China’s tech companies poach former government officials
It seems that China's IT giants learn nothing from their mistakes. They now claim they have found a new way to navigate President Xi’s intensifying crackdown on the sector. Alibaba’s Jack Ma has been one of the first to stand against the system. Yet, he suffered a devastating defeat, losing one of his main affiliate companies, Ant Group. It is not clear what has encouraged local businessmen to compete with China’s Communist Party. Their new way of confronting the regime is to hire former and current government officials. IT companies started enticing Chinese former officials ranging from antitrust regulators to court judges. Among those hiring former officials are Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, Ant Group, and Meituan. Thus, Alibaba has poached Cui Shufeng, former deputy director at the Ministry of Commerce’s anti-monopoly department, who told Xi’s administration that they should not be too hard on the company. Tencent recruited the former judge who served in the Nanzhou District Court for 14 years. As a result, the company won almost 94% of its cases at the court between 2018 and 2020. According to official data, over 4,800 people having experience as civil servants were hired by private companies last year. Notably, two decades ago, there were only 99 of them. Apparently, former government officials flock to IT groups as the salaries there are three to six times higher than in the civil service.