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China’s Parents Say For-Profit Tutoring Ban Helps Only the Rich

Zhang Hongchun worries that his 10-year-old daughter isn’t getting enough sleep. Between school, homework and after-school guitar, clarinet and calligraphy practice, most nights she doesn’t get to bed before 11. Some of her classmates keep going until midnight.“Everyone wants to follow suit,” Mr. Zhang said. “No one wants to lose at the starting line.”In China, the competitive pursuit of education — and the better life it promises — is relentless. So are the financial pressures it adds to families already dealing with climbing house prices, caring for aging parents and costly health care.The burden of this pursuit has …

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Why Turkey’s Regulators Became Such a Problem for Google

Type “running shoes,” “best laptop” or “camping equipment” into Google from just about anywhere in the world and the top of the screen will show a carousel of ads from websites promoting products to browse and compare.Not in Turkey. Google eliminated those advertisements last year after Turkish antitrust officials ordered the company to make it easier for competing shopping websites to appear more prominently in the ads.The Turkish demands went further to crack down on Google’s shopping service than any other global regulator had to that point. But that was not all. In April, the country’s …

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China’s Tencent Suspends New Registrations for WeChat

The Chinese internet giant Tencent said Tuesday that it had temporarily suspended new user registrations for its hugely popular WeChat app, raising fears of new regulatory pressures even as it insisted the outage was the result of a technical upgrade.Tencent said in a statement that the shutdown, which affected only new users and groups registering for the app, would be over by early August and was part of a fix to its security technology.The timing of the suspension left investors uneasy, with concerns mounting that a regulatory rampage aimed at the technology sector could heavily affect Tencent, China’ …

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China Moves Against Education Companies, Causing Shares to Plunge

Chinese regulators on Monday banned tutoring companies from making profits, a move that sent their shares plummeting, erasing tens of billions of dollars from the value of the country’s once blistering education sector, as Beijing turns its focus to the growing financial burden that students — and their parents — face.Some of China’s biggest publicly listed education companies lost significant chunks of their value as investors ditched them following the announcement of rules that require all companies that offer curriculum tutoring to register as nonprofit institutions.The rules will also restrict new foreign investment, once a key avenue for …

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Investing in China: What You Need to Know

If you want Chinese shares, you can bypass New York.On the face of it, shares of Chinese internet giants traded in American markets through A.D.R.s might seem to be safer for Americans than shares sold in local markets like Shanghai, Shenzhen or even Hong Kong.Yet in some respects, regulatory requirements for I.P.O.s in China can be more stringent than those imposed by American regulators, Mr. Hsu of Rayliant Global Advisors said.One reason is that inexperienced investors in China who engage in “social gambling” move the local stock market even more than “ …

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What China Expects From Businesses: Total Surrender

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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China Called Finance Apps the Best Thing Since the Compass. No Longer.

When the coronavirus jammed up China’s economy last year, Rao Yong needed cash to tide over his online handicrafts business. But he dreaded the idea of spending long, dull hours at the bank.The outbreak had snarled delivery services and made customers slow on their payments, so Mr. Rao, 33, used an app called Alipay to receive early payment on his invoices. Because his Alipay account was already tied to his digital storefront on Alibaba’s Taobao bazaar, getting the money was quick and painless.Alipay had helped Mr. Rao a few years before as well, when his business was …

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E.P.A. Approved Toxic Chemicals for Fracking a Decade Ago, New Files Show

A class of man-made chemicals that are toxic even in minuscule concentrations, for decades PFAS were used to make products like nonstick pans, stain-resistant carpeting and firefighting foam. The substances have come under scrutiny in recent years for their tendency to persist in the environment, and to accumulate inside the human body, as well as for their links to health problems like cancer and birth defects. Both Congress and the Biden administration have moved to better regulate PFAS, which contaminate the drinking water of as many as 80 million Americans.Industry researchers have long been aware of their toxicity. But it …

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Biden Urges More Scrutiny of Big Businesses, Such as Tech Giants

WASHINGTON — President Biden signed a sweeping executive order on Friday intended to increase competition within the nation’s economy and to limit corporate dominance, factors the White House says have led to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers while dampening pay and restricting the freedom to change jobs.The administration encouraged federal agencies to take a wide range of actions, such as more closely scrutinizing the tech industry, cracking down on high fees charged by ocean shippers and allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter.“What we’ve seen over the past few decades is less competition …

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China Plans Security Checks for Tech Companies Listing Overseas

China moved on Saturday toward requiring domestic tech companies to submit to a cybersecurity checkup before they can go public on overseas stock exchanges, a step that would close the regulatory gap that allowed the ride-hailing giant Didi to list shares on Wall Street last week without getting a clean bill of digital health from Beijing.On July 2, two days after Didi’s shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, China’s internet regulator ordered the company to stop signing up users while officials conducted a security review, sending its share price tumbling.Chinese regulators have since ordered …

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