China's Cyber Watchdog Spells Out Development Strategies for Tech Giants

China’s cyberspace watchdog said a symposium it held with Chinese tech giants last month had given the industry a “clearer understanding” and more confidence in how to pursue development and opportunities as they adjust to a new regulatory landscape.

The Cyberspace Administration of China said its official publication had carried out interviews with companies such as Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group and TikTok owner ByteDance after the Jan. 28 meeting, which was held with 27 firms to discuss “healthy and sustainable” development.

“Everyone agreed this symposium enabled internet firms to have a clearer understanding of the development situation, strengthen their confidence towards development and firmly grasp development opportunities,” the CAC said on its official WeChat account.

The comments from the CAC come after what has been a bruising year for the once-freewheeling tech giants, which have been heavily targeted by regulators as part of a campaign to exert more control over swathes of the economy after years of runaway growth.

Investors have been watching closely for clues on whether the worst is over, given how the crackdown has roiled global markets and technology stocks over the past year.

The CAC quoted Tencent founder and CEO Pony Ma as saying that he had organised a “study of the symposium” for the social media and gaming giant while Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd chairman Zhou Hongyi said it had established “clear coordinates”.

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang told the CAC it would improve its strategy to better serve its platform users.

ByteDance China chairman Zhang Lidong was quoted as saying it would “proactively” adjust its business focus and goals to continue efforts to develop technologies including virtual reality, and actively crack global markets and compete with mutinationals.

Tencent, Alibaba and ByteDance declined to comment. Qihoo 360 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

BEIJING (Reuters)