Recent Chinese policy moves related to 1) DiDi’s listing and controls on its data usage and 2) China’s education companies being converted into non-profits have created a lot of doubt about capitalism and capital markets in China, so I’d like to help clarify what’s going on there.
I understand that it’s confusing to people who are not close to what’s happening. Since I started going to China 36 years ago, I have found that most Western observers who do not have direct contact with policy makers’ and don’t follow in detail the patterns of the changes have tended to not believe that the Chinese Communist Party’s usage of capital markets to foster development is real. They interpret moves like these two recent ones as the Communist Party leaders showing their true anti-capitalist stripes even though the trend over the last 40 years has clearly been so strongly toward developing a market economy with capital markets, with entrepreneurs and capitalists becoming rich. As a result, they’ve missed out on what’s going on in China and probably will continue to miss out. In this case the policy makers signaled to DiDi that it might not be best to go ahead with the listing and they understandably want to deal with the data privacy issue. In the case of the educational tutoring companies they want to reduce the educational inequality and the financial burden on those who are desperate to have their children have these services but can’t afford them by making them broadly available. They believe that these things are better for the country even if the shareholders don’t like it.
I remember a number of such analogous misinterpretations. For example, I remember how the Chinese retail investor bubble bursting led to government stock buying and then the government trying to manipulate the market for a while. Also I remember the Chinese currency plunge in 2015-16 resulting from the PBoC widening the band and how that led to many investors pointing to these developments as evidence that policy makers were turning away from developing capital markets. Some skeptical investors looked at these moves as inappropriate anti-free market interventions even though these same moves happened many times in many capitalist markets and even though the fiscal and monetary policy interventions in the U.S. and other developed markets dwarf the Chinese government interventions in its markets. Through it all Chinese policy makers successfully managed the fallout and pursued their goals; i.e., the direction of their actions never changed. It has been in support of a fast and steady development of capital markets, entrepreneurship, and openness to investment to foreign investors. So I encourage you to look at the trends and not misunderstand and over-focus on the wiggles.
To understand what’s going on you need to understand that China is a state capitalist system which means that the state runs capitalism to serve the interests of most people and that policy makers won’t let the sensitivities of those in the capital markets and rich capitalists stand in the way of doing what they believe is best for the most people of the country. Rather, those in the capital markets and capitalists have to understand their subordinate places in the system or they will suffer the consequences of their mistakes. For example, they need to not mistake their having riches for having power for determining how things will go.
You also need to understand that in this rapidly developing capital markets environment Chinese regulators are figuring out appropriate regulations so, when they are changing fast and aren’t clear, that causes these sorts of confusions, which can be misconstrued to be anti-capitalist moves.
Also, you need to understand that the global geopolitical environment changing leads to some changes. You can see that reflected in the U.S. governments’ policy shifts such as a) changing its policies about Chinese companies’ listings in the United States and b) threats to prohibit American pension funds from investing in China.
Assume such things will happen in the future and invest accordingly. But don’t misinterpret these wiggles as changes in trends, and don’t expect this Chinese state-run capitalism to be exactly like Western capitalism.
Having said that, I do think that it is unfortunate that Chinese policy makers don’t publicly communicate the reasoning behind their moves more clearly.
As for investing, as I see it the American and Chinese systems and markets both have opportunities and risks and are likely to compete with each other and diversify each other. Hence they both should be considered as important parts of one’s portfolio. I urge you to not misinterpret these sorts of moves as reversals of the trends that have existed for the last several decades and let that scare you away.
最近中国的政策举措与 1）滴滴的上市和对其数据使用的控制以及 2）中国教育公司转为非营利组织有关，这对中国的资本主义和资本市场产生了很多怀疑，所以我想帮助澄清一下那里发生了什么事。
我知道这让不了解正在发生的事情的人感到困惑。自从我36年前开始去中国以来，我发现大多数与决策者没有直接接触、没有详细了解变化规律的西方观察家往往不相信中国共产党的用法。资本市场促进发展是实实在在的。尽管过去 40 年来的趋势显然如此强烈地发展以资本市场为主导的市场经济，企业家和资本家变得富有，但他们将最近这两个举措解释为共产党领导人展示了他们真正的反资本主义条纹。结果，他们错过了中国正在发生的事情，并且可能会继续错过。在这种情况下，政策制定者向滴滴表示，进行上市可能不是最好的选择，他们希望处理数据隐私问题是可以理解的。就教育辅导公司而言，他们希望通过广泛提供这些服务来减少教育不平等和那些急于让孩子获得这些服务但又负担不起的人的经济负担。他们认为，即使股东不喜欢，这些东西对国家也更好。就教育辅导公司而言，他们希望通过广泛提供这些服务来减少教育不平等和那些急于让孩子获得这些服务但又负担不起的人的经济负担。他们认为，即使股东不喜欢，这些东西对国家也更好。就教育辅导公司而言，他们希望通过广泛提供这些服务来减少教育不平等和那些急于让孩子获得这些服务但又负担不起的人的经济负担。他们认为，即使股东不喜欢，这些东西对国家也更好。
我记得有许多类似的误解。例如，我记得中国散户投资者泡沫破灭导致政府购买股票，然后政府试图操纵市场一段时间。此外，我还记得 2015-16 年中国货币因中国人民银行扩大区间而暴跌，以及这如何导致许多投资者将这些事态发展作为政策制定者正在远离发展中的资本市场的证据。一些持怀疑态度的投资者认为这些举措是不恰当的反自由市场干预，尽管这些举措在许多资本主义市场已经多次发生，而且美国和其他发达市场的财政和货币政策干预使中国政府对其市场的干预相形见绌. 通过它，所有中国决策者都成功地应对了影响并实现了他们的目标；即，他们的行动方向从未改变。支持资本市场、企业家精神和对外开放投资的快速稳定发展。所以我鼓励你看看趋势，不要误解和过度关注摆动。
此外，您需要了解全球地缘政治环境的变化会导致一些变化。你可以看到，这反映在美国政府的政策转变上，例如 a) 改变对中国公司在美国上市的政策和 b) 威胁禁止美国养老基金在中国投资。