By Li Yuan, Updated Oct. 11, 2017 7:27 p.m. ET:
The Chinese government is pushing some of its biggest tech companies–including Tencent, Weibo and a unit of Alibaba–to give the state a stake in them and a direct role in corporate decisions, according to people close to the companies.
While the authoritarian government already exerts heavy sway over businesses through regulation, a management role would give Beijing a direct hand in innovative companies that service hundreds of millions of Chinese. The biggest of these companies have expanded beyond their original niches into finance, health care and transportation, collecting data that give them unparalleled insights into people’s lives. Some companies privately say they are wary of the move, because of the power balance….
A major concern as China moves away from free market reforms and towards more autocratic control. See China’s push for hegemony.