China unveiled the official version of rules intended to root out monopolistic practices in the internet industry on Sunday, February 7, after first seeking feedback on the draft guidelines since November last year, reported Bloomberg.
The rules will take effect immediately, according to a statement from the State Administration for Market Regulation, the nation’s antitrust watchdog.
The regulations will curb anti-competitive behavior such as sharing sensitive consumer data, forming alliances that squeeze out smaller rivals and subsidizing below cost services to eliminate competitors, the regulator said.
China’s Politburo, the top decision-making body of the Communist Party, vowed in a meeting at the end of last year to strengthen anti-monopoly efforts in 2021. Less than two weeks after the meeting, China kicked off an investigation into Alibaba Group for allegedly monopolistic practices.
Lawsuits over competition issues have been filed by companies even as regulators are moving to step up scrutiny. ByteDance filed a lawsuit last week against Tencent Holdings over alleged monopolies in its WeChat and QQ platforms, escalating a feud between two giants of Chinese social media. A court in Beijing has agreed to hear the case, a ByteDance representative confirmed on Sunday.
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