Friday 12 March 2021 11:20 am

Tecent, Baidu and SoftBank fined in China for monopolistic behaviour in fintech crackdown

China’s market regulator said today it has fined 12 companies $77,000 each for flouting anti-monopoly rules.

Concerning ten deals in particular, companies including Tencent Holdings, Baidu Inc, Softbank and a ByteDance-backed firm, were fined for behaviour that caused market concentration, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said.

The companies’ actions did not completely exclude all competition from other companies SAMR said, however, the deals were still grounds for action.

Read more: We need to strap a rocket to the government’s FinTech thinking

In a statement, Tencent said it would remedy operations and provide SAMR reports on future deals, seeking “to ensure full compliance”.

The penalised deal between ByteDance’s firm and Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper Co Ltd, was never in operation, ByteDance said.

The move forms part of China’s fintech conglomerate crackdown, which seemingly began with Jack Ma’s Ant Group.

Earlier today, Ant Group released a set of financial self-discipline rules following scrutiny from authorities.

It comes four months after regulators suspended the group’s $37bn proposal for a share listing in both Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Read more: China’s inflation rate jumps to highest reading since November 2018

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