The end of 2020 was particularly difficult for Chinese big techs. Indeed, the authorities have decided to regulate them more and it seems that the trend will be similar in 2021. As the South China Morning Post reports, the government is actually planning to tighten its regulations against the tech giants.
Indeed, Zhang Gong, head of the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), set the tone for 2021: “No one can be outside of antimonopoly laws or unfair competition, whether they are businesses. online or offline ”. He also said that his agency’s priority this year is to implement the decisions of Chinese leaders to “strengthen antimonopoly rules and prevent the disorderly expansion of capital”.
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A recent meeting organized by the Communist Party’s unit in charge of the country’s judiciary and police system endorsed Zhang’s statements that respect “for the application of the antimonopoly law and for unfair competition and judicial work” is essential in 2021.
The Chinese judicial system will therefore investigate how to further define whether companies have a monopoly, but also how to decide about the collection and use of data in order to better protect consumer rights in the digital domain. With this in mind, the authorities will improve competition law and amend the 2008 Antimonopoly Act. Among other things, it regulates the abuse of a dominant position or the non-declaration of mergers between companies that could lead to a monopoly situation.
As early as last November, the authorities suspended the IPO of the Ant Group and then announced new regulations against technology giants and especially against fintech players. China is indeed the world’s largest market in this area, especially with Moloch Alipay, a subsidiary of the Ant Group that has also been hired to restructure its operations.
SAMR has also decided to open an antitrust investigation into the Alibaba Holding Group, the e-commerce giant, for abuse of a dominant position. He is accused of monopoly behavior by forcing retailers to choose only one online platform to sell their products.
One thing is certain: 2021 is unlikely to prove to be a milder one for the companies Jack Ma founded …