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What China Expects From Businesses: Total Surrender

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When Pony Ma, head of the Chinese internet powerhouse Tencent, attended a group meeting with Premier Li Keqiang in 2014, he complained that many local governments had banned ride-sharing apps installed on smartphones.Mr. Li immediately told a few ministers to investigate the matter and report back to him. He then turned to Mr. Ma and said, “Your example vividly demonstrates the need to improve the relationship between the government and the market.”By then Tencent had invested $45 million in a ride-sharing start-up called Didi Chuxing, which later became a model in the government’s push to digitize and modernize traditional …

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