China’s Watchdog Fines 12 Firms With New Anti-Monopoly Law

China’s market regulator said Friday that it fined a dozen companies, including games company Tencent Holdings and Chinese search engine firm Baidu, for not disclosing past deals as authorities step up anti-monopoly scrutiny in the internet sector.

The companies, which included other firms such as ride-hailing company Didi Mobility and Softbank, were fined 500,000 yuan ($77,000) each for not disclosing previous investments, acquisitions or joint ventures, according to a statement by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation.

China in February released anti-monopoly guidelines aimed at clamping down on anti-competitive practices in the internet industry, such as signing exclusive agreements with merchants and the use of subsidies to squeeze out competitors.

Tencent Holdings was fined over its investment in online education app Yuanfudao in 2018, while Baidu was fined for taking over consumer electronics firm Ainemo Inc. last year.

The regulator said that neither had sought prior approval for the deals, thereby violating the anti-monopoly laws even though the deals did not restrict competition.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.