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.
If being removed from app stores is not enough, ride-hailing giant Didi is making the headlines for another debacle. COO Jean Liu; her father, Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi; and her grandfather, the late patent lawyer Liu Gushu, are being vilified on Weibo for alleged misdeeds and being “traitors to the country”. Amid tense US-China relations and domestic nationalism in overdrive, will internet giants like Didi be easy targets and buckle under the pressure? Zaobao’s China Desk files this report based on various Chinese media sources.
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?
In China, the term involution (内卷, neijuan) has been used to refer to various forms of inward spiral, regression or stagnation. Applied to education, it is the vicious cycle of kids being primed and plumbed for their potential. Cram-style preschool education, intense competition for places in elite schools, crazy property prices in school districts... the list goes on. If no one steps off the wheel, is there no end in sight?
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC)'s announcement that it will raise the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for foreign currency deposits by 2% confirms that it will intervene decisively when necessary to prevent a sharp appreciation of the RMB. Too much is at stake: with raw materials in short supply, the RMB’s appreciation will not reduce imported inflation and may at the same time affect exporters.
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?
Japanese academic Kai Kajitani notes that Chinese industrial policy has been attracting much attention these days, especially after recent moves to prevent monopolistic practices by major companies such as Alibaba. China has also been criticised by many for its practice of giving industrial subsidies. However, it is worth taking a closer look and examining these policies from the standpoint of current trends in economics, as like everyone else, China is experimenting with new possibilities.
Alibaba was fined a record 18.2 billion RMB after an anti-monopoly probe. Commentator Yuan Guobao observes that Alibaba is not the only tech giant in China accused of monopolistic practices; for that matter, the “big four” companies in the US have also come under the spotlight. All this suggests that on a global level, tech companies must be prepared to adhere to a strict regulatory environment, even as they break new ground.
Alibaba was recently slapped with a 18.2 billion RMB fine and has acquiesced to state authorities’ demands for “rectification''. Commentator Yuan Guobao asserts that Alibaba’s “choose one out of two” policy of tying online merchants down to exclusive deals was already sounding alarm bells. Jack Ma’s politically incorrect speech at the Shanghai Bund Summit may have been a fire starter, but the tech giant’s troubles have been brewing for quite some time.