China’s market regulator, the State Administration of Market Supervision, announced it was fining some of the country’s largest tech companies—including Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com—for not disclosing 43 different deals since 2012, saying that they violated anti-monopoly legislation, reports Reuters. Companies involved in the cases are to be fined RMB 500,000 ($78,000) each, it said, the maximum under China’s 2008 Anti-Monopoly Law.
The earliest deal listed was a 2012 acquisition involving Baidu and a partner, and the most recent was the 2021 agreement between Baidu and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holdings to create a new-energy vehicle company. Other deals cited by the regulator included Alibaba’s 2014 acquisition of Chinese digital mapping and navigation firm AutoNavi and its 2018 purchase of a 44% stake in Ele.me to become the food delivery service’s largest shareholder.
China has been tightening its grip on internet platforms, reversing a once laissez-faire approach and citing the risk of abusing market power to stifle competition, misuse of consumers’ data and violation of consumer rights.