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China implements new anti-monopoly rules targeting tech giants

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China has implemented new anti-monopoly rules in the country which aims to restrict the activities of the country’s major tech companies. The new rules are basically a formalized version of the ani-monology draft law published in November last year.

The guidelines are expected to put new pressure on the country’s leading internet services, including e-commerce sites such as Alibaba Group’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces and JD.com. The law also covers payment services like Ant Group’s Alipay and Tencent Holding’s WeChat Pay.

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The rules have been issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) on its website, reports Reuters. It bars companies from a range of behavior, including forcing merchants to choose between top internet players, a long-time practice in the market.

It also prevents firms from forcing merchants to choose between supporting specific services and applications, as well as stopping actions that would fix prices, restrict technologies, and other market manipulation techniques.

Explaining the reason behind implementing these new rules, SAMR said reports of internet-related anti-monopoly behavior had been increasing, and that it was facing challenges regulating the industry. It added, “The behavior is more concealed, the use of data, algorithms, platform rules and so on make it more difficult to discover and determine what are monopoly agreements.”

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SAMR has already launched an antitrust investigation into Alibaba Group in December following the suspended $37 billion IPO for payment affiliate Ant Group. Alibaba

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was warned by regulators against practices such as forcing merchants into exclusive cooperation pacts and agreements that would prevent their use of a competitor’s platforms.

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