China signals easing of tech squeeze in bid to lift economy

People wearing face masks walk past a street amid snowfall, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at a shopping area in Beijing, China March 17, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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BEIJING/HONG KONG, April 29 (Reuters) – China signalled an easing of its crackdown on the once-freewheeling tech sector on Friday as President Xi Jinping seeks to bolster the economy in the face of growth-sapping COVID-19 lockdowns, sending shares in online heavyweights surging.

China’s powerful Politburo, in a meeting chaired by Xi, said it will step up policy support for the world’s second-largest economy, including its so-called “platform economy”, fueling investor hopes that the worst may be over for an unprecedented, multi-pronged crackdown that began in late 2020.

The optimism was also powered by reports that China’s top leaders will hold a symposium early next month with a number of internet companies,…

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