In early November, China made a strong decision by taking measures to regulate the monopoly of its tech companies like the US and GAFA. So do the giants of the Middle Kingdom have something to fear?
Confirm your power
While Ant Group, a veritable fintech juggernaut in China, was scheduled to go public earlier this month, the country’s authorities halted operations at the last moment while summoning several executives from the company. Not only did the country reaffirm its power, but it also announced the introduction of new rules to regulate its large corporations. Indeed, China has industry giants whose influence is spreading day by day, be it within the country itself or in the rest of the world, namely Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance or Baidu. .
The government has published an antitrust report highlighting the practices and power of these companies, as well as their impact on the country’s economy. This report also includes tough measures to contain the problem, protect consumer rights and ensure that competition continues to be possible and fair. They were also greeted by Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, who said they were “timely and necessary”.
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“Through supervision, companies can not only develop themselves well, but also contribute to the sustainable and healthy development of society as a whole and create innovations,” he added.
No clap of thunder?
However, it seems that this new legislation is not synonymous with a clap of thunder in China. When asked by CNBC, expert Angela Zhang reiterated that the Chinese giants are unlikely to collapse in legal proceedings: “We shouldn’t expect a sudden explosion of cases against these online platforms.” Indeed, she explains that it would take several years to complete these investigations, especially because the departments responsible for these cases are not staffed with many people.
In their view, these measures, which have not yet been officially announced, will appear more like a way forward and will not make it possible to change the existing legal framework. For now, therefore, we shouldn’t expect any real law enforcement action, as is the case in the US with Google, which is accused of having abused a dominant position over its advertising and search engine.