On Tuesday, China published a bill aimed at preventing monopoly on internet platforms. The move will raise vigilance on e-commerce and payment services from companies like Alibaba.
The State Administration for Market Regulation of China (SAMR), which published the draft, said it wants to prevent platforms from dominating the market or use methods aimed at damaging competition.
The guidelines provided for online platforms mean the new rules could apply to e-commerce sites like Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall, or JD.com and payment services like Ant’s Alipay or Tencent’s WeChat Pay.
The bill came after the Committee on Financial Stability and Development of China last month announced the need to improve mechanisms to ensure fair competition and called for increased compliance with antitrust laws.
Xie Wen, a former president of Yahoo China who has become critical of the Chinese tech industry, said China had previously avoided a hard line to help local tech giants grow and compete with American competitors. Most of these companies are currently banned from entering the US digital market.
Now that the focus is on the domestic market, Beijing is shifting to control these companies, he said.