After slapping Alibaba with record penalties last week, the Chinese government has warned 34 other digital technology firms to step up efforts to adhere to antitrust regulations and make a public pledge to do so, the Financial Times reported.
China’s tech platforms have one month to instill anti-competitive practices and issue a public guarantee that they will adhere to regulations. Any companies not in compliance risk financial fines and regulatory backlash. Alibaba was just hit with record penalties totaling $2.8 billion.
The country’s market, internet and tax regulators met earlier on Tuesday (April 13) with the top tech firms in China, which included Tencent, ByteDance, Meituan and Alibaba, per FT. Although the regulators said they largely consider tech platforms in a positive light, they also are holding up Alibaba as an example of what could happen in the event of noncompliance.
This is China’s strongest move yet to regulate and stop anti-competitive maneuvers by digital platforms, many of which have expanded products and services to monopolize users and keep them on their own sites and apps.
Regulators took a bold step in March to stop initial public offerings (IPOs) in an effort to safeguard investors from financial loss and uphold overall financial stability. In 2021 alone, 84 companies withdrew applications to go public. Chinese officials said that stricter laws were instituted to elevate tech credentials and financial integrity.
Alibaba’s fines, although record-high, are seen as unlikely to pack much financial punch to the company’s bottom line, but the penalties could be seen as a warning to other big tech platforms. Alibaba was accused by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) of mandating that merchants choose its platform and abandon selling on competitors’ sites.
Selected by EFXA