Chinese authorities have imposed on Alibaba e-commerce group a fine of 18.2 billion yuan (2.78 billion dollars) for abuses related to its dominant position, official Chinese media reported Saturday.
The fine comes on the heels of an investigation that began against Alibaba in December, according to the New China Agency. Alibaba has been accused of imposing exclusivity on merchants wishing to sell their products on its platform and avoiding dealing with competing e-commerce sites.
The penalty value was determined after the regulatory bodies decided to impose a fine on the site equivalent to 4% of its revenue for 2019, or 455.7 billion yuan, according to the agency. The Alibaba Group and other Chinese tech giants are facing pressure as concern over their influence in China grows, as consumers use these pioneering platforms to communicate, shop, pay bills, book taxis, take out loans and a host of other daily tasks.
Alibaba, in particular, has been under close scrutiny since last October. Its co-founder Jack Ma accused the regulatory authorities of not keeping pace with the developments taking place, for expressing concern about the expansion of Alibaba’s financial arm, “Ent Group” in the areas of loans, asset management and insurance.