An employee leaves the Baidu headquarters in Beijing. (Photo by Fan Jiashan / For China Daily)
Nation strives for bottom line and red light for all businesses, expert says
The main Chinese market regulator has fined companies such as Alibaba Group, Baidu Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd for violating the antimonopoly law, which industry experts say is part of a larger framework on Sunday. wide standardized antitrust efforts following the recent establishment of the Antimonopoly Office.
More specifically, these companies did not declare the concentration of commercial operators in accordance with the law. Concentration of commercial operators means that one commercial operator obtains control of another in the same activity, which can lead to a monopoly.
On Saturday, the State Administration for Market Regulation imposed a fine of 500,000 yuan ($ 78,000) for each of the 43 cases of violation of the anti-monopoly law. However, none of these deals had the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, the market regulator said on its website.
“Thanks to a series of anti-monopoly efforts recently, the country’s antitrust law enforcement has become more systematic and standardized. The nation has strived to draw a clear picture and set up a red light for all. businesses, ”said Wang Jian, an expert. member of the Advisory Group of the Antimonopoly Commission of the State Council, Chinese Cabinet and Professor of Law at Zhejiang University of Science and Technology.
Of the 43 cases, 13 involved Tencent and its subsidiaries, including the tech firm’s acquisition of China Medonline Inc. Up to 12 cases involved Alibaba and its subsidiaries, including its acquisition of the mapping company Amap and the ‘purchase of stakes in the delivery of food. company Ele.me.
“The review takes the form of prior monitoring of business activities which have or may have the effect of eliminating or restricting competition. It is an effective way to avoid restricting competition in the market,” he said. said Zhong Gang, executive director of Competition Law. Research Institute of the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai.
“Asking companies to declare the concentration of commercial operators will help maintain a fair competitive environment for all market entities, which will ultimately protect the interests of consumers,” he added.
The move also came as China on Thursday launched an anti-monopoly office located in the same building as the State Administration for Market Regulation in Beijing. Gan Lin, currently deputy minister of the Market Regulatory Authority, has been appointed to head the office.
“These new changes reflect that the country is enriching its internal capacities for greater enforcement and autonomy in antitrust matters,” said Liu Xu, a researcher at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University.
“It’s also part of China’s broader efforts to align with the antitrust enforcement of the United States and Europe, both of which have much larger antitrust strengths than China’s,” Liu added.