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Is Alibaba's fate a warning to China’s tech giants?

It's been a tough week for Chinese tech firms.

Over the weekend, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's e-commerce giant Alibaba was fined $2.8bn (£2bn) by Chinese regulators, who said it had abused its market position for years.

Then on Monday, Chinese digital payments firm Ant Group - an affiliate of Alibaba - announced a drastic restructuring plan with regulators forcing it to act more like a bank than a tech firm.

And on Tuesday, 34 companies, the who's who of China's tech world, were summoned by officials and warned: let Alibaba be a lesson to you.

They've been given one month to "self-reflect" and comply with China's new rules for platform companies.

Alibaba is the grandfather of China's tech industry. It dominates the marketplace there with over 800 million users in China alone.

That is why it was a wake-up call for others in the tech sector when the firm was fined and officially reprimanded.

The investigation into Alibaba determined that it had abused its market position for years by restricting merchants from doing business or running promotions on rival platforms. The fine amounts to about 4% of the company's 2019 domestic revenue.

Industry players tell me "everyone is tense". The big firms are worried they're next.

Companies like Tencent,, Meituan, Bytedance and Pinduoduo are all looking at Alibaba's experience, and trying to avoid crossing any red lines set by Beijing.

Source: BBC

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