“Golden shares” refer to a type of share that gives the holder special voting rights, typically allowing them to block certain types of corporate decisions. In the case of China, these shares were originally introduced in the 1990s as a means to reduce the state’s role in the economy by allowing the government to maintain control over certain key industries while still allowing private investment.
However, in recent years, these golden shares have been used by the Chinese government to quietly control some of the country’s biggest tech companies. For example, the government reportedly holds golden shares in companies such as Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu, giving it significant control over their operations.
This has raised concerns among investors and analysts about the Chinese government’s increasing influence over the country’s private sector. Some argue that this could stifle innovation and entrepreneurship, as companies may be less willing to take risks if they fear government intervention.
It is important to note that the use of golden shares is not unique to China, and other countries have also used them to maintain control over key industries. However, the specific context of China’s economic system and political structure has raised particular concerns about the implications of their use in the country.