China’s State Administration for Market Regulation Unveils 43 Anti-monopoly Cases

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On November 20, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) issued a document saying it had imposed administrative penalties on 43 cases of illegal implementation of concentration of undertakings as they didn’t report lawfully, and imposed fines of 500,000 yuan on the enterprises involved.

Most of them were internet enterprises, including Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan, ByteDance, JD.com, Suning.com, Sina, 58 Group and more. The rest include Geely, BYD and other enterprises. It should be noted that Alibaba and Tencent are involved in a dozen cases.

Concentration of undertakings refers to the following cases: First, the merger of operators; Second, operators obtain control over other operators by acquiring equity or assets; Third, operators obtain control over other operators through contracts, or they can exert decisive influence on other operators.

In 2021, anti-monopoly regulation has been strengthened in the financial industry. In June, China Yintai Investment Co., Ltd., a shareholder of Bank of Hangzhou Consumer Finance Co., Ltd, was also fined 500,000 yuan for failing to declare the equity of Bank of Hangzhou Consumer, as required by law. In July, Suning.com and Nanjing Bank, shareholders of Suning Consumer Finance Company, constituted illegal concentration of undertakings, and were each fined 500,000 yuan by SAMR.

In the 43 cases published on November 20, both Baidu and China CITIC Bank were fined the legal maximum of 500,000 yuan ($78,305), as their new joint venture had violated anti-monopoly regulations.

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In addition, on November 18, the State Anti-Monopoly Bureau was officially established. It determines the focus on strengthening anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition supervision in the next stage, including the examination of the concentration of undertakers in the fields of people’s livelihood, finance, science and technology and media.