World: Chinese tech: companies forced to share their algorithms

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Le logo Alibaba, visible sur un immeuble à Pékin le 16 novembre 2021. © AP - NG Han Guan The Alibaba logo, visible on a building in Beijing on November 16, 2021.

New hard blow for Chinese digital giants, including Tencent, Alibaba And Bytedance, who gave the authorities details on their algorithms. An unprecedented approach in an increasingly tense context for players in the sector.

This is a new screw tour imposed by the communist regime to counter the tech giants. Regulatory authorities have published information on algorithms for several applications, used daily by hundreds of millions of Chinese.

These tools make it possible to make automatic recommendations to a user according to their habits or preferences. Alibaba, the leader of online commerce, offers for example new products based on user's browsing history.

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For its part, Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of Tiktok, recommends a video to a user according to those he has viewed before on the application.


algorithms from a law promulgated in March, Alibaba, Tencent and other Bytedance, which have huge amounts of personal data on their users, have given the Chinese authorities the details of their algorithms, a secret recipe to attract new Internet users and make them stay on their application.

worried about the opacity of digital giants with regard to these practices, the authorities seek to more regulate algorithms. This decision of the Chinese regulator is yet another measure aimed at further controling the activity of these groups with growing influence in Chinese society.

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Sign of this distrust of the digital sector, several behemoths have been pinned in recent months in particular in terms of personal data, competition and user rights.


measures in recent years, these tech giants have developed in many sectors, including those reserved until then for the central Beijing authorities. Alibaba and Tencent - mobile payment leaders, which has become ubiquitous in China - have launched themselves in the banking sector, kept from Chinese public institutions. For its part, the communist regime watches with distrust of this boom in tech and multiplies retaliatory measures.

In 2018, Chinese regulators suspend the IT Group's IPO, a financial subsidiary of Alibaba, at the last moment. A few weeks before the blocking of this record introduction, Jack MA, CEO of the group, had been accidental to criticize the rigidity of the financial regulators. A crime of lese majesty in Xi Jinping China, which also earned a fine of 2.3 billion euros to the champion of e-commerce, for hindrance to competition. Direct consequence, the very eccentric Chinese billionaire has moved in silence for long months.

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"common prosperity"

In stride, the Chinese president revived the concept of common prosperity, an ideal of redistribution of wealth inherited from the Maoist era. The very rich are asked to participate in this ideal which is found everywhere in the propaganda of the regime. The digital giants hastened to multiply donations to "reach common prosperity". Even Jack was leaving wood to say that "common prosperity" was "responsibility and duty" of the country's entrepreneurs.

Conscious that they were no longer on the rise, many Chinese tech leaders resigned, like Zhang Yiming, the CEO-founder of Bytedance, owner of Tiktok. The 9th Chinese fortune affirmed in its starting statement wanting to indulge in its favorite hobbies and to "daydream to what is possible". Far from the digital sector and reprisals from the Chinese authorities.

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