Big Chinese companies fined over anti-monopoly law

02 May, 2021
Big Chinese companies fined over anti-monopoly law
China fined 11 companies including tech giant Tencent on Friday (Apr 30), taking aim at their acquisitions and joint ventures as authorities target monopolistic practices.

The penalties come weeks after e-commerce giant Alibaba was hit with a US$2.78 billion fine by China's market watchdog when a study found it turned out abusing its dominant market position.

Twelve tech firms, including giants Tencent, Baidu and ByteDance, also received smaller fines in March for allegedly flouting monopoly rules.

Regulators have in recent months ramped up scrutiny, particularly of the country's high-flying tech firms, telling industry leaders to rectify anti-competitive behaviour.

Beijing has expressed concern over the reach of private companies in to the public's daily finances, with financial regulators summoning internet companies with fintech functions this week to warn them against unfair competition.

On Friday, China's market watchdog said it had discovered nine cases that violated anti-monopoly regulations by creating an "unlawful concentration" of business operations.

The companies were fined 500,000 yuan (US$77,259) each, said the State Administration for Market Regulation.

However the regulator noted the violations did not eradicate or restrict competition.

In one case involving Tencent, the business was found to have didn't declare the acquisition of auto services firm Shanghai Lantu IT.

Other companies hit with fines include Didi Intelligent Transportation Technology for similarly not declaring a jv, and Suning Rundong Equity Investment Management over an acquisition.