Missing Banker Reignites Fears of Xi in China’s Tech, Startups, Venture Capital

After a two-year crackdown on the private sector, Xi Jinping is trying to persuade China’s entrepreneurs they can safely return to founding tech startups and rebuilding the country’s economy. It’s a tough sell.

The Communist Party’s assault on private enterprise began in late 2020 with the silencing of billionaire Jack Ma and sweeping restrictions on real estate, and then traumatized wide swaths of the economy. Each time Beijing showed signs of backing off, the crackdown spread to new sectors, from games to online education to ride-hailing. Venture capitalists slammed the brakes on investments. Founders retreated from the limelight.