Atlas Shrugged is a book by Ayn Rand about a dystopian United States in which private businesses suffer under increasingly burdensome laws and regulations. The capitalists are the protagonists in the story who struggle against “looters” who want to exploit their productivity.
A mysterious figure called John Galt is persuading other business leaders to abandon their companies and disappear as a strike of productive individuals against the looters. The novel ends with the strikers planning to build a new capitalist society.
Though the book is fiction, parts of it are playing out in real life.
We see heavy regulations against several Chinese companies in the past one year, especially on those in the tech sector.
A handful of China big tech founders have stepped down from their key roles in their companies.
17 Mar 2021: Colin Huang of Pinduoduo stepped down as Chairman.
19 May 2021: Zhang Yiming of Bytedance announced to step down as CEO at the end of 2021.
6 Sep 2021: Richard Liu of JD.com stepped away from day-to-day operations.
1 Nov 2021: Su Hua of Kuaishou stepped down from an active role.
Jack Ma has retired from Alibaba even before the regulatory crackdown started.
Is China having the John Galt moment?