China’s rulers want more control of big tech

CHINA’S TECH tycoons have not been themselves lately. In early March, at the annual session of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, Pony Ma called for stricter regulation of Tencent, the $700bn online empire he founded. Days later a rising star, Simon Hu, left his post as chief executive of Ant Group, a huge financial-technology firm affiliated with Alibaba, an e-commerce titan. Shortly after that Colin Huang stepped down as chairman of Pinduoduo, rattling investors still celebrating his upstart e-emporium’s recent announcement that it had overtaken Alibaba measured by the number of shoppers. Jack Ma, Alibaba’s outspoken co-founder and China’s most recognisable entrepreneur, has not been seen in public for months, with

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