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Daily Digest | Live long and prosper

Written by The Uptake Published on   1 min read

Who shapes the lives of China’s 1 billion internet users?

Hi. Brady here.

A report published by the China Internet Network Information Center at the end of August said the country now has more than 1 billion internet users. Take a moment to consider the influence wielded by China’s largest consumer-facing tech companies.

Services offered by Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, Didi, Meituan, and more are ubiquitous. Each company hits every demographic, from education services for children to shopping options for seniors.

That influence extends beyond shaping how consumers interact with web-based services and products. These conglomerates can move markets and wreck competitors who don’t have the same troves of data or deep war chests.

Tech companies have been able to build out their business at breakneck speeds, minting billionaires among their leadership ranks in the process. This runs in contrast to the idea of “common prosperity” that President Xi Jinping said is a national priority. Mengyuan wrote about this on Friday.

Tech moguls have turned to philanthropy to polish their image. It isn’t clear whether this will be enough to mollify regulators, but people who need a little help to improve their standard of living might be able to access extra resources in the months and years to come.

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