China fines Alibaba record $2.75 billion for anti-monopoly violations
Chinese regulators have fined Alibaba Group Holding Ltd 18 billion yuan ($2.75 billion) for violating anti-monopoly rules and abusing its dominant market position, marking the highest ever antitrust fine to be imposed in the country, Reuters reports.
The penalty, equivalent to around 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 revenues, comes amid an unprecedented regulatory crackdown on home-grown technology conglomerates in the past few months that have weighed on company shares.
Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma’s business empire has been particularly put under intense scrutiny after his stinging criticism of China’s regulatory system in late October.
In late December, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) announced it launched an antitrust probe into the company. That came after authorities scuttled a planned $37 billion IPO from Ant Group, Alibaba’s internet finance arm.
Alibaba said in a statement posted on its official Weibo account that it “accepted” the decision and would resolutely implement SAMR’s rulings.
It said it would also work to improve corporate compliance.
The Chinese e-commerce giant said it will hold a conference call on Monday to discuss the penalty decision.