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The Chinese Government Is Considering Making Content From Local Corporations Accessible By Rivals

China is currently weighing its options, as the government considers asking companies such as Tencent and ByteDance to let rivals display their relevant content in search results.

The decision at hand is currently within the hands of China's Ministry of Industry & Information Technology, with members still debating the overall outcome. If the decision to make data from such companies accessible is passed, the ramifications could be very well spread out, all things considered. Tencent and ByteDance are massive tech corporations, with revenue generated in the billions. Tencent, majorly known for its ownership of the League of Legends gaming IP as well as tons of other tech-related pursuits, and ByteDance, famously known for TikTok, will definitely not be happy with such a verdict. However, it's not like they have a say in the matters.

China has already demonstrated just how highly it regards other corporations within the country. Hint: highly regarded was written with great sarcasm and a hint of minor mirth by this author. The AliBaba Group can testify to just how harshly China can crack down on other companies on its turf. A few passing comments from founder and previous company CEO Jack Ma over the state of free market within the country's borders is all it took for major crackdowns to begin on the company. Stock began to plummet and worse yet, Ma disappeared entirely from the public eye. Rumors began to circulate that the man had been forcibly disappeared, until he was spotted in early 2021, giving a virtual lecture. In summary: yikes.

Perhaps this decision to make content from these companies accessible to rivals is a way of humbling them after all. After all, publicly accessible content also means that the government can even more closely and discreetly monitor perception and public opinion. However, there's another story that can take root here as well. Perhaps China's reason for doing so is to provide another avenue via which the country's businesses and content can gain some international exposure. It's a way for the government to rebrand its public perception in the face of, ahem, rumored disappearing.

Maybe the decision will pass, maybe it will not. Either way, one thing is for sure: Tencent and ByteDance are not happy campers. With international audiences already established, they have nothing to do but lose.

FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

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