China’s market regulator said on Saturday it was fining companies such as Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com for failing to disclose 43 deals dating back to 2012, claiming they violated anti-monopoly laws.
Companies involved in the cases would be fined 500,000 yuan ($ 78,000) each, he said, the maximum allowed by China’s 2008 monopoly law.
Alibaba, Baidu, JD.com and Geely did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
China has strengthened its grip on internet platforms, reversing a once laissez-faire approach and citing the risk of abusing market power to stifle competition, the misuse of consumer data and the violation of consumer rights .
The first deal listed was a 2012 acquisition involving Baidu and a partner, and the most recent was the 2021 deal between Baidu and Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holdings to set up a new energy vehicle business.
Acquisition of the Chinese navigation and digital mapping company AutoNavi and its takeover in 2018 of a 44% stake in Ele.me to become the largest shareholder in the meal delivery service. The agreements, however, did not have the effect of eliminating or restricting competition, the regulator said, reviews, the first time he did so.