Caixin
Jan 25, 2021 04:26 PM
FINANCE

China’s Antitrust Campaign Isn’t Singling Out Private Firms, Regulator Says

What’s new: China’s recent antitrust measures covering internet platforms are not targeting private enterprises and will not impact their business development, Liang Tao, a vice chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said at a news conference (link in Chinese) on Friday.

The remarks came after some banks scaled back loans to private firms, as regulators stepped up scrutiny on e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and its fintech affiliate Ant Group Co. Ltd. in efforts to rein in “disorderly capital expansion” and monopolistic practices. Many had interpreted this as a signal that the government is tightening its grip on private enterprises.

Liang said recent antitrust measures are consistent with the goal of supporting the stable long-term development of private enterprise, adding that banking and insurance institutions are encouraged to cooperate with internet platforms in accordance with laws and regulations.

The background: In late December, China’s top financial regulators held talks with Ant Group executives, during which they ordered the fintech company to return to its roots as a payment service provider and overhaul its lending, insurance and wealth management businesses amid concerns about its potential systemic risks.

In a separate action, the country’s top market regulator launched an investigation into alleged anticompetitive practices of Alibaba.

Related: What You Need to Know About Ant Group’s Suspended IPO and the Future of Chinese Fintech

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full Caixin article in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (ziyitang@caixin.com) and editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

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