China fines tech giants for anti-monopoly violations
BEIJING – Chinese tech giants including Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings were fined on Saturday for failing to report business acquisitions, adding to an anti-monopoly crackdown by the ruling Communist Party.
The companies have not reported 43 acquisitions that occurred up to eight years ago under “operational concentration” rules, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation. Each violation is punishable by a fine of 500,000 yuan ($ 80,000), the statement said.
Beijing has launched anti-monopoly, data security and other crackdowns on tech companies since late 2020. The ruling party fears companies have too much control over their industries and has warned them to not use their dominance to rip off consumers or block the entry of new competitors.
Other companies fined in the latest round of sanctions include online retailers JD.com Inc. and Suning Ltd. and search engine operator Baidu Inc. Acquisitions dating back to 2013 included network technology, mapping and medical technology assets.
The companies “did not declare the implementation of the operational concentration illegal,” the regulator said on its website.
Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company by sales volume, was fined $ 2.8 billion in April for practices that regulators say have suppressed competition. Meituan, a food delivery platform, was fined $ 534 million on October 8.