China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said on Monday that it fined Alibaba CNY 5,00,000 (Rs. 56 lakhs approximately) for increasing its stake in department store company Intime Retail Group to 73.79 percent in 2017 without seeking approval. It also said it’s reviewing an impending Tencent-led merger, signaling Beijing’s intention to tighten oversight of internet sector deals.
It is also in the process of reviewing of a merger of two online streaming platforms.
An online publisher and e-book company, China Literature, funded by Tencent, was fined the same amount for also not seeking approval for its acquisition of New Classics Media.
Separately, Shenzhen Hive Box, run by Chinese courier firm SF Express, was reviewed over its acquisition of China Post Smart Logistics.
China’s market regulator is also scrutinizing the merger of two major Chinese game streaming platforms, DouYu International Holdings and Huya. Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company that owns stakes in both firms, is leading the deal and would have controlled 67.5 percent of voting shares in the merged business.
“We hope that operators realize that the anti-monopoly law applies to all entities. Platform companies are not outside the anti-monopoly law. Internet platform companies should strictly abide by anti-monopoly laws and regulations and maintain fair market competition,” the regulator said in a separate statement.
Stock prices for Alibaba and Tencent both fell about 2.6 percent on Monday after the news broke off.