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China issues new anti-monopoly rules targeting its tech giants

TechnologyFeb 07, 2021 09:25PM ET
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© Reuters. People check their phones during the third annual World Internet Conference in Wuzhen town of Jiaxing

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's market regulator released new anti-monopoly guidelines on Sunday that target internet platforms, tightening existing restrictions faced by the country's tech giants.

The new rules formalise an earlier anti-monopoly draft law released in November and clarify a series of monopolistic practices that regulators plan to crack down on.

The guidelines are expected to put new pressure on the country's leading internet services, including e-commerce sites such as Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group's Taobao and Tmall marketplaces or JD (NASDAQ:JD).com. They will also cover payment services like Ant Group's Alipay or Tencent Holding's WeChat Pay.

The rules, issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) on its website, bar companies from a range of behaviour, including forcing merchants to choose between the country's top internet players, a long-time practice in the market.

SAMR said the latest guidelines would "stop monopolistic behaviours in the platform economy and protect fair competition in the market."

The notice also said it will stop companies from price fixing, restricting technologies and using data and algorithms to manipulate the market.

In a Q&A accompanying the notice, SAMR said reports of internet-related anti-monopoly behaviour had been increasing, and that it was facing challenges regulating the industry.

"The behaviour is more concealed, the use of data, algorithms, platform rules and so on make it more difficult to discover and determine what are monopoly agreements," it said.

China has in recent months started to tighten scrutiny of its tech giants, reversing a once laissez-faire approach.

In December, regulators launched an antitrust investigation into Alibaba Group following the dramatic suspension of the $37 billion initial public offering plan of its payment affiliate, Ant Group.

At the time, regulators warned the company over practices including forcing merchants to sign exclusive cooperation pacts at the expense of other internet platforms.

China issues new anti-monopoly rules targeting its tech giants
 

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Comments (11)
Mike Brarey
Mike Brarey Feb 07, 2021 10:24PM ET
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Amazon is hiding price fixing with jojo prices that are not random at all
kuldeep maan
kuldeep maan Feb 07, 2021 9:59PM ET
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yas
Nordic Fire
Nordic Fire Feb 07, 2021 9:48PM ET
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Anyone believe they will apply these equally across the board?
John Tee John Tee
John Tee John Tee Feb 07, 2021 9:48PM ET
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Nope massive corruption within CCP officials still massive
Jack Russel
Jack Russel Feb 07, 2021 6:13PM ET
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Great rulez
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:39AM ET
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Ccp tries to curb the political power. Jack made cpp realize his power. Ccp makes sure no one else can take power away from them.
Nordin Mohamad
Nordin Mohamad Feb 07, 2021 10:31AM ET
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but ccp monopoly all ....
Parijat Sarkar
Parijat Sarkar Feb 07, 2021 8:22AM ET
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Alibaba Retrace This Next Week 👍.. Good Luck
Edward Chong
Edward Chong Feb 07, 2021 8:17AM ET
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alibaba back to 220
Waldemar Gau
Waldemar Gau Feb 07, 2021 7:49AM ET
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they will boost innovations with it. one player is always bad
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Feb 07, 2021 7:16AM ET
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China is pro-business while clamping on crony capitalists. Present US administration is an embodiment of the cronyism.
The Chad Bull
The Chad Bull Feb 07, 2021 7:14AM ET
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This is why you don’t invest in a communist country
 
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