China’s Head of National Development and Reform tries to reassure Big Tech
Image: Annie Spratt
Dina Temple-Raston October 22, 2021

China’s Head of National Development and Reform tries to reassure Big Tech

China’s Head of National Development and Reform tries to reassure Big Tech

The head of China’s National Development and Reform body held a press conference on Thursday aimed at reassuring Big Tech that Beijing will only crack down on ‘disorderly’ behavior and the government has no intention of quashing the private economy.

“These [regulations] are targeting the ‘disorderly,’” Xu Shanchang told reporters in Beijing, according to Caixin News. “Rectifying market order and promoting fair competition is a manifestation of a mature market economy.”

Xu’s words appeared to echo those of Chinese President Xi Jinping who earlier this week told party leaders that China’s Big Tech companies, which have been on the receiving end of a regulatory crackdown for the past year, will be vital in helping China modernize and become self-sufficient. 

“The healthy development of the digital economy is important for the construction of a modern economic system,” he told the gathering, according to the official Xinhua News Service. 

“We must seize the opportunities, and seize the commanding heights of future development… and we must use new Internet technologies to carry out all-round and full-chain transformations of traditional industries.”

Xu Shanchang told reporters that recent regulatory actions are actually all about supporting the private sector and creating a “fairer and better development environment for all market players, including private enterprises.”

Dina Temple-Raston is a senior correspondent at The Record, and previously served on NPR's Investigations team focusing on breaking news stories about national security, technology, and social justice.