Caixin
Jan 06, 2022 04:53 PM
TECH

China Tech Giants Slapped With Fresh Round of Fines for Antitrust Violations

What’s new: China’s market regulator has slapped tech giants with a fresh round of fines for violating anti-monopoly rules — this time for failing to report their acquisition of stakes on other companies that gave them controlling power.

Tencent Holdings Ltd., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Bilibili Inc. and some private-equity investment companies were fined 500,000 yuan ($78,500) for each unlawful deal — 13 in total — according to notices published by the State Administration for Market Regulation on Wednesday.

Nine of those 13 fines were levied against Tencent for a total of 4.5 million yuan. Alibaba was fined twice.

The regulator said that despite the penalties, the acquisitions did not actually result in the exclusion or restriction of market competition.

The context: China has stepped up its crackdown on tech firms’ monopolistic behavior since last year as part of broader policy tightening moves to defuse economic risks. The companies were also targeted because of regulators’ concerns over data abuse, teenagers’ online-gaming addiction, and financial risks posed by fintech businesses.

Top listed internet giants have seen hundreds of billions slashed from their market value in 2021, as the ongoing regulatory storm spooked investors. Some companies had to roll back businesses to comply with regulations, leading to mass layoffs of staff.

Related: Year in Review: The Regulatory Storm That Targeted China Tech

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Guo Yingzhe (yingzheguo@caixin.com) and editor Bertrand Teo (bertrandteo@caixin.com)

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