China Fines Tech Giants for Failing to Report 43 Previous Deals

 logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China on July 20, 2018. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Chinese tech giants, including Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu, were fined on Saturday for failing to report 43 previous acquisitions in the latest round of the anti-monopoly crackdown by the ruling Communist Party.

companies failed to report the deals, that date as far back as 2012, according to an announcement from the State Administration for Market Supervision, citing the anti-monopoly legislation. Each violation carried a penalty of $78,000.

market regulator issued anti-monopoly guidelines in February this year aimed at internet platforms. Alibaba was hit with a聽fine of $2.8 billion聽for anti-competitive tactics in April, while the food-delivery leader Meituan was聽fined $533 million聽last month for violating anti-monopoly regulations.聽

regime stepped up its oversight of tech giants with its anti-monopoly or data security rules, and cracked down on tutoring companies, as it tightens its control over the economy and society.

earliest penalty deal listed on Saturday was a聽2012 acquisition between Baidu and a partner. most recent was a joint venture agreement dated 2021 between Baidu and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely to establish a new company to build electric vehicles (EV).

announcement also mentioned Alibaba’s 2014 acquisition of Chinese digital mapping and navigation startup AutoNavi, and its 2018 purchase of a 44 percent stake in food delivery service Ele.me, making it the largest shareholder.

China punished Alibaba, Tencent-backed China Literature, and Shenzhen Hive Box $78,281 in December last year for failing to report earlier deals for antitrust reviews. This is the first time it has ever done so.

Alibaba, Chinese e-commerce powerhouse, has suffered from China鈥檚 crackdown on the domestic technology industry, which has seen a series of new regulations brought in from anti-competition to data protection.

In October last year, the regime halted the initial public offering of Alibaba鈥檚 affiliate, Ant Group, citing antitrust issues, just days before the planned $34.5 billion listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

crackdown triggered a selloff that, at its most extreme, wiped more than $1 trillion from Chinese stocks, which have experienced wild swings with every new regulatory probe, rule, and warning.

In August, the Communist Party issued a five-year blueprint to reshape China鈥檚 tech industry, confirming that the harsh changes will persist in the next few years.

Pezou : China Fines Tech Giants for Failing to Report 43 Previous Deals