Xi Jinping Scrutinizes Chinese Financial Institutions’ Ties With Private Firms

Chinese President Xi Jinping is zeroing in on the ties that China’s state banks and other financial stalwarts have developed with big private-sector players, expanding his push to curb capitalist forces in the economy, the Wall Street Journal reported. Xi, who started his campaign late last year with a regulatory assault on private technology giants, is launching a sweeping round of inspections of financial institutions. The inspections, announced in September with few details, focus on whether state-owned banks, investment funds and financial regulators have become too chummy with private firms, especially some that have recently landed in Beijing’s crosshairs, such as property giant China Evergrande Group, ride-hailing company Didi Global Inc. and financial-technology firm Ant Group. The examination, which is led by China’s top anticorruption agency and centers on 25 financial institutions at the heart of the Chinese economy, is the most extensive of a sector Mr. Xi has been suspicious of since coming to power nearly a decade ago. It is part of his broad effort to steer China’s economic system away from Western-style capitalism in the run-up to a leadership transition late next year, when Xi is expected to sidestep convention and continue his rule beyond the usual two five-year terms. Read more. (Subscription required.)
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