Not the United States, unfortunately. But China continues to crack down on the corporate elite and their rapacious financial parasitism:
China’s state market regulator said it was fining e-commerce giant Alibaba, along with other Big Tech majors including Baidu and JD.com, over violations of the country’s anti-monopoly legislation. The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) slapped fines of $78,300 on each corporation, saying they failed to declare 43 deals, dating back to 2012, to the proper authorities.
The list of antitrust violation cases that have been brought to light include Beijing Baidu Wangxun Technology and Nanjing Wangdian Technology’s joint purchase of Nanjing Xinfeng Network Technology, Alibaba’s acquisition of the equity of AutoNavi Software Holdings, and Tencent’s acquisition of equity in China Medical Online.
All the cases announced represent transactions that should have been declared but weren’t. SAMR noted that the list includes a raft of firms and a long transaction time span.
“With the in-depth advancement of anti-monopoly law enforcement, the awareness of corporate operators’ concentration declarations has continued to increase, proactively sorting out and reporting the concentration of operators that have not previously been declared illegally … and actively cooperating with investigations,” the watchdog said on Saturday on its official WeChat account.
The penalties are the latest development in Beijing’s major clampdown on technology-focused businesses, amid a nationwide move towards increasing national security. The country’s tech giants, particularly the ones operating in the financial sector, have been under close scrutiny from state authorities due to their increasing power.
In October, the SAMR imposed a fine of $533.5 million on food delivery platform Meituan. The penalty over monopolistic practices was the second-biggest fine on the Chinese platform economy since Alibaba was slapped a record $2.8 billion antitrust fine in April, for exclusionary practices.
The corporations, both Chinese and US-based, should have seen this coming. There can be no question that Xi is genuinely committed to fighting all forms of corruption; an intelligence report on him written before he came to power even highlighted the expectation that he would “aggressively attempt to address these evils”.
Xi knows how very corrupt China is and is repulsed by the all-encompassing commercialization of Chinese society,
with its attendant nouveau riche, official corruption, loss of values, dignity, and self-respect, and such “moral evils”
as drugs and prostitution, the professor stated. The professor speculated that if Xi were to become the Party General Secretary, he would likely aggressively attempt to address these evils, perhaps at the expense of the new moneyed class.