China Internet Report 2021 with John Artman

China Internet Report 2021 with John Artman
John Artman breaks down the key takeaways and major trends from the SCMP China Internet Report 2021.

In episode 347, John Artman, technology editor from South China Morning Post (SCMP) discuss the dawn of a new era for China technology from the annual SCMP China Internet Report 2021. We dived deep into three key topics: the tightening regulation and new legislation introduced by the Chinese government on anti-trust, data protection and usage and how it differs from GDPR by the European Union; the aggressive geographic expansion of Chinese tech into Southeast Asia and the exploitation of private domain traffic on e-commerce in China.

Historically, the Chinese government make these really big moves, and they make an example of one or two companies and then they move on. Then maybe in a couple of years, they'll come back and they'll make examples again. When we're looking at some of these unfair practices, on the one hand, we do have some very visible and very public moves against the technology industry. But I think that, over time, it'll be interesting to see, how compliant some of these platforms are. - John Artman

In conjunction with this episode, SCMP is providing a 30% off to the Analyse Asia audience for the CIR Pro report with the promo code: ANALYSEASIACIR. It won't apply until you go to the checkout page. This will be valid for 2 months till 30 Nov 2021. Here is the link where you can purchase the report with the promo code embedded.

Here are the links and show notes for this episode:


China Internet Report 2021 by SCMP

  • BL to introduce the report 2021 with the key takeaways and some key numbers.
  • With the tightening regulation from the Chinese government on the Chinese tech companies, is 2021 the year where we shift into a new era for the industry and if so, what should we expect moving forward?
  • As China is tightening regulations on multiple fronts, let’s start with the anti-trust where you see Chinese regulators are taking aim at big tech’s bad behavior. What are the key drivers that prompted the Chinese government to move at such a rapid pace?
  • For my audience out there, can you dive deep into the unfair practices made by the Chinese tech giants in the day to day activity?
  • What has the Chinese government done to stop the unfair practices?
  • The Chinese government has made significant movements to reform fintech and crush the cryptocurrency landscape. Let’s examine the regulatory angle. Can you talk about one or two policy objectives and discuss its implications to the landscape and impact on fintech companies?
  • One interesting piece I have extracted reading the report and I have not seen it done elsewhere, is how China has accelerated the timeline with the legislation progress and an illustrated timeline to how US, European Union and China have evolved their legislation on data protection. Can you dive deep into China's three pillars relating to data protection: Critical Information Infrastructure (CSL), Personal Information processed outside of cyberspace (PIPL) and DSL (any other record of information in electronic or other forms)?
  • What is the difference between Chinese laws and GDPR?
  • To end, what is the Chinese government’s perspective on cryptocurrency given that they have legislated against bitcoin mining and recently declare all cryptocurrencies to be illegal with the emergence of digital yuan?
  • Given the tightly regulated domestic market in China, the Chinese tech companies will be spending their efforts on geographic expansion. From the report, Southeast Asia (where I lived) seemed to be the destination where they are heading. There’s an implicit view from the investors to how they invest in the following order: China, India and Southeast Asia. What has changed to make Southeast Asia appealing?
  • What have the tech giants been doing in Southeast Asia for the past year?
  • How are the Chinese startups for example, Shein, adapting in their geographic expansion? What are they doing differently?
  • One interesting aspect of the report which I believe is poorly covered by the western media, is the growing focus on private-domain traffic. Can you introduce what private-domain traffic is and what are the key platforms driving this approach?
  • How does e-commerce work with private domain traffic? Can you give an example of a brand which has successfully leveraged this approach to grow?
  • What will be one key area of interest (which is not in the free report) and what are the key takeaways?
  • Given 2021 is such a landmark year for Chinese tech companies, what should we be expecting before the SCMP China Internet 2022 report? (Last question)


  • Any recommendations that you want to share with our audience that have inspired you recently?
  • John's recommendations: SCMP China Internet Report 2021, Dune movie in 2021 and Foundation in Apple TV+.
  • Where can our audience find you?

Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Sound credits for the intro and end music: "Run it" by DJ Snake, Rick Ross and Rich Brian