China tightens the screws on Alibaba, levies $2.78 billion fine for market abuse

Published on Apr 11, 2021 05:29 AM IST
The fine, the largest anti-monopoly fine ever rolled out by Chinese authorities, was imposed after an investigation revealed an “exclusive dealing agreement” that violated Chinese monopoly laws.
The fine is equal to 4% of Alibaba’s sales in 2019, the Xinhua news agency said in a report on Saturday.(AP file photo)
The fine is equal to 4% of Alibaba’s sales in 2019, the Xinhua news agency said in a report on Saturday.(AP file photo)
BySutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing

Chinese regulators have hit e-commerce giant Alibaba with a record 18.23 billion yuan ($2.78 billion) fine for violating anti-monopoly laws, it was announced on Saturday.

The fine, the largest anti-monopoly fine ever rolled out by Chinese authorities, was imposed after an investigation revealed an “exclusive dealing agreement” that violated Chinese monopoly laws. The fine is equal to 4% of Alibaba’s sales in 2019, the Xinhua news agency said in a report on Saturday.

The strongly worded statement said the company “abused” its dominant market position since 2015.

Founded by China’s most famous entrepreneur, Jack Ma, once a schoolteacher who became a multibillionaire, Alibaba is possibly the world’s biggest e-commerce company with hundreds of millions of users and billions of dollars in turnover. According to Bloomberg, it is Asia’s “most valuable corporation”.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sutirtho Patranobis has been in Beijing since 2012, as Hindustan Times’ China correspondent. He was previously posted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he covered the final phase of the civil war and its aftermath. Patranobis covered several beats including health and national politics in Delhi before being posted abroad.

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