China warns 34 tech companies following Alibaba’s $2.8 billion antitrust fine


The Chinese government is warning dozens of tech companies to heed anti-monopoly laws after issuing a record-setting fine against tech giant Alibaba over similar violations.

A statement obtained by multiple news outlets from the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) called on companies to avoid monopolistic behavior that it warned “hinders innovation and development, and harms the interests of operators and consumers.”

The statement went on to add that Chinese firms should give “priority to national interests” over individual profits, according to the news outlets.

The warning comes after the agency fined Alibaba $2.8 billion for alleged anti-competitive behavior, in particular centering around “exclusive dealing agreements” which prevented merchants from selling on platforms owned by Alibaba’s competitors, according to CNN Business.

“This is positive because the SAMR is giving the platforms one month to review their practices, rather than dish out fines and penalties without warning,” said Bloomberg Intelligence senior analyst Vey-Sern Ling.

“They are using Alibaba as an example to deter misbehavior from the rest of the industry players. If these companies toe the line, industry competition can become healthier,” Ling added.

China’s antitrust action in the tech sphere comes as U.S. regulators are debating how to handle similar concerns about tech giants including Amazon, Facebook and Google.

The House began hearings regarding potential abuses of market power in late February, while the Justice Department is also pursuing an antitrust case against Google over its dominance in the search engine field.

Tags Alibaba Amazon Big tech China Competition law Facebook Google

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