On Dec. 14, Alibaba Investment, China Literature, and Hive Box were fined an overall 1.5 million yuan for violating the anti-monopoly law, according to a notice from the State Administration for Market Regulation.
The penalty came after the investigation on three purchases, including Alibaba Investment, Tencent-backed China Literature and SF Express-affiliated Hive Box respectively bought shares from Intime Retail Group, News Classics Media and China Post’s Logistics Unit.
The punishment was decided upon the articles 48 and 49 of the Anti-Monopoly Law of the People’s Republic of China, which indicated the three companies’ failures to declare cases of illegal undertaking concentration.
More specifically, the three companies were identified to have completed the “concentration”, a status enacted by article 22 of the anti-monopoly laws, after they finished the share purchases. But as a matter of fact, they all failed to legally declare the procedure to authorities.
According to the articles, the companies were each fined 500,000 yuan.
Upon receiving the punishments, the three companies, which are industry leaders in the landscapes of retails, entertainment and logistics, have issued corresponding statements.
Alibaba Investment responded that it will actively rectify in accordance with the policy guidelines and requirements.
China Literature said the company will also strictly rectify according to the law and will comprehensively complete the relevant declaration work.
Hive Box stated that it sincerely accepts the punishments and will abide by the laws.
“Compared with traditional industries, the business models of the Internet industry are swiftly changing. Therefore the transaction structure and competition ecology are highly complex,” said a regulator in an interview with Jiemian news. “Thus, it brings new challenges to anti-monopoly law enforcement.”
As of the closing bell on Dec. 14, the share prices of China Literature and its parent company Tencent both fell by more than 2%, while Alibaba’s share price decreased by more than 3%.