China has imposed a $2.75 billion (18 billion yuan) fine on Alibaba, a record anti-competition sanction that is about 4 per cent of the e-commerce giant’s 2019 domestic revenue.
The fine was announced Saturday following an anti-monopoly probe the government said found Alibaba had abused its dominant market position for years.
Alibaba and its affiliates have come under increased scrutiny from authorities in China since its founder, Jack Ma, publicly criticised the country’s regulatory system in October 2020.
The government scuttled a planned $37 billion initial public offering by Alibaba’s internet finance arm, Ant Group, in November, and a month later launched an antitrust probe into the company.
The regulator said Alibaba had been “abusing market dominance” since 2015 by preventing its merchants from using other online e-commerce platforms.
Alibaba said in a statement that it accepts the penalty and “will ensure its compliance with determination”. The company will hold an investors conference call on Monday to discuss the penalty.
“We accept the penalty with sincerity and will ensure our compliance with determination,” it said.
The company added that it would hold a conference call with investors on Monday to share its “thoughts and plans for the long-term healthy development of our business in the future.
“We are committed to ensuring an operating environment for our merchants and partners that is more open, more equitable, more efficient and more inclusive in sharing the fruits of growth it.”
The fine is more than double the $975 million paid in China by Qualcomm, the world’s biggest supplier of mobile phone chips, in 2015 for anticompetitive practices, Reuters reported.
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