China regulator fined internet platforms including Didi for illegal merger deals

Sign of Chinese ride-hailing service Didi is seen on its headquarters in Beijing,
A sign of Chinese ride-hailing service Didi is seen on its headquarters in Beijing, China July 5, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

July 7, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s market regulator said on Wednesday it has fined a number of internet companies including Didi Chuxing, Tencent and Alibaba for failing to report earlier merger and acquisition deals for approval, according to a statement on the website of the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR).

The regulator fined the companies 500,000 yuan each case, for not seeking approval in 22 deals, citing the country’s anti-monopoly laws.

Subsidiaries of Didi are involved with 8 of the 22 deals. In one of the cases, Didi established a joint venture company with China FAW Group Corporation in 2018, without reporting the deal for antitrust reviews before the new company’s registration.

Ride-hailing giant Didi, still fresh on the heels of its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, has seen its shares plunge as China launched investigations on national security grounds and removed its App from app stores.

The platforms fined also include Beijing Sankuai Technology, a Meituan-affiliated company, and online retailer Suning.com.

(Reporting by Sophie Yu, Tony Munroe; Editing by Louise Heavens)