Meituan (??) has shed more than US$58 billion of its market value over two frenetic trading sessions, after Beijing unveiled sweeping reforms against private-sector companies that darkened the outlook for the world’s biggest food delivery giant. The Chinese company yesterday slid a record 17 percent in Hong Kong, on top of a 14 percent plummet the previous day. The Tencent Holdings Ltd (??)-backed company, already the target of an antitrust probe with uncertain outcomes, was caught up in a broader sell-off of Internet stocks after China ordered swathes of its US$100 billion private education sector to go non-profit. The clampdown on the booming industry has shocked seasoned China watchers, prompting a rethink of how far Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (???) Chinese Communist Party is willing to go as it tightens its grip on the world’s second-largest economy. Meituan’s losses deepened after the nation’s powerful antitrust watchdog posted rules late on Monday ordering online food platforms to ensure their workers earn at least the local minimum wage, which appeared to target the sector’s leader. The Chinese government also asked meal delivery operators to respect the rights of delivery staff, according to a guideline released by seven government agencies including the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation. The guidelines were not a surprise, but the timing of their announcement was, Citigroup analyst Alicia Yap wrote. “We do see risks of slower profit growth and push out of near-term margins.” Meituan’s stock has tumbled more than 50 percent from its peak in February as the company grapples with scrutiny on multiple fronts. The food industry regulations added to a litany of regulatory woes. Beijing in April announced an investigation into whether Meituan contravened anti-monopoly laws through practices such as forced exclusivity arrangements with restaurants. The company has also drawn criticism over the way it treats hundreds of thousands of low-income delivery riders, who were put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meituan chief executive officer Wang Xing (??) himself has been warned to keep a low profile, Bloomberg News has reported, after the founder posted a controversial poem that convulsed markets and sparked a social media furor. Wang has detailed plans to address government concerns about its business practices. Among other things, the company has pledged to work with regulators and improve its compliance standards. It also promised to provide insurance for millions of its delivery drivers — many of them work as part-time personnel and lack proper employee benefits — and has started to reform its commissions scheme in a move to cut fees for partner restaurants. An index launched a year ago to give investors greater exposure to China’s Internet giants is now the world’s worst-performing major technology gauge. The Hang Seng Tech Index has been on a roller-coaster ride in the past 12 months. The gauge, which marks its first anniversary on Tuesday, was up 59 percent at its February peak, but has since seen more than US$551 billion in market value wiped out amid Beijing’s clampdown on the sector. That has reduced its gain to nearly 6 percent, compared with more than 40 percent for the MSCI World Information Technology Index and the NASDAQ-100 Index. The EDUCATION AS WELFARE: New regulations threaten to upend the lucrative private education sector that teaches the public school curriculum to paying families China unveiled a sweeping overhaul of its US$100 billion education tech sector, banning companies that teach the school curriculum from earning profit, raising capital or going public. Beijing on Saturday published an array of regulations that together threaten to overturn the sector and jeopardize billions of dollars in foreign investment. Companies that teach school subjects can no longer accept overseas investment, which could include capital from the offshore registered entities of Chinese firms, according to a notice released by the Chinese State Council. Those in violation of that rule must take steps to rectify the situation, the country’s most powerful administrative The next target for China’s cybersecurity crackdown is to be the pools of data collected by the latest generation of vehicles. This approach risks Beijing shooting itself in the foot, and jeopardizing its ambitious plans to lead the global race for electric and autonomous vehicles. China wants to have control over the information vehicles have about their drivers, the roads they traverse, and the faces and voices they pass, according to a draft law on data-security management for the automotive industry issued in May. It seeks to ensure manufacturers across the auto supply chain keep data in the country and pass ‘IN ITS INFANCY’: The company’s 12-inch fab in Arizona is to be its first major overseas chip manufacturing site, while the fab in Japan would be its second, if it is constructed Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, ???) is evaluating the feasibility of constructing a semiconductor fabrication plant in Germany as it continues to expand overseas, it said yesterday. A shareholder at the contract chipmaker’s annual general meeting in Hsinchu City yesterday asked about the possibility following media reports earlier this month that TSMC was approached by the German government about building a chip fab in the country, as Europe joins the US and China in establishing local chip supplies in a bid to avert future chip shortages. “About the German fab, we are seriously looking into it, but it is still in its