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China tech

Meituan squeezed by Xi's tech crackdown and prosperity drive

Regulatory pressure on food delivery leader has echoes of Alibaba's humbling

Meituan delivery workers sanitize their scooters in Beijing. The company counted 9.5 million drivers at the end of 2020.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- From a potential $1 billion fine to Xi Jinping's campaign for "common prosperity," Meituan, the operator of the China's top food delivery app, faces mounting government pressure on a business model that has made it one of the country's most valuable tech stocks.

Meituan's predicament parallels that of e-commerce leader Alibaba Group Holding, whose market value has taken a blow from Beijing's crackdown on the data-rich giant after outspoken founder Jack Ma is said to have angered Xi by criticizing China's financial system.

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