China could finally be relaxing his technical crackdown (opens in new tab), but the government is not completely exiting the sector. Instead of the strict approach where Alibaba imposed billions in fines, tech CEO Jack Ma temporarily disappeared from the public eye and game approvals slowly trickled, reports the Financial Times (opens in new tab) that the government is changing course and proceeding to take “special management shares” – or “gold shares” – in many of China’s leading technology companies, including Tencent.

These gold shares are relatively small – normally about 1% – but grant rights to certain business decisions and agreements made at the companies in which they are made. The gold share the government hopes to acquire in Tencent is still being discussed, but sources the FT has spoken to understand it will involve a stake in one of the company’s main Chinese subsidiaries and that Tencent has been pushing for a one-to-one state entity based in Shenzhen – his home – to take the share rather than in Beijing.



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