China publishes draft competition rules for online platforms

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Updated: Nov 10, 2020, 02:13 PM(IST)

China drafts rules Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), which issued the draft, said it wanted to prevent platforms from dominating the market or from adopting methods aimed at blocking fair competition.

China's market regulator on Tuesday published draft rules aimed at preventing monopolistic behaviour by internet platforms.

China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), which issued the draft, said it wanted to prevent platforms from dominating the market or from adopting methods aimed at blocking fair competition. This is being seen as a move that will increase scrutiny on the country's e-commerce marketplaces and payment services.

The definitions it provided for internet platforms mean the new rules could apply to e-commerce sites.

The draft rules would also consider whether a transaction treats different customers in different ways based on big data, payment ability, consumption preferences, and usage habits, according to the statement from SAMR.

The move comes after the shock suspension last week of the planned $37 billion share market listing of Ant Group, not long after regulators warned the company its lucrative online lending business faced tighter government scrutiny.

The draft rules issued on Tuesday would look to prevent e-commerce practices such as "choose one between two", under which a marketplace restricts brands from selling on multiple platforms.

According to the statement from SAMR, the draft rules would also consider whether a transaction treats different customers in different ways based on big data, payment ability, consumption preferences, and usage habits. 

SAMR is seeking reviews and feedback from the public toward the draft rules until November 30.

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