“Common Prosperity” is a wide-ranging crackdown that is bringing celebrities and Internet companies to heel in the name of addressing inequality.
Further, it is also an effort to inject ideological rigour into the new economy after years of explosive growth and exert more control over which industries prosper as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s economic vision.
But the focus on getting people to buy as much as possible is at odds with Xi’s campaign, which calls for redistributing wealth and promoting sustainability.
The regulators are simultaneously also targeting the internet giants at present on competition and privacy and cryptocurrency issues, according to Washington Post.
Xi’s common prosperity goal is being flayed by the big business on the ground it defies logic of China becoming an economic superpower in the last two decades that was completely based on a public-private partnership.
Hyper-consumerism and displays of wealth are discouraged. The crackdown also signals a shift in official attitudes about what industries should be promoted to improve the country’s competitiveness.
There are fears in China’s tech sector that the crackdown has to do with the tighter control of consumer and government data and reassertion of the government’s authority over the private sector while humbling the growing numbers of tech billionaires.
Also, the crackdown on an Internet industry populated by celebrities underlines another government target: those the ruling Communist Party views as having too much influence.