Web giants put below stricter scrutiny: China Every day, Asia Information & High Tales

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY / ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – The anti-monopoly guidelines for the so-called platform economy, published by the State Council’s Anti-Monopoly Committee on Sunday (February 7), herald a new era of surveillance and regulation in the country – growing internet giants who, thanks to their Data, technology and capital strengths have flourished.

This is a timely move as it is a worrying phenomenon that some large online platform companies have abused their dominant positions in the industry to the detriment of the interests of consumers and other market participants.

It’s not uncommon for some ecommerce companies to have used algorithms and big data to manipulate users’ lives by narrowing or channeling their purchasing decisions.

There are also growing complaints about monopoly practices like “pick one of two” where business partners only have to choose one platform to work with in order to foreclose competitors.

All of this has hindered fair competition, disrupted market organization and created barriers to building a high standard market system.

The central authority has therefore made it its top priority to control monopolies in the platform economy.

The central economic labor conferences held in December to draft the country’s economic blueprint for that year promised to strengthen anti-monopoly measures and prevent disorderly capital expansion.

Official investigations into the alleged monopoly practices of e-commerce giant Alibaba were then conducted. and on Sunday the Beijing Intellectual Property Court agreed to continue the case filed by popular Chinese short video platform Douyin against internet giant Tencent over its restrictions on Douyin users sharing content on its social media apps WeChat and QQ.

It signals that from now on, Internet platforms will no longer be spared from official control if they engage in monopoly behavior.

The online economy has thrived with new momentum thanks to government support and a rapidly growing Internet user base that is now close to 1 billion.

The many internet giants that have sprung up in recent years have become a major driver of innovation and economic growth in the country, especially after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that shifted a lot of business activity online.

Regulation and oversight, however, have lagged far behind the industry’s rapid expansion. The antimonopoly directives will help to close regulatory loopholes and keep the development of the platform sector within the law.

This is also in line with the international trend of strengthening antimonopoly regulation, ensuring fair competition and maintaining the market organization with strict anti-trust measures.

Rather than hampering the development of the platform economy, the antimonopoly guidelines will help improve the business environment for all internet companies, especially start-ups, and further promote the healthy development of the country’s digital economy.

China Daily is a member of The Straits Times’ media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media outlets.

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