The main regulator of the technology sector of the China ordered the country’s Internet giants to correct certain anti-competitive practices and threats to data security. The move is part of a regulatory campaign in Beijing to reform the way the biggest tech companies operate.
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The Asian country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which oversees telecommunications and industry policies, said on Monday (26) that its new rectification program is aimed at correcting a number of problems, including disruption of market order, handling incorrect user data and violation of other regulations.
The document did not specify any company by name. But the ministry listed several infractions that had a negative effect on some of China’s biggest tech platforms in recent months. As a result of the country’s regulatory crackdown, big tech companies have come under greater scrutiny this year for practices that were previously unchallenged.
One such issue raised by the tech industry regulator is the “malicious blocking of website links” to third-party electronic addresses and products, which keeps competitors locked out of key tech ecosystems and creates hard lines between rival platforms.
This habit, once a fundamental tenet of China’s tech industry, appears to be changing under the new regulatory environment. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that China’s two most powerful tech companies, Alibaba and Tencent, were working to open up their services to each other’s platforms.
This could mean allowing users to use Tencent’s payment system in Alibaba’s e-commerce applications or to view products sold by Alibaba in Tencent’s social media applications.