China's economy is in the stranglehold of the Communist Party.
Almost every day, the leadership in Beijing drives the share prices of Chinese technology companies down with shocking announcements.
First the government banned the Didi transport service, which was listed two days earlier in New York, from further expansion, which dropped its value by a third.
It then banned US-listed private education providers from making a profit, causing the industry to drop in value by $ 100 billion.
While foreign investors in particular lost up to the beginning of the week, investors in China have also been losing since the beginning of the week. Internet giants like Alibaba and Meituan lost hundreds of billions of dollars in market capital on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after Beijing announced that delivery services would pay their drivers more and cut hours.
The owners of the Internet company Tencent, which is also listed there, have even lost $ 170 billion with their investment since the beginning of the month.
In the middle of the week, the rate fell again after the group announced that it would not accept any new users for its short message service Wechat.
The reason gave an insight into how arbitrarily the party governs the economy: Tencent wrote puzzlingly that one does not want to violate any “relevant laws” - and rather meant that it wanted to prove its allegiance to the state power in hasty obedience.
Everything is given to the regime
Nothing seems impossible in the second largest economy anymore. Reports that the Didi transport service is leaving the New York Stock Exchange after less than a month under pressure from Beijing, arouse wild speculation: If the party wants to reduce the value of the Internet companies until they can take them over themselves, to the most innovative, but also most powerful area of China's private sector to nationalize?
Even those who have stood firmly by Beijing's side for decades now trust the regime to do anything. Yale economist Stephen Roach, who once conquered Asia for Morgan Stanley and understates when he calls himself a "born China optimist", sees the party in battle mode. The fact that this sticks in the "heart of their entrepreneurship-driven economic model" and that China's company founders actually cut off foreign investors is "disturbing". The chaos in the financial markets is the result of a "new cold war".
This is about technology sovereignty.
Beijing has probably heard that, after Donald Trump, President Joe Biden also declared China an existential threat.
It is becoming increasingly clear how great the shock has been for the leadership in the trade dispute with the United States, which has shown a people's republic, intoxicated by its high growth rates, its own vulnerability.
The submission of the private sector
Washington's export ban on semiconductors was enough to shake the Chinese technology industry.
Since then, China's leader Xi Jinping has been convinced that the struggle of the superpowers can only be won by returning to communist politics: submitting the private sector to achieve state goals.
At first glance, these are shaped by eliminating the increasingly blatant inequality in Chinese society. In Shenzhen, where the crucial semiconductors that China urgently needs are to be developed, employers are now allowed to pay lower overtime pay and pay wages a month later. The factual ban on online tutoring is likely to reduce the chances of promotion for most children, as from now on only the rich can afford private tutors.
China's new communism has control rather than aim.
When Internet billionaire Jack Ma criticized the state last year, it was a wake-up call for the leadership: Xi Jinping sees as one of the fact that the tech industry, which is listed abroad and has hundreds of users as many as the party members, is in foreign hands the greatest risks in the fight with the United States.
So the entrepreneurs are brought into line.
It doesn't have to end in broad nationalization.
Like Alibaba and Tencent, Didi could soon be listed on the stock exchange in the financial center of Hong Kong, which rules Beijing.
Driven by their greed, the Western capitalists will come back again, the party believes.
You could be right: on Thursday, prices rose.