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The Great Rectification: A New Paradigm For China’s Online Platform Economy

 |  January 16, 2023

By Rogier Creemers, Leiden University

This article reviews the regulatory campaign against China’s online platform sector that took place between 2020 and 2022. It focuses specifically on its substantive policy aspects, arguing that this “rectification” both intended to remedy existing perceived problems in the online platform industry and to reshape the sector to better meet the needs of the rapidly altering economic and development policy environment. The rectification pursued six discrete goals: managing macro- economic risks, maintaining content control, addressing emerging social concerns, remedying market imbalances, mitigating foreign risks, and supporting the technology development area. It led to significant punitive actions, as well as rhetorical and behavioural shifts by companies. As such, it provides a first test case of the bigger changes occurring under the post-19th Party Congress “New Era”, but also holds comparative potential for researching platform governance worldwide.

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