(Reuters) – Chinese regulators announced Saturday that they fined Alibaba Group Holding Ltd $ 2.75 billion for antitrust violations.
LIU XU, RESEARCHER AT THE NATIONAL STRATEGY INSTITUTE, TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY
“The fine of $ 2.75 billion is not as high as we think – it is almost a token fine for Alibaba … The impact on the rest of China’s internet platforms is limited …
“Real improvement in China’s antitrust efforts will depend on the continued determination of the central government and a more transparent, fairer mechanism to help antitrust forces clean up various types of interference during their investigations and enforcement efforts.”
WU GE, DIRECTOR AT BEIJING ZHONGWEN LAW FIRM
“The fine says internet platforms should also comply with the law and create real value for consumers – not just chasing profits or making profitability their top priority.
“It shouldn’t be treated as a carnival for the public as the fines will eventually be paid to consumers …
“The government’s antitrust fines against large monopoly platforms will definitely not end here – rather, this is a starting point. More fines will come. This will be a trend in the near future.”
LOUIS TSE, ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR FOR HEALTHCARE, HONG KONG
“Ever since Ant’s initial public offering was canceled and antitrust laws in preparation, the market has expected Alibaba to pay a price.
“I think it’s good for the stock price now that the news is on and it’s finally cleared. Major Chinese technology stocks have been weak and I think this fine is being used as a yardstick for any other penalties that might do so.” to be applied to the other companies. “
HONG HAO, RESEARCH HEAD, BOCOM INTERNATIONAL, HONG KONG
“For the time being, this penalty is seen by the market as the conclusion of the antimonopoly litigation.
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“The market has been expecting some kind of penalty for some time … but people need to be careful of measures that go beyond the antimonopoly investigation, such as the sale of media goods.”
MITCHELL KIM, INDEPENDENT TMT ANALYST, NEW YORK PUBLISHING ON THE SMARTKARMA PLATFORM
“I think it is actually positive that the stock overhang is finally being lifted. The known disadvantage is better than an unknown risk. The fine is record breaking, but it is still below 1% of Baba’s market capitalization.
“If Alibaba allows you to climb out of the hole, it’s worth it. I don’t think removing Alibaba’s exclusivity will significantly diminish its power.”
THEY HUNT, LAWYER WITH SHANGHAI DEBUND LAW OFFICES
“Alibaba and Tencent, two of China’s largest technology giants, each have their own antitrust risk, namely abuse of their dominant status … Alibaba has asked retailers to choose between themselves and their competitors.
“It’s much easier for regulators to gather evidence and make arguments. With the government’s antitrust decision behind it, it’s easier to punish Alibaba. The government also needs a good example to demonstrate its resolve on the antitrust front. The heavy fine also shows that. “
DICKIE WONG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF KINGSTON SECURITIES, HONG KONG
“It may not be a bad thing after all. Alibaba has been in the regulatory limelight since the Ant Group went public. In the short term, the share price could come under pressure. It will not only be Alibaba, but all of the other Chinese internet big people, too. including Tencent, and the market will begin to speculate which company will be the next target. “
LU MING, AEQUITAS RESEARCH ANALYST, SHANGHAI
“Ecommerce platforms required their customers to sell products exclusively on their platforms and to leave the competition completely. SAMR removes the exclusive requirement. I think this has nothing to do with the government relationship of (Alibaba) as Vipshop is in the February was fined RMB 3 million.
“Any impact on Alibaba’s stock price will only be short-term, it will not affect Alibaba’s value. I believe SAMR (State Administration for Market Regulation) will penalize more e-commerce platforms like online auto or real estate agencies. “
FRANCIS LUN, CEO of GEO SECURITIES, HONG KONG
“What comes after Alibaba’s fine is the likelihood that China’s other internet giants will be harmed.
“Their growth has been tremendous and the government has turned a blind eye and allowed them to have uncompetitive practices. They can no longer do that, they will have large market shares, but they will not be as dominant as they are.” right now.
“We could see a correction in Alibaba’s share price because of this fine, they will lose their monopoly and will have to compete on an equal footing. The other tech stocks like Meituan will suffer the same fate, and so will we.” will see weakness across the tech sector. “
SHI JIANZHONG, MEMBER OF THE ANTITRUST CONSULTANT COMMITTEE OF THE STATE COUNCIL AND PROFESSOR OF CHINA UNIVERSITY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND LAW
“The fine is a milestone and a significant road sign,” Shi Jianzhong wrote in the state-sponsored Economic Times.
“It shows that antitrust law enforcement on Internet platforms has entered a new era and has triggered a clear political signal.”
(Reporting by Scott Murdoch, Leng Cheng, Li Pei; compiled by William Mallard; editing by Himani Sarkar and Christian Schmollinger)