Business & Economy

China fines Vipshop after regulator unveils new anti-trust guidelines

Beijing, Feb 8 (efe-epa).- Chinese online discount retailer Vipshop was fined 3 million yuan ($464,000) on Monday for alleged anti-competitive conduct, a day after authorities issued new guidelines to regulate anti-monopoly practices in the tech sector.

State-run Global Times said the country’s top market regulator had initiated a probe into Vipshop in January for suspected unfair competition.

The company said it would make efforts to update and regulate internal practices after the fine by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR).

The decision to penalize the online retailer comes a day after China unveiled a series of regulations to prevent and stop monopolistic practices of digital platforms when several of the country’s tech giants have faced fines for such behavior.

The guidelines seek to eradicate abuse of their dominant positions by some companies, which have even forced customers to choose between two platforms, as well as strategies such as selling at a loss and differentiated treatment.

The regulations seek to protect fair competition in the market and safeguard the interests of the consumers and the public, among others, SAMR said in a statement posted on its website on Sunday.

On Dec.14, the Chinese market regulator announced the imposition of fines amounting to 500,000 yuan ($76,500) on tech giants Alibaba and Tencent for failure to notify concentration of undertakings in advance, therefore breaching the anti-monopoly law.

The maximum fine imposed on e-commerce giant Alibaba and social media and video games company Tencent highlights that antitrust oversight is growing in the tech sector. EFE-EPA


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