🇨🇳 China goes after Alibaba on antitrust
Here’s another sign China doesn’t want to fall behind America in anything: The government is going after its own Big Tech companies with antitrust cases.
The latest target is Alibaba: China fined it a record-high $3 billion earlier this month. Alibaba is the Amazon of China and easily one of the country’s most powerful companies.
It was pulling a move similar to Amazon: A Chinese investigation found Alibaba was using exclusionary retail practices. Essentially, Alibaba blocked some merchants from selling anywhere but Alibaba. Amazon has not done this in any official sense, although companies have felt the need to sell on Amazon--on Amazon’s terms--or risk irrelevance.
The fine won’t be as big as the effect
$3 billion is a record for Chinese antitrust, but it is hardly a dent in Alibaba’s massive revenues. It may, however, convince Alibaba to think twice about the way it deals with users, rivals, or the various companies who sell on its platform.
Rival Tencent, which owns WeChat, may be another target for Chinese regulators. But it will be interesting to see how both China and America approach antitrust, as both countries want tech companies strong enough to outdo the other.