China to Take "Golden Shares" in Alibaba and Tencent; Age Checks Threaten Social Media User Numbers

In today's ExchangeWire news digest: China looks set to take "golden shares" in Alibaba and Tencent; the UK's Online Safety Bill threatens the advertising revenue of major social media platforms; and Didi Global obtains approval from China's cybersecurity regulator.

China to take stakes in local operations of Alibaba, Tencent

China will reportedly take “golden shares” in two of its most prominent tech companies, Alibaba and Tencent. The move, which would see China take roughly 1% stakes in both companies’ local operations, would give the government privileged rights over their business decisions. 

This latest development marks a shift away from Beijing’s two-year crackdown on China’s tech sector, catalysed by criticism from Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

User age checks threaten social media platforms’ numbers

Social media giants including Instagram and TikTok are bracing for a potential hit to their user numbers due to new UK legislation. The Online Safety Bill, which is set to begin its final stages in the House of Commons next week, would remove underage users from social media platforms, in addition to discouraging people without identification from signing up.

If passed, the Online Safety Bill could pose a sizeable threat to these platforms' advertising revenue.

Cyberspace Administration of China greenlights Didi Global

Ride-hailing firm Didi Global has been approved by China’s cybersecurity regulator to resume new user registration. 

In a statement posted to its Weibo account, the company said it had corrected security issues found during a cybersecurity review. Didi also asserted that it will implement more stringent measures to protect platforms users’ data and to safeguard national security in the future.

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Fact of the Day

44% - Alibaba's share in China's retail e-commerce sales.

Source: Statista

Last week's tech teasers

Inspired by predictions from the industry, last Friday's tech teasers were all about Web3. Are you a crypto connoisseur or an NFT novice? Find out below:

  • 46% - the percentage of finance apps built on Web3 technology ⚒️
  • USD$23.3bn (~£19.1bn) - the figure the Global Web3 Blockchain Market revenue expected to reach by 2028 ?
  • 29% - the portion of US adults who do not understand what the metaverse is ?
  • USD$2.5bn (~£2bn) - the amount by which NFT sales increased in the peak of the COVID pandemic ?
  • Over 18,000 - the number of cryptocurrencies currently in existence ?

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