The China State Market Regulatory Authority (SAMR) announced it has fined a number of local companies, including Alibaba, Baidu, JD.com and Geely, for failing to report 43 transactions since 2012 to the authorities. The agency believes that the companies thereby violated antitrust laws.
The earliest of these deals was a takeover of a company involving Baidu and one of its partners, and the latest was a 2021 agreement between Baidu and Zhejiang Geely Holdings to create a green vehicle company. In addition, the agency mentioned Alibaba’s 2014 takeover of Chinese digital mapping and navigation company AutoNavi, as well as the 2018 purchase of a 44% stake in Ele.me, making the trading giant the largest shareholder in the food delivery service.
At the same time, according to the regulator, these transactions did not lead to the elimination or restriction of competition. The agency also said that those involved in these transactions would be fined 500,000 yuan ($ 78,000) each, the maximum amount of a fine under China’s 2008 antitrust law. Alibaba, Baidu, JD.com and Geely have not yet commented on the incident.
Now the country is tightening control over tech giants – Beijing has abandoned the principles of non-intervention and began to pay more attention to the facts of abuse of market dominance, suppression of competition, misuse of user data and violation of consumer rights.
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