Matthew Brennan

Both Tencent and Alibaba have become power players, even eclipsing the formerly leading economic state-owned companies, says innovation-specialist Matthew Brennan in ATimes. So maybe they [think they] need to clip their wings a little,” adds Mr Brennan.


In many ways what they are doing dovetails with the central government’s goals of restructuring China into a service oriented economy, and making the country a leader in technological innovation. Because of this, industry leaders have clearly been given the green light thus far to forge ahead with their disruptions.

But Matthew Brennan of China Channel, a consultancy that has followed Tencent since it was listed in 2014, tells the Financial Times that he agrees with those who believe it and Alibaba have become too powerful.

Alipay and WeChat pay says Mr Brennan, for example, are good for the economy and put China at the cutting edge of mobile payments. But at the same time “they are undercutting the SOE banking sector and have done so very rapidly, and that could lead to instability . . . too much disruption going on could spill over into unrest. So maybe they [think they] need to clip their wings a little,” adds Mr Brennan.

Warning signs, as the FT writes, seem to be largely concentrated in the payments, financial services and gaming industries.

More in ATimes.

Matthew Brennan is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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