SenseTime postpones IPO + Pressure on Macau's casinos
The postponement of the stock market debut of AI company SenseTime was not newsworthy for Chinese state newspapers, such as the Global Times. That may be because of its connection to sensitive human rights issues: The US government had unequivocally linked the company to the total surveillance of the Uyghur people. Finn Mayer-Kuckuk analyzes the backstory of the entanglement of geopolitics, finance, and AI. The former flagship company has not only lost its glory, but also its innocence.
Beijing's strict capital controls have driven casino operators in the Macau Special Economic Zone to be constantly on the lookout for new loopholes in recent years. Citizens of the People's Republic can legally transfer only $50,000 outside the country per year. Macao's casinos have thus lured wealthy people to their city with pleasure trips and paid them their winnings in US dollars or euros. The stakes had to be high enough – otherwise, access to VIP rooms was denied. With the arrest of gambling baron Alvin Chau, Beijing is sending a warning signal to the entire industry. Head of state Xi Jinping not only wants to bring the entertainment and technology industries back in line but also the financial and gambling industries, as our Beijing authors analyze.
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