Lessons from the Ant/Alibaba Crackdown

Over the past two months, Beijing has asserted new regulatory controls over Ant Financial and Alibaba, its parent company. But the crackdown implicates several questions with broader significance for China’s economy than the fates of these two individual firms. This note discusses preliminary lessons of the Ant/Alibaba case related to Beijing’s approach to private enterprise and market forces, the future regulation of fintech companies beyond Alibaba and Ant, and the direction of household and consumer lending in China’s financial system.

Posted January 4, 2021
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Property Market Chartbook, November 2020

Property sales surprised on the strong side in October, primarily in smaller cities. But financial pressures across the industry continue to build following the implementation of the “three red lines” and restrictions on developers’ financing. Some local governments are now actively taking measures to reduce high inventories, including the unlikely step of directly asking developers for price cuts.

Posted November 29, 2020
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Property Market Chartbook, October 2020

Beijing’s new property tightening measures limiting developers’ balance sheet growth–the so-called “three red lines”–already appear to be having an impact on construction activity, new starts, and land sales. Overall property sales momentum was steady in September, despite falling housing prices in many markets. Local governments are following Beijing’s lead and rolling out new tightening measures of their own.

Posted October 23, 2020
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