Digital economy

People visit the Alibaba booth during the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, China, 4 September 2021. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

How internet giants' monopolistic practices hurt SMEs in China

Internet giants in China have been engaging in monopolistic practices that hurt the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises, says technology specialist Yin Ruizhi. As such, these practices will be dealt with by the government if the platforms themselves do not find ways to resolve them. Is this another move towards "common prosperity"?
The Alibaba Group signage is seen during the company's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival at their headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, 11 November 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

After reining in the tutoring sector, will the Chinese government target internet titans next?

With the Chinese government’s recent big crackdown on the education sector, some people are concerned that other internet platforms such as Alibaba and Meituan might be next. Technology specialist Yin Ruizhi explains why it is unlikely that Chinese internet titans will be hit as hard.
Cryptocurrency representations are seen in front of an image of the Chinese flag in this illustration picture taken 2 June 2021. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies: Trade-offs between stability and innovation

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies has increased the volatility of the market, not least with bitcoin miners fleeing and the price of bitcoin plummeting. What are the reasons behind China’s regulatory clampdowns and will other countries follow suit?
This photo taken on 1 April 2021 shows a worker adjusting cryptocurrency mining rigs at a cryptocurrency farm in Dujiangyan in China's southwestern Sichuan province. (STR/AFP)

China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin miners eyeing overseas ventures

Bitcoin mining has been a huge money spinner for many people in China, not least in the less developed areas where it can be a lifeline out of poverty. While some Bitcoin miners have been put in a very difficult position with the Chinese government's recent clampdown on Bitcoin mining farms, they are not giving up yet.
Visitors are seen at the Tencent Games booth during the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, also known as ChinaJoy, in Shanghai, China, 30 July 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Can strict regulations save Chinese youths from gaming addiction?

A recent article in China harshly criticised online gaming as a “spiritual opium”, leading to speculation that online gaming, as well as gaming companies such as Tencent, might be the next target of China’s regulatory agencies. Zaobao’s China Desk takes a closer look at what might be in store.
An employee plays a video game at the Espot gaming centre in Paris, on 31 May 2021. (Stephane de Sakutin/AFP)

When the virtual world is fairer: Why more youths are addicted to gaming

Technology specialist Yin Ruizhi examines the psychology of getting into “the zone” when playing games and the comfort of being immersed in a more egalitarian world.
A sign indicating digital yuan, also referred to as e-CNY, is pictured at a shopping mall in Shanghai, China, 5 May 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) innovations

In part 2 of his article on China’s digital currency ambitions, James Pang takes a look at how a Chinese central bank-issued digital currency — the DCEP — can complement existing e-payment methods and have an edge over traditional cash and cryptocurrencies when it is fully rolled out. Being the first major economy to launch a CBDC, China’s experience will be useful for other countries looking to hop onto the digital currency bandwagon. Utilisation of Chinese DCEP could also aid the process of internationalising the Chinese Yuan (RMB).
A sign indicating digital RMB is pictured on a vending machine at a subway station in Shanghai, China, 21 April 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

How China took the lead in the digital currency race

What’s the difference between virtual currency, digital currency, cryptocurrency, and e-money? In part 1 of his article on China’s digital currency ambitions, James Pang traces the development phases of China’s central bank digital currency DCEP amid a growing global appetite for central bank digital currencies. He also guides us through the jargon of the digital currency world.
CASA, an advocacy organisation for Latino and immigrant people and other immigrant advocacy groups, rally outside the White House in Lafayette Park, to demand that the Biden administration take action on citizenship for all on 26 May 2021 in Washington, DC. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

Chinese academic: Developing nations must be wary of internet platform companies and their capital

Qiao Xinsheng points out that one should not have any expectations about the globalisation of the job market. In the internet economy era, even though internet platform companies facilitate capital’s global search for talent, this has not improved labour’s freedom of movement in search of better job opportunities. Cheap labour will continue to be exploited through the long arms of overseas capital. Not only that, with these companies' technology-enabled capabilities to collect massive amounts of data, national security will be a concern.