As we all know, China has the world’s largest mobile Internet and the second largest digital economy. With the popularization of Internet technology, China’s platform economy has developed rapidly. New forms and models of business have emerged one after another, playing an important role in promoting high-quality economic development and meeting the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.
Supervision of Internet platform enterprises is a worldwide conundrum. Every coin has two sides. The rapid development of the platform economy is associated with problems and risks, including market monopoly through disorderly expansion, discriminatory pricing facilitated by big data and restriction of competition. That’s why many countries are increasingly focusing on this area. It is a worldwide challenge to strengthen the supervision of large technology enterprises such as Internet platforms and prevent monopoly and disorderly expansion of capital. All countries are exploring ways to solve it.
Anti-monopoly is a common practice in market economic countries. In the past decades, the United States, Europe and other countries have been advancing their anti-monopoly measures. Now, China’s economy is expanding and there are more and more large enterprises, which may lead to monopoly. Therefore, it is an important and routine task of the Chinese government to strengthen regulations of anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition. It will help foster a market environment of fair competition, creating a broad development space for all types of market players, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. It will also better protect the rights and interests of consumers.
China lays equal emphasis on regulating and developing the Internet platform economy. On the one hand, we are setting up “signal lights for capital”, improving management of the negative list on the market access, correcting the previously misguided or hazardous factors, so as to protect data security and personal privacy, safeguard national security and public interests, and promote the healthy development of all kinds of capital. On the other hand, we also recognize that platform economy is an important component of advanced productive forces. It should be well leveraged to optimize resource allocation, promote technological progress, facilitate people’s life, and participate in international cooperation and competition. Stronger regulation is for healthier, more sustainable and longer-term development, and that applies to the capital market.
We take a fair approach in implementing the policy of overhauling the Internet platform. State-owned enterprises, private enterprises, foreign enterprises and other mixed ownership enterprises are treated as equals. The policy of overhauling the Internet platform is targeted at illegal violations without discrimination against private enterprises or foreign companies. This should not be mistaken.
First, China upholds the basic socialist economic system and the “two no irresolutions” principle, which means no irresolution to consolidate and develop the public sector of the economy and no irresolution to encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector of the economy. Both of the sectors are important components of the socialist market economy, constituting an important foundation for China’s economic and social development. The private enterprises and private entrepreneurs are our families, so we need to be both considerate and strict for them, so as to better promote healthy growth of the non-public sector of the economy and entrepreneurs in this sector.
Second, opening-up is China’s basic state policy. President Xi Jinping has stressed on many occasions that China will not close its door to the outside world, but will only open up even wider. The new development dynamic to promote high-quality development is not about a domestic circulation behind closed doors, but about open domestic and international circulations. We will unswervingly promote high-level opening-up, better balance development and security, earnestly implement the Foreign Investment Law, effectively protect property rights and intellectual property rights, enhance policy transparency and predictability, better communicate with the market, and constantly improve the market-oriented, law-based international business environment. We welcome enterprises and investors from all over the world to do business in China and share the huge development opportunities brought by China’s fast-growing and super-large market.
By Zhou Zhencheng, Commercial Minister Counselor of Chinese Embassy in Cairo