Investors across the world have been fretting about the very visible hand of Chinese regulators since the end of 2020. It began with the last-minute call to halt what was to be the largest initial public offering in history in November. Alibaba’s charismatic founder and the richest man in China, Jack Ma, was firmly put in his place as his company strayed from being a tech company to becoming a financing giant.

Then the clampdown began in earnest. It included the Naspers-controlled Chinese online conglomerate Tencent, whose online games were criticised by Chinese regulators as “spiritual opium” as millions of Chinese children were addicted to them. Tencent stock tumbled over 10% on this criticism, wiping $60bn from its market capitalisation...

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