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Chinese antitrust rules target tech giants

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Issued China’s Market Regulatory Authority (CMR), on Sunday, new antitrust rules targeting internet platforms and tightening current restrictions faced by the country’s tech giants.

The new antitrust rules formalize a previous antitrust bill passed in November, and clarify a series of monopolistic practices that regulators plan to eliminate.

The new antitrust rules are expected to put new pressure on the country’s leading internet services, including e-commerce sites such as Taobao and Tmall of Alibaba Group or JD.com.

The new rules also cover payment services such as: Alipay from Ant Group or WeChat Pay from Tencent Holding.

And prevent monopoly rules, issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation SAMR Across its website, companies exhibit a range of behaviors, including forcing merchants to choose among the country’s best internet players, a long-standing practice in the market.

The State Administration for Market Regulation said: The recent guidelines stop monopolistic behaviors in the platform economy and protect fair competition in the market by preventing companies from Price stabilization, technology restriction, and data and algorithms use to manipulate the market.

On the questions and answers page accompanying the notice, the State Administration for Market Regulation indicated that reports on Internet-related antitrust behavior are increasing, and that it faces challenges to regulate the industry.

“The behavior is further hidden through the use of data, algorithms, platform rules, etc., making it difficult to discover and define monopoly agreements,” she said.

In recent months, China has begun to tighten controls over its technology giants, reversing its laissez-faire approach.

And in December, regulators launched an antitrust investigation against the Alibaba Group after the dramatic suspension of its $ 37 billion initial public offering (IPO) plan for its subsidiary Ant Group.

At the time, regulators warned the company about the practices, including forcing merchants to sign exclusive cooperation agreements at the expense of other internet platforms.

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