Beijing assures business of support amid crackdown

Vice Premier Liu He said yesterday policies supporting the private sector would not change, state media reported, amid growing concern that a crackdown on a wide range of industries is hurting businesses.

Liu said: “Guidelines and policies for supporting the private economy have not changed and will not change in the future,” Xinhua News Agency reported.

His comments came in the wake of tough measures by authorities targeting sectors ranging from education to entertainment and the new economy.

He was speaking at an online forum on the digital economy held in northern Hebei province.

China’s crackdown on a range of industries has left startups and decades-old firms operating in an uncertain environment and rattling investors in the world’s second-largest economy.

An opinion piece widely circulated by state media calling the crackdowns a revolution was attacked by Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid published by the People’s Daily.

The reforms are about strengthening regulation and improving social governance, Hu said.

In August, a Communist Party official said that common prosperity does not mean “killing the rich to help the poor.”

China has said overly high incomes should be adjusted and firms should be encouraged to help society. Several tech industry heavyweights, including Alibaba and Tencent, have recently announced major charitable donations.

He’s reassurance came as mainland and Hong Kong stock markets rose after Beijing revealed more details of the new stock market and a new plan for Hengqin.

In terms of funds raised, turnover and valuation levels, the Beijing stock exchange is expected to have different characteristics from the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in an interview with People’s Daily.

Companies that have reached their potential on the Beijing platform can opt for listings in Shenzhen or Shanghai, the report said.

The Hong Kong stock market rose 261.64 points, with Hengqin-related shares seeing a surge.

Shun Tak (0242), which owns the project Hengqin Integrated Development, performed best on the new plan. It rose 9.2 percent at one stage to hit a more than two-month high of HK$2.50, and closed 5.68 percent higher at HK$2.42 on turnover of HK$27.5 million.

This came after Beijing issued a general plan for building a Guangdong-Macau in-depth cooperation zone in Hengqin on Sunday.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rose 1.12 percent and Shenzhen Stock Exchange Composite Index surged 2.03 percent.

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