Milestones show path of Xi’s transformation drive

A “profound transformation” in China’s business and cultural sectors is on track as shown by four incidents on October 8, according to the latest article written by a columnist who first mentioned the reforms later dubbed “Cultural Revolution 2.0”.

The incidents included new rules to cut off private investments’ influence on media outlets, a fine of 3.44 billon yuan (US$534 million) on the Hong Kong-listed food deliverer Meituan, the ban of Lenovo’s IPO plan in Shanghai and the arrest of Luo Changping, who smeared the patriotic movie The Battle at Lake Changjin.

Meanwhile, mainland media reported on Tuesday that Ant Group, an affiliate company of e-commerce giant Alibaba, had sold all its stake in Caixin Media, which is famous for its investigative reports about China’s anti-corruption campaign.

Mango Excellent Media Co Ltd, a Hunan-based new media company, said on September 23 that Alibaba had sold all its stake in the company.

Since Beijing banned Ant Group from listing in the United States last November, it has launched measures to curb technology giants including Tencent and Didi Global and new rules to restrict the education, property and entertainment sectors this year. In the summer, China also announced a ban on feminine-looking male celebrities and ordered that people under 18 were only allowed to play video games for three hours a week.

On August 17, President Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, said in the party’s Financial and Economic Affairs Committee that China should aim to promote “common prosperity.”

While the public could not understand Beijing’s motives for the moves, Li Guangman, a former editor-in-chief of the Central China Electric Power News, which was closed in 2013, published an article on August 28 and said a “profound transformation” was underway in China.

He said the reform was launched to respond to the United States’ brutal and ferocious attacks as well as the complicated international situation. However, the movement was described by political commentators as “Cultural Revolution 2.0.”