The trajectory of China’s economy is even more impossible to predict this year than usual. Analysts aren’t struggling simply to track risks, headwinds or financial imponderables, but also the whims of one man: Xi Jinping.
More than ever, this is a time in which investors’ China bets depend on which President Xi shows up. As markets learned the hard way in 2021, policy schizophrenia is very much on the table in Beijing's halls of power.
One Xi carried out a once-in-a-generation assault on Big Tech, froth in the property sector and deleveraging broadsides across China Inc. Among the wreckage: Jack Ma’s lost grip on the e-commerce and fintech juggernauts Xi’s men once celebrated; Didi Global’s once blockbuster of a share listing; the once-thriving tutoring business; and others.