Tokyo is seeing something extraordinary unfolding in China. Successful IT companies, for-profit tutoring schools, celebrities in the entertainment world and other figures or firms considered to be wealthy are being clamped down upon under the government’s new so-called “common prosperity” push.

Technology and IT giants Alibaba Group, Tencent and ByteDance reportedly doled out more than 200 billion Chinese yuan in donations to education and employment promotion funds. A famous star was abruptly removed from the cast credits of her movies. A popular actor was ordered to pay heavy fines for tax evasion.

Many in Tokyo were bewildered when Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma disappeared for a few months in 2020-2021. Later it was learned his disappearance coincided with a regulatory crackdown on his businesses. Until recently, however, Tokyo had no clue about the real reasons behind the crackdown — which is signified by Xi Jinping’s new common prosperity policy.