Regulators warn 34 Chinese tech companies following Alibaba’s $2.8bn fine

Following Alibaba’s record $2.8 billion fine, Chinese anti-trust regulators have ordered thirty-four Chinese internet companies to comply with anti-monopolistic laws. The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) asked the companies to rectify their anti-competitive practices and pledge written statements of compliance management. They were told to avoid behaviour which: 

“hinders innovation and development, and harms the interests of operators and consumers.”

The companies targeted by the SAMR includes:

  • Baidu
  • Didi
  • Kuaishou
  • Meituan
  • Qunar
  • Weibo
  • ByteDance
  • Bilibili
  • Hema
  • Pinduoduo
  • Xiaohongshu
  • Suning
  • NetEase
  • VIPshop
  • Tencent  

Today (April 14), the State Administration for Market Regulation announced that they had received written statements from 12 companies. Baidu and 360 produced statements asserting that they will protect user privacy and will not collect and abuse personal data. E-commerce platforms, Pinduoduo, Suning, and Vipshop pledged not to implement the ‘choose one of two’ policy.

Since the second half of 2020, financial regulators have compiled a series of new practices to create a more open and fair tech and e-commerce market. Earlier this week, Alibaba Group was fined 18.2 billion RMB ($2.8 billion) for breaching competition laws. The sum amounted to 4% of the company’s domestic annual revenue in 2019 and was largely in response to the company’s  ‘choose one of two’ requirement for merchants. The policy forbade retailers from selling on other e-commerce platforms, a practice that is now banned under the new competition laws.

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