Chinese companies are prohibited from blocking links from competing websites

The adoption of antitrust measures by China is no longer new for the main technology companies in the country, the government has applied several rules in the market demanding the breaking of industrial monopolies and increasing the surveillance under various businesses, mainly fintechs.

  • Chinese government tightens supervision on its Internet giants
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  • The Anti-Monopoly Law of the Asian country considers as forms of monopoly, antitrust agreements closed between institutions, abuse of a dominant position in the market and concentration of companies that can eliminate or restrict the growth of other businesses.

    In yet another attempt to regulate the activities of companies in the world’s second largest economy, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) , its acronym in English) called a meeting to discuss the issue of blocking of virtual addresses (URLS) that would be practiced by some companies, characterizing unfair competition.

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    At the event, the agency proposed compliance regulations requiring platforms to remove the feature that blocks external URLs in messaging software to facilitate connectivity in the internet industry. In addition, the entity pointed out that there will be sanctions if the rules are not complied with by the day in September. According to local media, the list of companies that attended the meeting included Alibaba, Tencent, Byte Jump, Baidu, Huawei, Xiaomi, Stranger, 163 and NetEase .

    Restricting access to competitors’ links by some platforms has been one of the main issues addressed in a special reform campaign launched by MIIT since July. “Blocking visits to links from other companies without justification has seriously affected the user’s experience and rights and has also shaken market order.” said the institution’s spokesman, Zhao Zhiguo.

    You Yunting, senior partner of the Chinese law firm, Shanghai Dabang, believes that from an anti-monopoly perspective, the ban on web link blocking is primarily aimed at the messaging applications with the biggest market shares, WeChat and QQ, both owned by Tencent. Yunting also believes that implementing the new regulations will bring benefits to China’s Internet ecosystem, resulting in healthier competition between companies.

    In mid-July, Chinese sources reported that Alibaba and Tencent were planning a partnership as a way to get around the problem, with Alibaba introducing payments via WeChat into its e-mail platforms. commerce, Taobao and Tmall; and Tencent allowing the sharing of purchase links on partner websites via WeChat. However, none of the companies commented on the matter.

    Chinese giants speak out about future rules

    This week, important companies in the sector expressed their opinions regarding the future rules. Tencent has stated that it will adhere to the policies established by MIIT and facilitate secure connectivity to other websites in stages.

    ByteDance said in response on Monday (

  • ) that the measure is a basic requirement for the development of the Internet as it guarantees normal access to legitimate web links; and to protect users’ access rights, maintain market order, and foster industry innovation and development.

    Alibaba informed that it will also follow MIIT requirements and will work with other platforms to face the future and improve market positioning and create a fair business environment. So far, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has not officially released the rules on the ban, but it is certain that China’s Internet companies will have to face a series of changes again.

    Source: 163,Global Times

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