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In recent times, Chinese authorities have upped their game and are beginning to pay more attention to the activities of internet companies in the country.
Reports have emerged that authorities in China have fined 12 companies within its jurisdiction for carrying out activities that violate the anti-monopoly laws of the Asian country. According to the authorities, the, mostly technological, companies broke the anti-monopoly rules and they have each been fined 500,000 yuan which is approximately $77,000.
The Chinese regulator, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) announced that the list of violators includes Tencent, the parent company of popular messaging app WeChat; a company backed by ByteDance, which is the parent company of viral video sharing platform TikTok; Baidu, one of the largest AI companies in the world; Didi Chuxing, a cab-hailing platform with over 500 million users; and SoftBank, a leading Asian conglomerate.
SAMR went on to note that each of these companies were exhibiting behaviors that caused market concentration into their arms.
In their defense, Tencent has said it would rectify its operations and it would provide the authorities with reports on any of its future deals. On the other hand, ByteDance said the partnership between the company affiliated with it and Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper Co Ltd was not in operation. The company also added that the partnership between both firms ended in January.
SoftBank, Baidu and Didi did not provide a response as of press time.
In recent times, the authorities in China have upped their game and are beginning to pay more attention to the anti-monopoly activities of internet companies in the country. The authorities have hinted that some of these companies show monopolistic behavior and there is a growing concern for infringement of consumer rights.
Notably, the authorities have also recently fined Alibaba, China Literature which is a Tencent-backed firm plus other institutions for not properly reporting deals for anti-trust reviews. Another company that was involved in an auto-related deal on Thursday was also fined.