China fines tech giants including Alibaba, Baidu for failing to report 43 deals

FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

China‘s market regulator on Saturday said it was fining companies including Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com for failing to declare 43 deals that date as far back as 2012 to authorities, saying that they violated anti-monopoly legislation.

Enterprises involved in the cases would be fined 500,000 yuan ($78,000) each, it said, the maximum under China‘s 2008 Anti-Monopoly Law.

Alibaba, Baidu, JD.com and Geely did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China has been tightening its grip on internet platforms, reversing a once laissez-faire approach and citing the risk of abusing market power to stifle competition, misuse of consumers’ data and violation of consumer rights.

The earliest deal listed was a 2012 acquisition involving Baidu and a partner, and the most recent was the 2021 agreement between Baidu and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holdings to create a new-energy vehicle company.

Other deals cited by the State Administration of Market Supervision included Alibaba’s 2014 acquisition of Chinese digital mapping and navigation firm AutoNavi and its 2018 purchase of a 44% stake in Ele.me to become the food delivery service’s largest shareholder.

The deals, however, did not have the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, the regulator said.

In December last year, it fined Alibaba, Tencent-backed China Literature and Shenzhen Hive Box 500,000 yuan each for not reporting past deals properly for antitrust reviews, the first time it had ever done so.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.