At an economic and finance conference on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted the need to advocate for moderate affluence for everyone — or the notion of “common prosperity.”
This concept, experts say, is the one to blame for the current regulatory check on technological firms.
Significantly, this was Xi’s first public meeting after a two-week hiatus. Chinese officials usually spend the early days of August conducting political meetings at a resort in Beidaihe, approximately three hours east of Beijing.
According to a CNBC translation, the conference should decide for “reasonable adjustments of unsustainable earnings of the wealthy and urging their high-incomed groups to return more revenues to society.”
As covered by the state media, leaders asserted that “common prosperity” does not imply “prosperity for a few” and is not a kind of equal distribution. Instead, the report further stated that it is progress towards the objective, done through phases.
To deliver mutual prosperity emerged as a recurring topic in Chinese political debate in recent months. The slogan refers to a moderated wealth for everyone instead of being in the hands of a few. However, the slogan has remained ambiguous.
In a statement of Yue Su, who is The Economist Intelligence Unit’s senior economist, she said that she hopes that the authorities will continually be reasonable and practical in their implementations.
“Because increasing taxes on high-income people and capital returns may reduce investment and possibly lead to outflows in the capital,” she added, “the government of China will not completely disregard the effect of redistribution measures on the economy.”
She also said that privatizing public services like education, eldercare, and medical care would likely slow the general services offered as authorities proceed to rigorous monitoring and pricing, resulting in diminished affordability.
Over the past several decades, income disparity has grown among China’s 1.4 billion citizens. According to figures released in 2019 by Paris School of Economics professor Thomas Piketty and colleagues, the wealthiest 10% of the population received 41% of national income in 2015, up from 27% in 1978.
However, the lower-income 50 % of the population saw their proportion of national income decrease to about 15%, down from over 27% in 1978.
According to official statistics, urban inhabitants in Shanghai had a disposable monthly income average per capita amounting to 7,058 yuan this year. It is more than the 4,021 yuan recorded in other cities and 1,541 yuan for rural areas.
Analysts anticipate further measures to boost economic development, such as reducing the reserve requirement ratio, as proposed in the top monetary policy summit.
Data for July revealed that China’s economic growth weakened much more than anticipated, including the data on individual Chinese consumer expenditure.
However, economists have highlighted that growth is not a predominant concern for Beijing this year as much as the long-term issues of debt accumulation and economic vulnerabilities in the vast real estate market.
“Funding is the heart of the current globalized economy with roots to growth and security,” CNBC’s translation of official media stated, quoting Xi’s comments at the summit on Tuesday.
“It must adhere to marketization and the rule of law principles, as well as coordinating the resolution and prevention of significant financial risks,” he added.