Technology

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?
In this file photo taken on 13 April 2021, a man walks past an Alibaba sign outside the company's office in Beijing, China. (Greg Baker/AFP)

China’s cloud war: Tencent and Alibaba up their game as cloud giants eye world markets [Part 2]

In recent years and since the pandemic led to the surge in live streaming, e-learning and other online activities, the demand for cloud computing and related services has increased significantly. Chinese companies led by frontrunners Huawei, Tencent and Alibaba are launching into all-out competition in the cloud services sector. While Huawei has been fiercely climbing the ranks with the injection of talent and funding, Alibaba and Tencent are not resting on their laurels either. What could be their winning war chests? And are they ready to take on the world? Caixin journalist Zhang Erchi finds out.
People watch a lights performance at TelcoDR Cloud City during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, 29 June 2021. (Albert Gea/Reuters)

China’s cloud war: Huawei leading the three-cornered fight? [Part 1]

In recent years and since the pandemic led to the surge in live streaming, e-learning and other online activities, the demand for cloud computing and related services has increased significantly. Chinese companies led by frontrunners Huawei, Tencent and Alibaba are launching into all-out competition in the cloud services sector. In particular, Huawei Cloud experienced a surge in year-on-year earnings of 168%, despite US sanctions. Huawei Cloud is also aiming to clinch the top spot in the sector, erstwhile occupied by Alibaba Cloud. Caixin journalist Zhang Erchi takes a deep dive into the issue to get a sense of who's really leading the fight. In part one of the story, he focuses on Huawei.
The app of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi is seen on a mobile phone in front of the company logo displayed in this illustration picture taken on 1 July 2021. (Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

Why platform companies seek monopoly and what happens when governments rein them in

Leaked data from one platform company may not pose a major national security threat, but data from multiple platforms combined might, warns technology specialist Yin Ruizhi. As countries become more wary of internet security risks, it will be increasingly difficult for platform companies to get listed overseas. What is the alternative then?
A girl holding a national flag watches as her family chats, outside the Forbidden City during the Labour Day holiday in Beijing, China on 1 May 2021. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Not just a tech war: What China can do to better compete with the US and create a better world

An admirer of Chinese culture and of China’s warm and people-centred way of life, US academic Wu Guo says that China need not seek to win over the US in every field, not least in the high-tech domain. It actually has a powerful advantage that has been underutilised — a rich culture that goes back thousands of years and a way of life that nurtures bonds of community, kindness and civility. If those outside China see this softer side of China, surely they will be less hasty to cast the first stone?
People visit the promenade on the Bund along the Huangpu River, 1 May 2021, Shanghai, China. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Why the world will face a global leadership vacuum

Chen Kang explains why global governance is hard to achieve, not least due to the limited effectiveness of multilateral organisations, the waning willingness of the US to lead in global governance, and the conflicts between global governance and national sovereignty.
A navigation map on the app of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi is seen on a mobile phone in front of the app logo displayed in this illustration picture taken 1 July 2021. (Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

Didi COO and family called 'traitors': Chinese tech entrepreneurs now public enemies on social media?

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.
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.