The growing influence of large digital platforms led China, last Tuesday (10), to propose new regulations in order to restrict the power of its biggest internet companies. The 22-page document, written by the local State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR), is the first attempt by the government of the Asian country to define anti-competitive behavior in the technological sector there.
Among the new rules, limiting the exchange of sensitive consumer data between giants, which can eliminate smaller rivals by carrying out transactions that generate losses, is one of the stipulated determinations. In addition, there are new standards that reduce the ability of companies to compel other companies to enter into exclusive agreements, a charge faced by Alibaba recently.
Finally, monitoring different treatments dedicated to customers based on their data and consumption habits is another measure, and the body responsible for the guidelines is seeking public evaluations and feedbacks by the end of the month. The market reacted to the news.
“Guardians of monopolies”
The move follows the European Union and the United States, which are also dedicated to preventing abusive behavior by names like Amazon and Google (described by the US Department of Justice as “guardian of the internet monopoly). Only Alibaba, which, in September, it accumulated 881 million monthly active cell phone users, and JD.com, for example, together account for about three quarters of China’s e-commerce.
Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, for its part, had to withdraw its launch on the stock market last week, as regulators worried about the possibility of this affecting the general financial system, since it alone has 1.3 billion users, mainly in China, where it manages the dominant digital payment system in the region.
With the news, Alibaba, JD.com, Tencent, Xiaomi and Meituan saw their shares plummet and lost more than $ 200 billion.