Alibaba Accepts $2.75B Fine & Vows To Change

Alibaba Group does not expect any material impact from the antitrust crackdown in China that will push it to overhaul how it deals with merchants, its CEO said on Monday, April 12, after regulators fined the e-commerce giant US$2.75 billion for abusing market dominance, reported Reuters.

US-listed shares of Alibaba jumped 8.6% and were set for their best day since July last year as a key source of uncertainty for the company was removed, and on relief the fine and steps ordered were not more onerous.

Alibaba has come under intense scrutiny since billionaire founder Jack Ma’s public criticism of the Chinese regulatory system in October.

As part of “comprehensive rectifications” sought by regulators, Alibaba will make it easier for merchants to do business with it, Chief Executive Daniel Zhang told an online conference for media and analysts.

Beijing wants Alibaba to stop requiring merchants to choose between doing business with it and rival platforms, a practice known as “merchant exclusivity,” which critics say helped it become China’s largest e-commerce operation.

Alibaba executives said despite Saturday’s record 18 billion yuan fine and measures ordered by regulators, they remain confident in the government’s overall support of the company.

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