China’s state market regulator said it imposed fines on e-commerce giant Alibaba, along with other major technology companies, including Baidu and JD.com, for violating the country’s antitrust laws.
The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) imposed fines of $ 78,300 on each company, saying they failed to declare 43 agreements dating back to 2012 to the appropriate authorities.
The list of cartel infringement cases that have been brought to light includes Beijing Baidu Wangxun Technology and Nanjing Wangdian Technology’s joint acquisition of Nanjing Xinfeng Network Technology, Alibaba’s acquisition of the shares in AutoNavi Software Holdings and Tencent’s acquisition of equity in China Medical Online.
All the reported cases represent transactions that should have been notified but which were not. SAMR noted that the list includes a number of companies and a long transaction time.
“With the profound advances in anti-monopoly law enforcement, awareness of business operators’ declarations of concentration continues to rise, proactively sorting and reporting the concentration of operators who have not previously been declared illegal … and actively cooperating with investigations, “ said the watchdog Saturday on its official WeChat account.
The sanctions are the latest development in Beijing’s major crackdown on technology-focused enterprises, in the midst of a nationwide step towards increasing national security. The country’s tech giants, especially those operating in the financial sector, have been under close scrutiny by state authorities due to their growing power.
In October, SAMR imposed a $ 533.5 million fine on food delivery platform Meituan. The penalty for monopolistic practice was the second-largest fine on the Chinese platform economy since Alibaba was sentenced to a record-breaking $ 2.8 billion antitrust fine in April for exclusionary practice.
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