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China's antitrust regulator to fine Meituan about $1 billion -WSJ

China's antitrust regulator to fine Meituan about $1 billion -WSJ
China's antitrust regulator to fine Meituan about $1 billion -WSJ   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

– China’s antitrust regulator is preparing to impose a fine of about $1 billion on Meituan for allegedly abusing its dominant market position, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The penalty could be announced in the coming weeks, the newspaper said https://on.wsj.com/3ChY7pX, adding that the food delivery giant would be required to revamp its operations.

Meituan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China in recent months has rolled out sweeping rules to crack down on the tech and private tutoring sectors.

The State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) launched an antitrust probe into Meituan in April, focussing on a practice whereby a company forces vendors to use its platform exclusively.

The SAMR in April imposed a record $2.75 billion fine on e-commerce giant Alibaba over the same practice.

Meituan, which competes with Alibaba-backed Ele.me among others, held an estimated 68.2% share of China’s food delivery market in the second quarter of 2020, according to Trustdata. Its businesses also include bike sharing, community group buying and restaurant reviews.

In March, Meituan was among five backers or owners of community group-buying platforms fined by SAMR over “improper pricing behaviour” related to subsidies.