Xi Approves Action on Everything From Monopolies to Pollution
(Bloomberg) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping chaired a high-level meeting that “reviewed and approved” measures to fight monopolies, battle pollution and shore up strategic reserves, all areas that are crucial to his government’s push to improve the quality of life for the nation’s 1.4 billion people.
Few details were released about the guidelines discussed on Monday at the meeting of the central committee for deepening overall reform, which includes some of China’s most powerful leaders and has wide powers to shape government policy. Xi in particular stressed the importance of strengthening anti-monopoly regulations, a push that has already cost tech giants hundreds of billions of dollars in market value over the past year.
Putting those regulations into practice was “an intrinsic requirement for improving the socialist market economic system,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Xi. The changes would create a level playing field for businesses, benefit consumers and promote “high-quality development and common prosperity,” Xinhua added, citing a broader drive by the Xi administration to narrow China’s wealth gap.
The meeting emphasized the need for policy measures to serve the interests of the Communist Party, while paying heed to domestic and international markets. Leaders also said policies should be “more transparent and predictable,” Xinhua said. The meeting explicitly called for officials to “guide and urge companies to obey the leadership of the party.”
Chinese authorities have taken aim at some of the nation’s largest tech companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., signaling unease with their rapid growth and influence. Meituan, China’s largest food delivery platform, said Monday it could face significant fines amid an anti-trust probe into its operations.
Separately, Xinhua is expected to publish details from a monthly Politburo meeting soon, likely including the date for the sixth full gathering of the current Central Committee. The People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece, has said such plenums tend to focus on topics related to ideology and party building.
Here are some of the other key points from the meeting on Monday that was also attended by Premier Li Keqiang, and fellow members of the Politburo Standing Committee, Wang Huning and Han Zheng:
- Optimize management of strategic and emergency response supplies to guard against major risks
- Prevent and rein in abuses of administrative power in restricting competition
- Bolster the anti-monopoly supervision force
- Strengthen law enforcement in areas including the platform economy, technological innovation and information security
- Strictly control projects that consume large amounts of energy and that are big polluters
- Take steps to enforce a total ban on imported garbage
- Ensuring data accuracy to assess China’s major development strategies
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