Chinese regulators have hit Alibaba with a record fine of 18 billion yuan (about $ 2.75 billion) for violating antitrust rules as the country seeks to curb the influence of the world’s largest internet conglomerates.
In November, China It has proposed comprehensive antitrust regulations targeting its technology industry. In late December, the State Administration for Market Regulation said it had launched an antitrust investigation in Alibaba. SAMR, the country’s largest market regulator, said Saturday that it has determined that Alibaba has been “abusing market dominance” since 2015 by forcing its merchants to sell on one of China’s two major e-commerce sites rather than letting them choose freely.
Since late 2020, a group of internet giants Including Tencent and Alibaba They were fined for violating anti-competitive practices. The meager sums of these penalties were symbolic at best compared to the benefits that tech companies reap from their market focus. No company has been told to dismantle their empires and users still have to switch between different super apps that block each other.
But in recent weeks, signs have emerged that the antitrust campaign is getting more and more serious. The most recent fine imposed on Alibaba is equivalent to 4% of the company’s revenue earned in the 2019 calendar year in China.
“Today we received the administrative fine issued by the State Administration of Market Regulation in the People’s Republic of China,” Alibaba said in a statement. We sincerely accept the punishment and will firmly ensure our compliance. To serve our responsibility to society, we will act in accordance with the law with the utmost diligence, and we will continue to strengthen our compliance systems and build on growth through innovation. ”
The thick walls that tech companies were building against each other also began to crumble. Alibaba introduced an app to run its shopping deals app on the WeChat microsoftware platform, as confirmed recently by Wang Hai, Alibaba CEO.
For years, Alibaba services have been absent from Tencent’s sprawling lightweight app ecosystem, which now boasts millions of third-party services. Conversely, WeChat is noticeably missing from the Alibaba online marketplace as a method of payment. If passed, Alibaba’s WeChat widget will be broken with the husband’s long showdown precedent.
This is a developing story.