Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd have been fined an exemplary $2.75 billion (18 billion yuan) by Chinese regulators for violating anti-monopoly rules and abusing its dominant market position; it is the highest antitrust fine ever to be imposed by Chinese regulators on a company.
The fine, which amounts to around 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 revenues, comes midst an unprecedented regulatory crackdown on the company’s founder Jack Ma, following his stinging criticism of China’s regulatory system in October 2020. Chinese authorities also halted a $37 billion planned IPO of Alibaba’s internet finance arm – Ant Group as part of the crackdown on the company.
In late December 2020, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) had announced an antitrust probe into the company. On Saturday, SAMR said following the investigation it had determined that Alibaba had been “abusing market dominance” since 2015 by preventing its merchants from using other online e-commerce platforms.
The SAMR has ordered Alibaba to make “thorough rectifications” to strengthen internal compliance and protect consumer rights.
In a statement posted on its official Weibo account, Alibaba said it “accepted” the decision and would resolutely implement SAMR’s rulings and would towards improving its corporate compliance.
($1 = 6.5522 yuan)