China fines tech giants for antitrust violations

China fines tech giants for antitrust violations

Beijing — Chinese tech giants including Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings were fined Saturday for failing to report corporate takeovers, adding to an antitrust campaign by the ruling Communist Party.

Companies failed to report 43 acquisitions that occurred eight years ago under “operating concentration” rules, according to the State Administration of Market Regulation. It added that each violation is punishable by a fine of 500,000 yuan ($80,000).

Beijing has launched antitrust campaigns, data security and other crackdowns on technology companies since late 2020. The ruling party fears companies have too much control over their industries and has warned them against using their dominance to deceive consumers or block the entry of new competitors.

Among other companies that have been fined in the latest round of sanctions, online retailer JD.com Inc. and Suning Ltd. and search engine operator Baidu Inc. Acquisitions dating back to 2013 have included network technology, mapping and medical technology assets.

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The regulator said on its website that the companies “failed to declare the illegal implementation of the operating concentration.”

Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company by turnover, was fined $2.8 billion in April for practices that regulators said limited competition. Meituan, a food delivery platform, was fined $534 million on October 8.

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