China releases final anti-monopoly rules targeting major tech and payments firms


China has adopted new guidelines in support of the antitrust fight against technology giants.

On February 7, the state administration of market regulation published final rules for its antimonopoly push against e-commerce and payment giants like Alibaba, Ant Group and Tencent.

The guidelines are specifically aimed at “operators who provide business premises, transaction matching, information exchange and other Internet platform services”. It builds on a number of recent efforts by both SAMR and the People’s Bank of China to contain the broader tech industry, and specifically targets payment platforms as the country continues to advance its own central bank digital currency.

The actual terms of the guidelines are well known from global antitrust regulation and include restrictions on collusion, merger and price fixing. However, this is an important step in this broader context.

Just last week, the Ant Group reportedly reached an agreement to restructure its business. The company had seen the Chinese government shut down its IPO in the fall due to similar concerns about the Ant Group’s potential monopoly and founder Jack Ma’s criticism of Chinese financial regulation.

Cointelegraph previously noted that authorities in China and the United States are running similar campaigns to curb rampant industry abuse among key tech industry players. To make matters worse, anticompetitive actions by large technology companies are often done by manipulating data, which requires the discovery of new investigative technologies and often the pursuit of new laws.