Event Details

The decision by Chinese regulators to halt Chinese fintech giant Ant Group's planned record-breaking initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong shocked investors and analysts and is seen as the first in a series of moves aimed to contain the previously unstoppable firm. For a firm once considered "too big to fail", Ant's dramatic reversal of fortunes has prompted much discussion about what China's antitrust actions mean for Ant, other Chinese tech giants, and the future of fintech in China. Our magazine recently asked, Is China right to tame Ant?, exploring the issues behind the Chinese regulatory action to tighten control on the company.

Ant aside, China is also focused on fostering domestic innovation and self-sufficiency as part of its 14th Five-Year Plan. What role will big tech be allowed to play in driving China's dual circulation strategy? And seeing the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) take action is itself noteworthy because it signals the regulatory body's maturation. SAMR was only established in March 2018 when China concentrated all antitrust regulation and enforcement into one agency. The challenge for China now, already a global frontrunner in fintech, is how to balance innovation and regulation.

Please join Don Weinland, The Economist's China business and finance editor, and Angela Zhang, an expert on Chinese antitrust enforcement and a law professor at The University of Hong Kong, for a virtual event to explore these themes.


  • Angela Zhang (Associate Professor of Law; Director of Center for Chinese Law at The University of Hong Kong)

    Angela Zhang

    Associate Professor of Law; Director of Center for Chinese Law at The University of Hong Kong

    An expert on Chinese law, Angela Zhang has written extensively on Chinese antitrust enforcement. Her new book “Chinese Antitrust Exceptionalism: How the Rise of China Will Challenge Global Regulation” will be published by Oxford University Press in March 2021. The book examines how Chinese exceptionalism—as manifested in the way China regulates and is regulated, is reshaping global antitrust regulation.

    Before joining the University of Hong Kong, Angela taught at King’s College London and practiced law for six years in the United States, Europe, and Asia. She previously worked as a bankruptcy lawyer at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York and as an antitrust attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Brussels. Angela was admitted to the New York Bar in 2009.

    Angela received her LLB from Peking University, and her LLM, JD and JSD from the University of Chicago Law School. She wrote her doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Judge Richard A. Posner.

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  • Don Weinland (China business and finance editor at Economist)

    Don Weinland

    China business and finance editor at Economist

    Don Weinland joined The Economist as China Business and Finance Editor in 2020. He writes about global Chinese investment and the Chinese banking system, as well as multinational business within China. Don was the Financial Times’ Asia Financial Correspondent and Beijing Correspondent from 2016-20. He has also worked as a journalist in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Phnom Penh. He moved to China in 2003 to study Mandarin and has spent much of his time in Asia since then.

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  • Janet Pau (Director, Hong Kong of The Economist Corporate Network)

    Janet Pau

    Director, Hong Kong of The Economist Corporate Network

    Janet Pau is the Director of The Economist Corporate Network in Hong Kong. She brings her experience working with top executives throughout Asia, coupled with economic knowledge and industry insight to help organisational leaders and their teams gain a holistic, practical appreciation of the opportunities and challenges in Greater China and across Asia.

    Before joining The Economist Corporate Network, Janet was Program Director for the Asia Business Council, developing and delivering content for private forums for an all-CEO membership in Asia for more than a decade. Prior to that, she was Manager at the Global Business Policy Council at consulting firm A.T. Kearney in Washington D.C., where she led consulting projects and intellectual capital publications for senior executive clients in both business and government.

    Janet’s publications include Through the Eyes of Tiger Cubs: Views of Asia’s Next Generation (Wiley, 2012) and Building Energy Efficiency (Encyclopaedia of China Publishing House, Chinese edition, 2008). She was an op-ed contributor and columnist for the South China Morning Post from 2011 to 2019. She has also contributed opinion pieces and book chapters, and spoken at various local and regional business conferences.

    She serves on the leadership team of Hong Kong-based charity Beyond Foundation, which advocates for children with special needs and their families. She was a member on the Hong Kong Government’s Antiquities Advisory Board, Museum Advisory Board, and Central Policy Unit.

    Janet received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies and psychology with honours from Yale University and a Master in Public Policy specializing in economic policy and competitiveness from Harvard University.

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  • Mattie Bekink (China Director of The Economist Corporate Network)

    Mattie Bekink

    China Director of The Economist Corporate Network

    Mattie Bekink is responsible for the Economist Corporate Network’s China strategy, including programme development and client servicing across China. She also provides support to all Economist Corporate Network programmes worldwide with a China component.

    Ms Bekink has extensive experience in the public, private and policy sectors. Prior to joining The Economist Group, she was the Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in the Netherlands. She also ran an eponymous consulting business, advising senior executives from businesses, universities and non-profit organisations on China policy, strategy, public affairs, and corporate social responsibility. Ms Bekink practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, has worked with the US-Asia Law Initiative at NYU Law School and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative China Program, and served in the legal department at General Motors China.

    Ms Bekink has a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.

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