Alibaba’s rivals are on high alert after Chinese regulators imposed record fines

China’s technology giants are hoping to increase investigations and punishments after Alibaba Record 2.8bn fine Saturday for breach of trust.

Employees at Tencent Music and Metuan are concerned that they could be targeted in the future by Beijing’s enthusiastic competition regulators, who have begun monitoring its once light-regulated technology deal-making and anti-competitive practices.

In contrast to the no-confidence motion in Alibaba’s e-commerce practice, a no-confidence motion against social media giant Tencent would be more complicated, said a Shenzhen official overseeing the tech firm.

The probe could cover their gaming business, music licensing, online nding and their M&A empire, the official said. Of all the non-financial companies in China, Tencent started investing the most last year.

Last month, Tencent said it wanted to find one Meet with Incredible regulators, who had previously fined it for not actively seeking approval for previous acquisitions.

Tencent Music, a joint venture of Tencent with Spotify, is also preparing to face an unreliable investigation into their licensing agreement and has deliberately abandoned some contracts in recent months, four employees of the unit said.

The official added that the investigation could also keep an eye on Tencent’s WeChat social media platform – so influential in China that users are often referred to as “public utilities” – preventing them from loading links from competitors, Alibaba’s Taobao and the short video platform Duin As a result of their general policies that protect users from certain third party links and allow competing platforms to host their own WeChat channels.

However, the official acknowledged that Tencent has a lot of strategies to avoid the worst problems. “The boys in Tencent’s official relationship are really good. Acknowledging some fines is a gesture to show your loyalty. “

In early March, the state administration of market control fined Alibaba, Tencent and Lifestyle Services Group Metuan for “unfair pricing” on their discounts on e-commerce platform Pinduduo and ride-hailing services sister. Grocery Group Purchase Project.

A Metuan employee working in a grocery group purchasing unit, who received a RMB 1.5 million fine in March, said he believed Metuan was now awaiting a fine again.

“Honestly I think there’s nothing we can do to prepare for control,” he said.

“I do not think so [a new fine] Will have a big impact. We all became fine [in March]. Then we continued. . . There is no change in our product operations and strategies, “added the employee. Mituan declined to comment.

Prepared by bumper earnings from buyers sitting at home, these fines could cause little financial pain for Chinese technicians, Alibaba’s record fines were 4 percent of its 2019 revenue, but increased scrutiny could lead to a change in selection teams, says legal scholar and author Angela Zhang. Behavior Chinese antitrust is exceptionalism.

“It’s a very dynamic process. Due to the power imbalance between the Chinese government and traders, these businesses are more likely to risk Chinese government claims. This explains their high-level cooperation, or even pre-stimulus cooperation, ”Zhang said.

However, he added: “Chinese technology companies have adapted incredibly well to China’s unique political and economic administration.”

Alibaba’s fines and penalties have risen over the past few months as regulators of the EU and the UK New measures proposed US technology giant planted.

Despite warnings from EU regulators about dismantling technology giants, analysts believe that Chinese parties have previously managed to lobby for the country’s first incredible guidelines, as they were removed from previously circulated drafts. Alibaba and Tencent have hired multiple former monopolies over the years.

The long-term effects of a renewed antitrust drive such as Alibaba on Saturday remain clear, yet in China it is certain that tech companies will at least apologize to the public.

“Not everyone with a clear mind will be self-controlled, you are just pretending you are self-controlled and who will compensate for the loss if you lose your competitive advantage because others do not? “The Metuan employee said.

Kiana Liu in Shenzhen and Nian Liu in Beijing have additional reports

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