Beijing has been increasingly taking minority stakes in private companies beyond those involved in online news and content, moving into firms that are dealing with large amounts of data, reports Reuters. According to two people familiar with the matter, Beijing has made a de facto special management stake or “golden share” arrangement with Full Truck Alliance, a Chinese platform arranging trucking services, according to one of the people.
Troubled Didi Global has also been in talks about a golden share for its core ride-hailing business, a third source with direct knowledge of the matter said. Seeking influence, Beijing began taking golden shares in private online media companies—usually about 1% of a firm—some five years ago. The stakes are bought by government-backed funds or companies which gain a board seat and/or veto rights for key business decisions.
Authorities are now also keen to have some control over vast troves of data owned by certain companies, the sources said, adding that the data is seen as a national asset at risk of attack and misuse, including by foreign states.