China fined Alibaba Group 18.2 billion yuan ($ 2.8 billion) after an antitrust investigation. This is part of a regulatory crackdown that has raised concerns about the future of Jack Ma’s tech empire.
The penalty is equivalent to 4% of Alibaba’s domestic sales in 2019, the Chinese market regulator said in a statement on Saturday.
Regulators also said Alibaba needed to implement “comprehensive remediations” such as strengthening internal controls, maintaining fair competition, protecting businesses on the platform, and consumer rights. The company must submit a self-regulatory report to the authorities for the third consecutive year.
Alibaba has been under increasing pressure from Chinese authorities since its founder, Ma, spoke in October against a regulatory approach to China’s financial sector. These comments led to unprecedented regulatory breaches, including reducing Ma’s Ant Group Co.’s $ 35 billion initial public offering plan.
The company said it would accept and comply with the penalties “in good faith.”
“We will strengthen our operations in accordance with the law, further strengthen the construction of compliance systems based on innovation and development, and fulfill our social responsibilities better,” Alibaba said on Saturday.
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