Chinese regulator fines 12 companies by anti-monopoly law

The Chinese market regulator said Friday that it has fined a dozen companies, including game company Tencent Holdings and Chinese search engine firm Baidu Inc., for failing to disclose past deals as authorities step up anti-scrutiny. monopoly in the Internet sector.

The companies, which included other companies such as ride-hailing firm Didi Mobility and Softbank, were fined 500,000 yuan (US $ 77,000) each for failing to disclose previous investments, acquisitions or joint ventures, according to a Chinese state administration statement. for market regulation.

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China in February released anti-monopoly guidelines aimed at cracking down on anti-competitive practices in the internet industry, such as signing exclusive deals with merchants and using subsidies to squeeze competitors.

Tencent Holdings was fined for its investment in the Yuanfudao online education app in 2018, while Baidu was fined for taking over consumer electronics company Ainemo Inc. last year. The regulator said neither had sought prior approval for the agreements, thus violating anti-monopoly laws even though the agreements did not restrict competition.

Tencent said in an e-mailed statement that it “will continue to adapt to changes in the regulatory environment and will seek to ensure full compliance.” Similarly, Didi Mobility, a unit of Didi Chuxing, and Softbank were censored for not seeking approval before creating a joint venture. Baidu, Didi Mobility and Softbank did not immediately comment.

Internet companies in the United States face similar scrutiny. Lawmakers and regulators are considering whether Facebook, Google and other companies improperly hinder competition in advertising and other industries.

The Chinese market regulator last December fined online publisher China Literature, Alibaba and other Tencent-backed companies for failing to seek approval for several deals.

(This story has not been edited by our team of editors and is generated from a feed.)

News Highlights:

  • Chinese regulator fines 12 companies by anti-monopoly law