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China Orders 34 Tech Firms Including Tencent and ByteDance to Conduct Self-Inspection and Rectification

April 13, 2021 11:34 pm

Beijing (PingWest)—China ordered 34 internet corporations to rectify their anti-competitive practices within the next month. 

On April 13, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) organized a meeting with cyberspace and taxation regulators to require Internet companies to conduct self-inspection within one month, warning of “severe punishment” for any that still violated the rules.

"The baseline of policy cannot be crossed, and the red line of the law cannot be touched," the market watchdog said in the statement issued on its website.

SAMR described the overall development of China’s platform economy as improving, but said no time should be wasted in correcting the way companies operate to ensure they comply with the law.

The regulator also highlighted abuses like acquisitions that squeeze out smaller rivals and burning through cash to grab market share in community group buying, currently the hottest e-commerce arena in China. Firms also need to address issues like counterfeiting, data leaks and tax evasion, and the regulators will organize follow-up inspections, according to the statement.

The order came days after Beijing wrapped up a four-month probe into Alibaba by slapping a record $2.8 billion fine on the e-commerce giant for abuse of market dominance.

Representatives from Tencent, ByteDance, JD.com, Meituan, Pinduoduo, iQiyi, Baidu, Didi Chuxing, and other 26 tech firms attended the meeting.