Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Alibaba is China's dominant player in online commerce, with its Taobao platform estimated to hold more than 90 percent of the consumer-to-consumer marketAFP-File

World

China eyes record monopoly fine near $1 bn for Alibaba: report

BeijingChina, March 12 – China is considering imposing a record fine of nearly $1 billion on e-commerce giant Alibaba for allegedly flouting monopoly rules, according to a report, as authorities continue to put the screws on the firm as part of a crackdown on the technology sector.

The penalty could top the $975 million paid by US chipmaker Qualcomm in 2015 — the biggest known for anticompetitive practices in China — the Wall Street Journal report said, citing unnamed “people with knowledge of the matter”.

Antitrust regulators in charge of Alibaba’s case did not immediately respond to AFP queries on the report, which was published by the Journal late Thursday.

The company, China’s largest online shopping portal, has been in the crosshairs of authorities in recent months over concerns of its reach into the daily finances of ordinary Chinese people.

But its legal troubles began after comments in October last year by billionaire founder Jack Ma in which he laid into China’s convoluted regulatory system.

In November, financial regulators pulled the plug on the record $35 billion Hong Kong-Shanghai initial public offering of Alibaba’s online payment subsidiary Ant Group.

A month later, officials opened an investigation into Alibaba’s business practices, deemed anti-competitive, and Ma disappeared from public view until mid-January.

The company based in the eastern city of Hangzhou said it was “fully cooperating” with the investigation by the State Administration for Market Regulation last month.

Regulators are also investigating whether the conglomerate should divest assets unrelated to its main online retail business, the Journal reported without offering details.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

An Alibaba spokesperson declined to comment on the report when contacted by AFP.

The company has come under fire in the past for allegedly forbidding its merchants from listing on rival e-commerce platforms.

Once finalised, measures against Alibaba will need to be approved by China’s top leadership.

The squeeze on one of China’s most influential companies is the latest sign that the leadership is ready to deflate the ambitions of big tech firms in a runaway internet sector.

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...