China fined Alibaba $ 2.75 billion
China fined Alibaba $ 2.75 billion

China imposed on Alibaba Group Holdings Limited on Saturday. A record fine of 18 billion yuan ($ 2.75 billion). After the antitrust investigation, it turns out that the e-commerce giant has abused its market share.

The fine, which accounted for about 4% of Alibaba's domestic sales in 2019, resulted from the removal of tech conglomerates.

The fines show that after years of moderate measures, China's antitrust measures have entered a new era of internet platforms.

Since Jack Ma, billionaire founder of Alibaba, criticized Alibaba's regulatory system in October, Alibaba's business empire in China has been under scrutiny.

A month later, the relevant authorities ended the $ 37 billion initial public offering planned by the Ant Group. Ant Group is Alibaba's online finance division, and has become the largest company in the world.

SAMR announced the company's antitrust investigation in December.

Although the fine brought Alibaba closer to resolving the antitrust problem, Ant Group has yet to agree to a contract extension which is expected to significantly reduce its valuation and limit some of its business.

SAMR said: Alibaba has been found to be misusing its dominant position since 2015 by preventing merchants from using other online e-commerce platforms.

The regulator added that this practice was previously considered illegal by SAMR and violates China's antitrust law by impeding the free movement of goods and harming the merchants' commercial interests.

In addition to imposing fines among the world's highest antitrust penalties, the regulator has urged Alibaba to make sweeping corrections to improve internal compliance and protect consumer rights.

Alibaba said in a statement: Accept the punishment and adhere to strict adherence. “We are dealing with this issue publicly and working together to enable us to improve and start over as a whole,” the company's CEO said in a statement to employees.

The fine is more than double the $ 975 million that Qualcomm paid for anti-competitive behavior in 2015.

As global regulators lead to tougher antitrust reviews of tech giants like Google and Facebook, the US will impose harsh penalties.

With fines slapped on one of the most successful private companies, Beijing has threatened to contain the platform economy and take over the giants that play a leading role in the Chinese consumer sector. This threat continues to grow.

As part of the cartel campaign and data protection protection from supervisory authorities, large Chinese technology companies are increasingly hiring legal experts, compliance specialists and providing funds for potential fines.

Chinese state media welcomed the statement, saying it was a role model in raising awareness of antitrust practices and compliance with relevant laws.

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