During these months, China's private entrepreneurs are discovering their generosity.
Pony Ma, for example, founder and CEO of the technology group Tencent, has donated to charity in previous years.
The equivalent of $ 7.7 billion that Tencent gave in April for schools, poor villages in the Chinese hinterland and renewable energy projects is unmatched in the company's history.
Wang Xing, founder of Meituan Food Delivery Service, donated $ 2.3 billion to education and science in May. This year's charity ranking in the People's Republic was headed by Colin Huang, founder of the e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, who had given $ 1.9 billion from his fortune.
At a time when the Chinese Communist Party is rediscovering its roots and cracking down on the private tech industry under the flag of the common good, the large donations could pay off for the Internet billionaires, their corporations and their shareholders.
Since the leadership in Beijing has been attacking the business models of Tencent, Meituan & Co. with weekly, sometimes even daily, hard blows, the share prices of the companies and with them the fortunes of their founders have been falling faster than ever in the history of the People's Republic.
Asset loss of 16 percent
Since the Beijing regulators announced an investigation into the Chinese transport service Didi Chuxing two days after its IPO in New York in early July, the wealth of two dozen Chinese billionaires from the technology industry has increased by 16 percent, or $ 87 billion, according to the Financial Times sunk. Tencent founder Pony Ma's fortune alone fell by a quarter on paper, which equates to a loss of 12 billion. Pinduoduo founder Colin Huang, who lost nearly $ 16 billion, a third of his previous fortune, was hit even harder. Since Beijing stopped the IPO of the financial services provider Ant Financial in the fall, the assets of its founder Jack Ma, who also launched the Internet group Alibaba, have beendown nearly $ 13 billion.
Because the party obviously wants to bring the tech industry under its control and harness it for its own political goals, China's regulators have been covering technology companies for months with allegations of alleged violations of competition law, China's national security, data protection, and endangerment the youth, the exploitation of the middle class and other things.
With their donations, the corporations and their founders cannot hope to be spared regulatory attacks.
Instead, the charitable gifts are intended to signal to the financial markets that the companies and their multi-billion dollar leaders have recognized the signs of the times and are swiveling into the party's new line.
This should protect the share prices from new, heavy losses.
If these fall very sharply, the fortunes of internet billionaires could be even more at risk than is apparent on paper. The "FT" recently reported, with reference to company documents, that Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai had deposited part of their combined stake of 5.8 percent in Alibaba as collateral for bank loans. Such pledging of their own company shares is popular with billionaires in order to diversify their own assets without having to sell stocks. However, if borrowers are asked to make up for the losses in the event of a sharp drop in the share price, they could be forced to sell shares, which could further lower the company's share price. It is not known if other billionaires have pledged shares.Keywords: