequate response

Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong notes that even as disaster relief continues after massive floods in Zhengzhou, people are pointing fingers at the authorities, saying that early alert systems and coordination between agencies can be improved. As natural disasters increase due to climate change, will governments be forced to pay greater attention to preparing for unforeseen events?
Police officers stand guard outside a Chanel Ltd. store in the Causeway Bay area of Hong Kong on 1 July 2021. Hong Kong's leader pledged to press ahead with an unprecedented national security crackdown, as the Asian financial center marked a series of fraught anniversaries symbolizing Beijing’s tightening grip over local affairs. (Chan Long Hei/Bloomberg)

Hong Kongers losing their voice as district councillors quit?

Over 200 pan-Democrat district councillors might be removed from office as Beijing tightens its rule over Hong Kong. Tai Hing Shing notes that the complexion of Hong Kong’s district councils has changed drastically after the last two years of political upheavals. Are the district councils fast losing their purpose as a loudhailer for ground sentiment, and would this lead to the Hong Kong government and the people being further estranged?
A boy holds up a US flag as guests attend Independence Day celebrations at the White House in Washington, DC, 4 July 2021. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP)

Can China hold its own without the US?

Researcher Wei Da notes that China and the US have been moving on increasingly divergent paths, to the point that relations may soon be irrevocably broken. Despite China’s confidence that it can make it without the US, its strong nationalism may be all that keeps it going.
A man walks past the headquarters building of Chinese ride-hailing service Didi in Beijing, China, 5 July 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Why is Beijing punishing Didi?

China’s online ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing was listed in the US on the eve of the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary, only for the authorities to announce a cybersecurity investigation into Didi just two days later. Along with other actions taken against major companies such as the Ant group, Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu asks: Is there a political message for Didi and other companies?
This file photo shows the People's Republic of China flag and the U.S. flag fly on a lamp post along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, 18 January 2011. (Hyungwon Kang/Reuters)

How China might just win the China-US competition of governance systems

Academic Tan Kong Yam says that the ongoing China-US competition is not a tussle between two armies or two political systems, but "a competition between the governance systems of two fast-evolving countries, under the influence of rapidly globalising technologies". In that sense, China's system possesses some great advantages. Even so, it has to bide its time and not get arrogant, if it is to navigate itself through dangerous waters and emerge the winner.
A worker operates a harvester machine at a tea plantation in Minamiyamashiro, Kyoto, Japan, on 14 May 2021. (Buddhika Weerasinghe/Bloomberg)

Lessons for China: The powerful position of the Japanese farming industry

Japan’s farming industry occupies a special position in the country’s political, economic and social development. Although farmers are few in number, they wield a strong influence. As a result, a protected farming ecosystem exists in Japan, which has enabled the country to make great strides in organic farming and reducing carbon emissions. The country has also been adept at leveraging its overseas industrial outposts to support its domestic farming sector. What can China learn from Japan’s experience?
People walk past a Huawei logo during the Consumer Electronics Expo in Beijing in this file photo taken on 2 August 2019. (Fred Dufour/AFP)

Huawei senior executive: Trust matters in the post-pandemic digital age

Chen Lifang, corporate senior vice-president and board director, Huawei, delivered a speech at the St. Gallen Symposium themed ‘Truth Matters’. At the virtual session, she stressed that standards and regulations will be two of the most visible embodiments of the interaction between society and technology in a highly digitalised, post-pandemic world. Common regulations and standards will build trust; the more widely they are adopted, the more effective they will be. Is it possible for humankind to build trust across cyberspace and international borders, and work together to construct the future global economy?