China’s market watchdog has slapped fines against some of the largest technology firms of the country due to their failure in disclosing their acquisitions of smaller competitors to the government, stepping up its crackdown on the internet sector.
According to China’s State Administration for Market Regulation, it has fined 12 companies, including Tencent, Baidu, Didi Chuxing and SoftBank, for being unable to report their past deals and fined them 500,000 yuan each, which was equivalent to approximately $77,000.
The major hi-tech firms were fined on grounds of violating the anti-monopoly regulations of the country and have been censured for not seeking the government’s approval for the deals.
In a statement, the Chinese market watchdog said that it would continue enforcing “more powerful regulatory measures this year with a series of actions” to protect consumer interest and promote “fair competition”.
Regulators are currently preparing to roll out new rules that aim to standardize online deals to put an end to monopolistic corporate behavior.
Following the announcement of the watchdog’s monetary penalties, Chinese fintech giant Tencent Holdings, sheds about $62 billion, obliterating most of the value of the company’s finance business.
The market regulator also said that it would also consider imposing a fine on Alibaba – a globally prominent Chinese e-commerce giant – that could potentially surpass the $975 million that Qualcomm paid in 2015 due to anti-competitive practices.
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