By Norihiko Shirouzu and Scott Murdoch
BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s sweeping regulatory crackdown of recent months does not aim to rein in the country’s private enterprises or decouple from the United States or international financial markets, a top Chinese regulatory official told Wall Street leaders last week.
Participants said that the measures are meant to enhance regulation of platforms for consumers, with a central role in promoting prosperity, or easing inequality. Fang Xinghai (China Securities Regulatory Commission) Vice Chairman stated these words at a private meeting.
Fang was quoted saying that he told the China-U.S. Financial Roundtable last Thursday, “I don’t think there is a government anywhere on the planet that is so positive and as focused as China.”
Fang stated, for instance, that Beijing is expected to approve an unprecedented number of initial public offerings. Two of the participants said Fang also suggested that the majority Chinese public companies would go public.
Fang and the CSRC did not respond immediately to Reuters’ requests for comment. Sources who were present at the meeting refused to identify themselves as they weren’t authorized to talk to media.
The attendees said Fang’s remarks at the close of his presentation addressed China’s unprecedented regulatory crackdown, which has wiped billions of dollars in market value https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/factbox-china-crackdown-wipes-hundreds-o-idUSKBN2G90CK off some of the country’s best-known private firms and has weighed on foreign investor sentiment.
Bloomberg News reported on Saturday that the CSRC defended its crackdown https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-defends-clampdown-tech-firms-meeting-with-wall-st-execs-bloomberg-news-2021-09-19 on various industries during the roundtable meeting with Wall Street executives.
China accelerated the pace of opening up its multi-trillion dollar financial sector to U.S. firms in recent years, after years of lobbying by Wall Street firms for better access, even as Sino-U.S. tensions rose on issues from trade to geopolitics.
Foreign investors are concerned about Beijing’s bold new policy changes, including its crackdowns of internet companies, for profit education and excesses in the property markets, as well their “common prosperity” wealth-sharing drive that aims to alleviate inequality.
In recent weeks, officials and state media tried to soothe markets.
China’s Vice Premier Liu He told a forum https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinas-liu-he-says-support-private-business-has-not-changed-2021-09-06 early this month that the government’s policies and guidelines would keep supporting the private sector.
Fang’s comments last week, which he is also president of the CUFR was well received by the Wall Street crowd.
They listened carefully to Fang’s speech and many of them were satisfied, said one participant, who was referring to Wall Street executives.
According to people familiar with the discussion, around 35 persons attended the meeting via virtual conference call. This included leaders from top Wall Street companies.
The CUFR was established amid escalating tensions among the two largest economies of the world in 2018. It last met virtually in October 2020, after having previously met twice in person in 2018 before the coronavirus epidemic.
The meeting last week lasted for three-and-a-half-hours, and discussed ideas for further opening and developing financial markets and creating a level playing field between domestic and foreign entities in the world’s second-largest economy.