(Obsolete) Why Chinese companies shall consider Swiss footprints
To counter a tightening of controls on data flows and the assets of their founders, Chinese companies might be well advised to establish or consolidate their presence in Switzerland
Recent developments in Beijing’s policy towards Chinese companies operating internationally suggest that the founders or managers of these companies should be interested in Switzerland. This article aims to take stock of the situation, to put it into a geostrategic context and to propose concrete and rapid solutions so that the situation of these entrepreneurs — owning medium or large organisations — does not deteriorate even further in an environment that clearly shows that control or even retaliatory measures will increase as of Autumn 2021.
In the Midst of Quicksands
To pick up on the most relevant developments following the “disappearance” earlier this year of Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma (ref. 1) and the retaliatory measures against bitcoin miners (ref. 2), it is worth noting that on 20 August Chinese regulators were considering pressuring data-rich companies to outsource the management and oversight of their data if they want to list in the US as part of Beijing’s unprecedented scrutiny of private sector companies (ref. 3). Two days earlier, at a meeting on finance and the economy, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday emphasised the need to foster moderate wealth for all — or the idea of “common prosperity” (ref 4). Chinese politicians were so convincing during Jack Ma’s ‘forced holiday’ that e-commerce giant Alibaba Group announced in early September that it would spend $15.5 billion to support President Xi Jinping’s campaign to spread China’s prosperity more evenly (ref 5).
Some of Jack Ma’s colleagues might be tempted to cross the Pacific to the US; unfortunately, the misadventures of Kaspersky (ref. 6), Huawei, and even JD.com to a lesser extent, should discourage them from taking the plunge, even if they are considering a stock market listing.