Chinese regulators have begun developing new “antitrust” guidelines targeting some of China’s biggest tech companies. The guidelines aim to reduce the monopolistic practices and power of internet companies. They will target practices such as:
- Offering different prices to customers based on previous activity
- Collusion through sharing customers’ data
- Alliances to deter competitors from the entering the market
This is the first such legal regulation on anti-competition in the internet industry. The rules are thought to be especially targeted to companies which offer e-commerce, food delivery and ride hailing services.
Authorities have justified the new measures as being important to create a fairer system which will protect consumers, as well as being a beneficial development for all platforms and the supply chain.
The announcement has impacted the stocks of these companies with $102 billion being knocked off the value of Alibaba, food delivery platform Meituan and WeChat owner Tencent. Meituan’s shares fell 10.5% and Alibaba’s fell 5.1% as a result of the measures.
This news comes just days after the suspension of Ant Group’s IPO and suggests Chinese authorities are wanting to tighten their grip over the power of the country’s tech giants. Alibaba’s Ant Group IPO was terminated last minute following an investigation by regulators into the company which included questioning of Jack Ma and Ant Group’s top executives.