Alibaba, Baidu, and more tech giants fined by China

China’s market regulator said on Saturday it was fining companies such as Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com for failing to declare 43 agreements dating from 2012 to authorities, saying they violated antitrust laws.

The companies involved in the cases would be fined CNY 500,000 (approximately Rs 58.15 lakhs) each, he said, the maximum under China’s 2008 Antitrust Law.

Alibaba, Baidu, JD.com and Geely did not immediately respond to requests for comment. China has been tightening its grip on internet platforms, reversing a once laissez-faire approach and citing the risk of abusing market power to stifle competition, misuse of consumer data and infringement. of consumer rights.

The first deal listed was a 2012 acquisition involving Baidu and a partner, and the most recent was the 2021 deal between Baidu and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holdings to create a new energy vehicle company.

Other deals cited by the State Administration of Market Supervision included Alibaba’s 2014 acquisition of Chinese digital mapping and navigation company AutoNavi and its 2018 purchase of a 44 percent stake in Ele.me to become the largest shareholder. of the food delivery service.

However, the agreements did not have the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, the regulator said.

In December last year, it fined Alibaba, Tencent-backed China Literature and Shenzhen Hive Box CNY 500,000 each for failing to adequately report previous agreements for antitrust reviews, the first time it had done so.

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