The long-awaited new regulations released by the State Council’s anti-monopoly committee on Sunday are not as bad for China’s tech giants as many observers initially expected, according to a Caixin Global report.
Targeted platforms are not specifically named within the document, but many believe the goal of the committee’s recent investigations and of these new guidelines is to reign in tech titans such as Alibaba and Tencent, both of which have become increasingly important partners for global fashion and beauty brands looking to reach consumers in the mainland China market.
Previously floated curbs on controversial practices such as charging varying prices for the same product to different customers are watered down in the final version of the regulations and, overall, these new guidelines don’t differ a great deal from China’s existing antitrust laws.
What they do appear to do, however, is increase the ability of regulators to act against breaches of these principles and formalise what legally constitutes a platform, platform operator and the platform economy.
They also specifically outline four types of antitrust activity, including monopolistic agreements, abuse of a dominant market position, concentration of operators and abuse of administrative power to exclude or restrict competition.