Chinese regulators have fined Chinese-tech giant Alibaba with a 18.23 billion yuan ($2.8 billion USD) fine in its anti-monopoly investigation and said that Alibaba had abused its market dominance and the trust of the Chinese people
In December 2020, regulators from several Chinese government agencies announced that they were probing Alibaba and would look at the company’s ‘monopolistic practices,’ specifically the allegation that Alibaba forced merchants to choose one of two platforms, rather than being able to work with both.
The China State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said in an official statement that forcing merchants to choose a single platform, rather than being able to work with multiple platforms effectively stifles competition in China’s online retail market and “infringes on the businesses of merchants on the platforms and the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.”
SMAR said that the “choose one” policy and other policies governing merchants had allowed Alibaba to bolster its position in the market and gain unfair competitive advantages.
In addition to the monetary fine, which equals 4% of the company’s 2019 revenue, SMAR said in its statement that Alibaba will have to file ‘self-assessment’ and compliance reports to it for the next three years.
Alibaba said in a official statement that it accepted SMAR’s determinations, had conducted ‘self-assessment’ related to its merchant policies, would make those policies more flexible and would accept the fines that SMAR imposed.
The company said in its statement that, “Alibaba would not have achieved our growth without sound government regulation and service, and the critical oversight, tolerance and support from all of our constituencies have been crucial to our development.”