The Sunday Post (Inverness)
World’s biggest e-retailer fined £2.4bn as China tightens grip on tech sector
Alibaba Group, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, has been fined £2.4 billion by Chinese regulators for anti-competitive tactics.
The ruling Communist Party is tightening control over fast-growing tech industries. Party leaders are worried about the dominance of China’s biggest internet companies, which are expanding into finance, health services and other sensitive areas. The party says anti-monopoly enforcement, especially in tech markets, is a priority this year.
Alibaba was fined for “abusing its dominant position” to limit competition by retailers that use its platforms and hindering “free circulation” of goods, the State Administration for Market Regulation announced. It said the fine was equal to 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 sales of £50.7bn. “Alibaba accepts the penalty with sincerity and will ensure its compliance with determination,” the company said. Regulators said in December they were looking into anti-competitive tactics by Alibaba including a policy dubbed “choose one of two”, which requires business partners to avoid dealing with its competitors.