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Xi Jinping scrutinizes Chinese financial institutions’ ties with private firms
Chinese President Xi Jinping is zeroing in on the ties that China’s state banks and other financial stalwarts have developed with big private-sector players, expanding his push to curb capitalist forces in the economy.To get more China latest business news, you can visit shine news official website.

Xi, who started his campaign late last year with a regulatory assault on private technology giants, is launching a sweeping round of inspections of financial institutions. According to people with knowledge of the plan, the inspections, announced in September with few details, focus on whether state-owned banks, investment funds and financial regulators have become too chummy with private firms, especially some that have recently landed in Beijing’s crosshairs, such as property giant China Evergrande Group, ride-hailing company Didi Global Inc. and financial-technology firm Ant Group.

The examination, which is led by China’s top anticorruption agency and centers on 25 financial institutions at the heart of the Chinese economy, is the most extensive of a sector Xi has been suspicious of since coming to power nearly a decade ago. It is part of his broad effort to steer China’s economic system away from Western-style capitalism in the run-up to a leadership transition late next year, when Xi is expected to sidestep convention and continue his rule beyond the usual two five-year terms.
Evergrande, China’s most indebted property developer, has kept global markets on edge and sparked protests at home as it struggles to survive. WSJ explains why the company’s crisis is raising questions about the state of the world’s second-largest economy. Photo: Alex Plavevski/Shutterstock

Starting this month, graft-busters from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection are fanning out through the offices of the 25 state institutions, reviewing files of their lending, investment and regulatory records and demanding answers to how certain deals or decisions related to the private firms were made, according to the people familiar with the plan.These people said individuals who are suspected of having engaged in inappropriate dealings are likely to be formally investigated by the Communist Party and potentially charged later, while any entities found to have gone astray would be disciplined.

The leadership will also use findings from the inspections to decide whether to slash the compensation of the executives at these state financial juggernauts. Some officials at the Ministry of Finance, which funds big state financial institutions, have been pushing for the cut as compensation in the financial sector is seen as too high compared with that of other industries.At a Sept. 26 meeting aimed at mobilizing the troops ahead of the new inspections, Zhao Leji, current head of Xi’s anticorruption body, said the inspectors in charge of examining the 25 institutions will "thoroughly search for any political deviations," according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Neither the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection nor the information office of the State Council, China’s cabinet, responded to questions. Press offices for the 25 institutions being examined and the other companies mentioned in the article also didn’t respond to inquiries.

The financial-sector scrutiny comes as Beijing is also trying to address the economy’s dependence on debt-fueled construction sprees, which is prompting turmoil in China’s property sector. By expanding his economic campaign, Xi risks unleashing dynamics that could severely cut into growth in coming months.

Amid the uncertainty, many banks are already pulling back from lending to private developers and other businesses, analysts said.

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