China’s competition watchdog has imposed a fine of 18 billion yuan, the equivalent of 2.3 billion euros, on the Chinese Alibaba group. The world’s largest online trading platform had used its dominant position to punish traders who offered their goods through rival services, state media quoted the market regulator as saying on Saturday.
Antitrust authorities’ largest-ever fine against a Chinese Internet giant raises new questions about the future of charismatic founder Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group, which has rarely been seen in public since fall. At the time, the 56-year-old had apparently incurred the displeasure of higher authorities by criticizing the Chinese financial supervisory authority.
Violation of antitrust law
For violating antitrust law, the fine was set at four percent of 2019 sales amounting to 455 billion yuan, Xinhua news agency reported. Alibaba said it would accept the fine and strengthen cooperation with authorities. It said the group will strengthen its compliance system and "better fulfill its social responsibility".