China Target Internet Giants in Antitrust Law Overhaul

China is making major revisions to its Antitrust Law for the first time in more than 11 years, which has included the internet industry to give it more teeth while reining in the countrys increasingly dominant technology giants.
The Draft Revisions to the Antitrust Law, released on 2 January 2020 by the State Administration for Market Regulation calling for comments from the public by 31 January 2020, expands on criteria used to judge a companys control of a market and mentions internet companies for the first time. 
The Draft Revisions mandates that the government set up and implement inspection measures for a fair competition to help ensure standardization of administrative practices and prevent policies and measures that eliminate or hinder competition.
In determining whether an undertaking in the internet industry has a dominant market position, the following factors should be considered among other things: the effect businesses have on the web as a whole, their economies of scale, the lock-in effects of their products or services, and their ability to handle and process data. 
According to the Draft Revisions, the antitrust law enforcement agency and its functionaries are responsible for keeping confidential the trade secrets and personal privacy which have come to their knowledge in the course of enforcement.
The Draft Revisions also increases the potential financial punishments for lawbreakers by as much as a hundred-fold. As before, those engaging in monopolistic behavior will have their proceeds confiscated and will be fined between 1% and 10% of revenue for the previous fiscal year. 
However, for those that have yet to implement their plans or had zero revenue in the previous fiscal year, the Draft Revisions raises maximum penalties from RMB 500,000 to RMB 50 million. Industry associations caught violating the Antitrust Law can be fined RMB 5 million, up from RMB 500,000.

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