Beijing Launches Antitrust Probe into Alibaba

China’s market regulator launched a probe into e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. as part of a growing antitrust drive targeting the country’s sprawling internet sector.

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said in a one-line statement (link in Chinese) Thursday that it was investigating the company for alleged monopolistic practices.   It specifically cited Alibaba’s practice of forcing merchants to “pick a side,” meaning to work with it exclusively and shun its rivals. Two of those rivals, including Inc, and Pinduoduo Inc., have both complained about the practice.

Chinese Financial Watchdogs to Lecture Ant Group on Regulation, Consumer Rights

China’s top financial regulators plan to hold talks with fintech giant Ant Group Co. Ltd. on financial regulation, fair competition and protection of consumer interests, the central bank said Thursday.  The move comes less than two months after regulators suspended Ant Group’s potentially record-breaking IPO in early November amid concerns over the company’s highly leveraged online lending business and its potential threats to financial stability.

The new meeting with regulators aims to provide guidance to Ant Group, the fintech affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., over compliance with financial supervision, according to a statement (link in Chinese) released by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

Source:  Caixin Global