China clamps down on internet giants

China clamps down on internet giants

China is cracking down on market abuses by threatening to slap the country’s online giants with massive fines for anti-competitive behaviour.

The internet continues to be dominated by just a few key players, and the Chinese government says many are guilty of breaking antitrust laws. It handed e-commerce giant Alibaba a record $2.8 billion fine in April for abusing its dominant position over rivals and merchants on its e-commerce platforms, sending a message to other online players that they won’t tolerate unfair competition.

Just days after the Alibaba penalty the country’s cyberspace and tax regulators summoned the chiefs of the big internet companies to a meeting and warned them that they face severe penalties if they don’t put their houses in order. It has also promised more regulatory scrutiny. It has given them a month’s notice to comply with the relevant legislation.

Alibaba’s business practices limited competition, affected innovation, infringed on the rights of merchants and harmed the interests of consumers, the regulator said.