Beijing staking direct claim in Chinese tech giants

Beijing staking direct claim in Chinese tech giants

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The Chinese government is pushing some of its biggest tech companies – including Tencent, Weibo and a unit of Alibaba – to offer the state a stake in them and a direct role in corporate decisions. Wary of the increasing power of private businesses, internet regulators have discussed taking 1% stakes with social-media powers Tencent and Weibo and with Youku Tudou, a YouTube-like video platform owned by e-commerce titan Alibaba, source close to the companies told The Wall Street Journal. While the authoritarian government already exerts heavy sway over businesses through regulation, a management role would give Beijing a direct hand in innovative companies that service hundreds of millions of Chinese. The biggest of these companies have expanded beyond their original niches into finance, health care and transportation, collecting data that give them unparalleled insights into people's lives. Some companies privately say they are wary of the move, and the new steps come as pressure on China's tech companies is rising.