The Chinese government aims to keep the voice of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the forefront of society through a variety of different methods. In 2017, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), China’s nominal internet regulator fully under the control of the CCP, ordered all internet news information service providers to implement the “special management” system. In the following years, the Chinese government utilized this system to exercise control and influence over Chinese technology companies involved in media and content through “golden shares.”
To date, the Chinese government has focused primarily on media and content entities, but the system could be extended to other industries. If so, this would have major implications for foreign investors and others concerned about Chinese state influence, export controls, outbound investment regulations or other issues.
In this analysis, we identified entities tied to government holdings of large technology companies that have not been reported in the press, and highlighted certain indicators to look for that might help identify a golden shares relationship. We’ve compiled four case studies to demonstrate how China utilizes these relationships and how to unearth these relationships with corporate records.