Alibaba hit with record $2.75bn anti-monopoly fine

The Chinese government has levied a record $2.75 billion fine on Alibaba following allegations of monopolistic practices, almost triple the $975 million chip manufacturer Qualcomm had to pay Chinese regulators in 2015.

Alibaba, currently valued at around $608 billion, controls a significant portion of the Chinese domestic e-commerce and cloud computing markets.

The fine represents around 4 per cent of the tech giant’s domestic revenue.

Alibaba will also be forced to introduce new rules to lower barriers to entry and reduce the business costs faced by sellers on its platforms.

The regulators accused Alibaba of restricting merchants from selling on rival platforms.

The fine comes as China is putting increased scrutiny on its domestic technology companies, including stopping a planned $37 billion initial public offering by Ant Group, Alibaba’s internet finance division.

Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang recently made a statement at the National People’s Congress about stamping out monopolies and preventing the “unregulated” expansion of capital.

China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said it had fined 12 companies over 10 deals for alleged monopolistic practices.

Shares in Alibaba rose around 9 per cent in Hong Kong trading in response to the reduction in uncertainty about what the actions of the Chinese regulator would be.

Daniel Zhang, chief executive at Alibaba, said they did not expect any “material impact” from the regulator's actions.

"We're happy to get the matter behind us, but the tendency is that regulators will be keen to look at some of the areas where you might have unfair competition," he said.

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