China Increases Antimonopoly Body’s Power

China’s antitrust watchdog is beefing up its senior ranks as authorities step up efforts to rein in the country’s powerful technology companies, reported Wall Street Journal.

Dong Hongxia will take on a new role as a third deputy director-general of the Antimonopoly Bureau, part of the powerful State Administration for Market Regulation, according to people familiar with the matter. Ms. Dong, currently director of a division responsible for reviewing mergers, is an expert on antitrust issues and a frequent speaker at seminars and events.

The appointment, expected to take effect in the coming months, would mark the first time that the bureau has three deputy director-generals at once—a reflection of the agency’s growing clout, the people said.

Several low-to-mid-level officials will be added to the bureau’s merger-review divisions as it expands its reach and resources in the widening antitrust crackdown, these people said.

China has been tightening the screws on its homegrown internet giants since late last year. The market regulator earlier in April slapped a record US$2.8 billion fine on Alibaba for anticompetitive behavior after a months long investigation.

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