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Lacking a better game plan, Beijing will pick off more industries

Need for action on wealth gap underlies squeeze on internet platforms

| China
Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance, pictured in Palo Alto, California, in March 2020: the squeeze on tech entrepreneurs to donate their wealth serves multiple goals.   © Reuters

Dexter Roberts is a senior fellow with the Asia Security Initiative of the Atlantic Council and the author of "The Myth of Chinese Capitalism: The Worker, The Factory and The Future of the World."

Alibaba Group Holding, Meituan, Didi Global and Tencent Holdings have seen billions of dollars in share value erased in recent months as Beijing has reined in the internet sector as part of a wider crackdown on private business. Under the pressure of President Xi Jinping's slogan of common prosperity, the tech companies have also publicly committed billions in cash toward Communist Party-approved causes.

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