The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

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.

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