China tightens curbs faced by tech giants, issues new guidelines

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Feb 07, 2021, 06:09 PM(IST)

China's new rules Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The new guidelines formalise an earlier anti-monopoly draft law released in November, and clarify a series of monopolistic practices that regulators plan to crack down on.

China's market regulator Sunday released new anti-monopoly rules that stand to tighten existing restrictions faced by the country's tech giants.

The new guidelines formalise an earlier anti-monopoly draft law released in November, and clarify a series of monopolistic practices that regulators plan to crack down on.

The said rules are expected to put new pressure on the country's leading internet services, including e-commerce sites such as Alibaba Group's Taobao and Tmall marketplaces or JD.com, or payment services like Ant Group's Alipay or Tencent Holding's WeChat Pay.

The guidelines bar companies from a range of behaviour, including forcing merchants to choose between the country's top internet players, a long-time practice in the market.

The regulator, SAMR, said the latest guidelines would "stop monopolistic behaviours in the platform economy and protect fair competition in the market." The notice also said it would stop companies from price fixing, restricting technologies and using data and algorithms to manipulate the market.

Chinese regulators, in December, launched an antitrust investigation into Alibaba Group following the dramatic suspension of the $37 billion initial public offering plan of its payment affiliate, Ant Group.

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