Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has been fined 18 billion yuan ($2.75 billion) by the country’s regulators for violating rules and abusing its dominant market position. This is the highest antitrust fine to be imposed in China.
The penalty, equivalent to around 4 per cent of Alibaba’s 2019 revenue, comes amid a regulatory crackdown on home-grown tech conglomerates in the past few months. Alibaba’s billionaire Jack Ma’s business has been under scrutiny after he criticized the country’s regulatory system in October.
In December, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) announced it had launched an antitrust probe into the company. That came after authorities scuttled a planned $37 billion IPO from Ant Group, Alibaba’s internet finance arm.
The market regulator said Alibaba had been “abusing market dominance” since 2015 by preventing its merchants from using other online e-commerce platforms in violation of the country’s anti-monopoly law.