China fined food-distributing giant Maituan শুক্রবার 530 million on Friday for breach of no-confidence, the second-largest penalty this year in Beijing’s efforts to heal the country’s largest Internet companies.
This campaign of the government has been blessed by the highest level of the leadership of the Communist Party. It involves a wide range of regulatory bodies and policy-making bodies. And it has wiped out hundreds of billions of dollars in assets from some of China’s partners and shareholders in the world’s most successful technology businesses.
Like regulators and politicians in the United States and Europe, Chinese leaders have watched with caution because Internet companies have had a far greater impact on business, society, and everyday life. They want to make sure that these companies do not use their power to gain unfair advantage over rivals or to exploit captive consumers.
But Beijing can move forward with the speed and determination that Western officials can hardly imagine, shattering companies and industries with a few quick strokes.
E-commerce Titan Alibaba, founded by Jack Ma, one of the richest people in the world, was fined in April by China’s first major no-confidence motion against a technology company. The government’s market watchdog, the State Administration for Market Regulation, has fined Alibaba 2.8 billion for preventing merchants from selling on its platform at other platforms.
That amount – a record fine for violating China’s antimonopoly laws – represents 4 percent of Alibaba’s internal sales in 2019.
The same agency announced shortly afterwards that it was investigating reports of similar practices in Meituan.
After the market regulator announced its investigation, Wang Jing, founder and CEO of Maituan, told analysts that the company had reviewed its activities and banned the use of monopoly partnerships for restaurants and other businesses.
“We will fully respect the free choice of merchants,” he said. Wang said during an earnings call in May.
Meituan was established in 2010 as a group-like service for buying vouchers from local merchants. Mr. Wang has previously launched and operated two social media sites. Last year, more than 510 million people used the Meituan platform to takeout and book groceries and hotels and travel.
Albi Zhang Research contribution.