According to the report, the State Administration for Market Regulation will file an investigation into Alibaba Group Holdings Co., Ltd. for suspected monopolistic activities such as “choose one out of two”.
(Deutsche Welle Chinese website) Chinese state media “Xinhua News Agency” reported on the morning of the 24th that China’s State Administration for Market Regulation will file an investigation into Alibaba Group Holdings Co., Ltd. for suspected monopolistic conduct such as “choosing one of two” according to the report. Chinese state media “People’s Daily” made a comment after the news, emphasizing that this move is an important measure for China to strengthen anti-monopoly in the Internet field. This is also “conducive to standardizing industry order and promoting the long-term and healthy development of the platform economy.”
Taiwan’s “Central News Agency” reported that Alibaba’s “choice of two” means that e-commerce platforms require merchants to join a single platform to achieve market monopoly. On December 10, the State Administration for Market Regulation also issued the “Guidelines for Anti-monopoly in the Field of Platform Economy” and clearly defined what kind of behavior meets the “choice of two” standards.
Alibaba announced that it has received an investigation notice from the State Administration of Market Supervision, and the company “will actively cooperate with the investigation of the State Administration of Supervision. At present, the company’s business is all normal.”
“People’s Daily” stated in a comment published on the 24th that as China’s online economy is booming, China’s online economy is also relying on its advantages in data, technology and capital to increase market concentration. The comment wrote: “Market resources are accelerating to concentrate on leading platforms, and the increasing number of reports and reports on platform monopoly issues shows that there are some risks and hidden dangers in the development of the online economy.”
According to the commentary, after China’s Central Political Bureau meeting and the Central Economic Work Conference clearly demanded to strengthen anti-monopoly and prevent the disorderly expansion of capital, there has been a warm response and widespread support in Chinese society. Therefore, it can be seen that “anti-monopoly has become the overall situation. Urgent issues”. The comment stated: “Anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition are the inherent requirements for improving the socialist market economy system and promoting high-quality development. Fair competition is the core of the market economy. Only a fair competitive environment can achieve effective resource allocation and the survival of the fittest. “
In addition, the “People’s Daily” comment also emphasized that while China’s online economy benefits from China, the world’s largest market, and the Chinese government’s policy of “encouraging development and innovation”, government encouragement should be equal to regulations, and the online economy must be in accordance with the law. Innovate and develop in accordance with regulations. The commentary wrote: “If the restrictions of laws and regulations are exceeded, and market monopoly, disorderly expansion, and barbaric growth are allowed, the entire industry will eventually fail to achieve healthy and sustainable development.”
The “People’s Daily” also stated that anti-monopoly is an international practice, which is conducive to protecting fair competition and innovation in the market and safeguarding consumer rights. The article pointed out that the United States was the first country in the world to enact an anti-monopoly law, and it is a global trend to strengthen anti-monopoly supervision, protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, maintain a fair competitive market order, and stimulate market vitality.
“People’s Daily” reiterated through this comment: “This investigation does not mean that the country’s attitude towards the encouragement and support of the platform economy has changed. It is precisely for the purpose of better regulating and developing the platform economy, guiding and promoting its health. Development in order to make greater contributions to the high-quality development of China’s economy.”
Ant Group was interviewed for the second time
On the same day, the People’s Bank of China and three other regulators stated in a statement that they would interview another company, Ant Group, owned by Alibaba founder Jack Ma. China’s “Economic Daily” stated that this move shows that “the regulation of platform economic development has no time to delay, and it once again demonstrates the serious attitude and firm determination of the regulatory authorities to strengthen supervision and promote the healthy development of the platform economy”.
The report stated that the interviews are for better development, and the platform economy also has problems such as disorderly expansion, leakage of personal privacy, damage to the rights and interests of small and medium enterprises and consumers, which has accumulated a certain degree of hidden risks. The report wrote: “The purpose of strengthening supervision in the form of interviews is to urge and guide platform companies to implement financial supervision, fair competition, and protect consumers’ legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the principles of marketization and rule of law, and to regulate financial business operations and development.”
After these news came out, Alibaba also fell 3.7% after the US stock market closed.
Political commentator Deng Yuwen wrote in a commentary at Deutsche Welle on the 22nd that the CCP has increased its anti-monopoly efforts on Internet finance, restrained capital, and reshaped regulatory authority. It is by no means only aimed at the lack of financial technology in the past. The need for risk prevention and control brought about by regulation, blind development, and rapid expansion, but also to prevent Internet giants from challenging the power of the CCP, has political considerations.
Deng Yuwen said: “Ma Yun’s attack on the financial supervision of the authorities has made the CCP realize that at this special moment, if these Internet giants are allowed to challenge regulatory rules and kidnap national finance in the name of financial innovation, they will be’too big to fail. Further extending their tentacles to all parties, including the political arena, will pose a major hazard to the CCP’s rule.”
Deng Yuwen assessed that the CCP needs to make business elites realize who is the real boss in China. He wrote: “Ma Yun’s words give the authorities a sense of urgency, especially at the special moment of the confrontation between the United States and China. I am afraid that they will not use the strengthening of online data platform supervision to prevent and beat these Internet giants and regulate and restrain the power of capital. It’s late.”