Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Making Sense Of Beijing's Purge

 We understand that China is still a communist party at heart. Collectively as a force they have managed to move the most number of people from poverty to middle class in a matter of a decade or two. The focus, diligence, exceptional application, intellect, taking bits from the best global practices,  and dedication to strong work ethic - have led to the best infrastructure coverage across the country, thus liberating huge spaces and people, and bringing fervent economic gains overall. China has certainly more than propelled itself to assume the global leadership economically.

Western media latched onto these purges with glee, wincing at every move that seems a huge detriment to basic human rights. That is where we have to appreciate that it is a communist, socialist yet capitalistic country. Still it is capitalistic nation as well. The recent purges across certain industries needed further clarification and understanding. The affected industries thus far:

BIG TECH - dealt with big data and privacy breaches; tries to address low pay scale for gig workers (delivery workers, warehouse workers); the bigger issues are those few big tech companies already exhibiting monopolistic or duopolistic or the more pervasive oligopolistic behaviour; certain companies will have to be dismantled or broken up (you know who you are); this sector will be further purged

EDUCATION - no more listings for education based companies; some private tuition banned; this clampdown is a bit severe and haphazard; hard to justify really, and now they even restrict the amount of time kids can play video games; this is to level the playing field for more parents in the case for tutoring and related costs

CELEBRITIES - those exhibiting too grandiose a lifestyle needs to be reined back apparently; questions exorbitant pays for celebrities as unhealthy; they better pay all taxes and dues; there is now classes for how a celebrity ought to behave and many top notch celebrities have taken them; looks like Beijing wants excesses cut and have celebrities (who have huge followings) to be more conscious of their influence and using that influence to do broader good for society (and not just enriching themselves)

FANDOM - Beijing is like a parent who is pissed that so many young people devote an inordinate amount of time following, liking, supporting, even donating to their idols; Beijing wants to tone down these wasteful activities

GAMING - this is naturally a big scourge, not only a great way to fritter away savings but also lost-investments, and trickle down effects to real economy; Macau is and will be further in deeper stink I think; next targets will be junkets and money transfers; gaming is also seen as a way to launder funds or park China funds outside of the country

LISTINGS - too many so-so companies have listed overseas and created havoc (USA, Singapore and Malaysia... somehow HK has managed to attract better ones from China); they are soiling China's reputation; to remedy that, new more liberal exchanges have been set up in Shanghai and Shenzhen over the last 2 years to take up the slack for tech/high growth companies; will be near impossible to list overseas now unless tacit approval has been obtained (no one wants to answer Beijing's question: why overseas?)

ENTERTAINMENT - tv productions and cinematic productions will have to be more circumspect in having ballooning budgets, paying stars too much, or script being non-conducive to China's interest; film/tv concepts or storylines will have to less evil, vile, violent ... and express proper retribution of course; even reality shows will have to be toned down, less dramatic, no more over-production or falsification to fake the audiences

INDIVIDUALISM - this mainly goes back to celebrities and cinematic/tv producers; Beijing has a big disdain with expression of individualism; Beijing is also concerned with the rising lack of "masculinity" in male artistes (many imitating the fair, pretty boys from K-entertainment) or as they like to term it as "sissyman" (niangpao)

CHARITY - those who have high visibility and wealth, from entertainment or corporate world, will have to show that their wealth are also used for the greater good and social causes, in order to proper together; I think a lot of data collection and notes taking will be happening




BITCOINS
- Chinese make up an awful lot of the miners and traders in this sphere; again deemed as an unsustainable industry, luring many to gamble excessively, and many questions as to the leakages to allow for money shifting and laundering ... Beijing has sounded the warning bells, I see an eventual total clampdown in this area ... get out while you can, Bitcoin will plunge if China exercises total shutdown

ALIBABA's CASE - the crackdown on Jack Ma seems unnecessary or random; it is not, it has to do with the fall of Hangzhou (Alibaba's home) party secretary Zhou Jiyang; Zhou's family somehow happens to hold a lot of Alibaba shares; Jack Ma had been criticising China's financial regulators leading up to the IPO of Ant Financial; Jack's rising popularity is also a concern;  too much, too belligerent, too little respect, too cocky for own good ... do not do that in China is the "hidden message" here

HK - the purge will get worse for HK now that they have "control", beware

Basically, the purge will continue for sometime. But they will all be traced back to the mantra:

INCOME INEQUALITY,  SHARE/COMMON PROSPERITY


Opinion: I can see the justification for many of the purges. Maybe hold back a bit or introduce measures over time. Beijing has correctly capture what's wrong in many industries? But, didn't Beijing "allow" that to flourish in the first place? These things doNOT happen overnight. You allowed your garden to have weeds for such a long time, and then go to the garden and shout at the weeds ... when you should have trimmed the weeds when they were sprouting. Shouldn't there be some collective responsibility here?

While we are at it, these may be the "ills of society", but Beijing should also address inherent big problems of their doing. The massive number of state corporations doing xxxx all and having gargantuan debts, with banks not daring to move on them. The healthcare system which is still based on a for profit model ... pot calling kettle black. Should do things fairly - inside and out.

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