by: Associated Press
FILE – A security guard passes by the Alibaba booth at a trade show in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. Chinese tech giants including Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings were fined Saturday, Nov. 20, for failing to report corporate acquisitions, adding to an anti-monopoly crackdown by the ruling Communist Party. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese tech giants including Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings were fined Saturday for failing to report corporate acquisitions, adding to an anti-monopoly crackdown by the ruling Communist Party.
The companies failed to report 43 acquisitions that occurred up to eight years ago under rules on “operating concentration,” according to the State Administration for Market Regulation. Each violation carried a penalty of 500,000 yuan ($80,000), it said.
Beijing has launched anti-monopoly, data security and other crackdowns on tech companies since late 2020. The ruling party worries the companies have too much control over their industries and has warned them not to use their dominance to gouge consumers or block entry to new competitors.
Other companies fined in the latest round of penalties include online retailers JD.com Inc. and Suning Ltd. and search engine operator Baidu Inc. The acquisitions dating back to 2013 included network technology, mapping and medical technology assets.
The companies “failed to declare illegal implementation of operating concentration,” the regulator said on its website.
Alibaba, the world’s biggest e-commerce company by sales volume, was fined $2.8 billion in April for practices that regulators said suppressed competition. Meituan, a food delivery platform, was fined $534 million on Oct. 8.
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LA LIBERTAD, El Salvador (AP) — In a rock concert-like atmosphere, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced that his government will build an oceanside “Bitcoin City” at the base of a volcano.
Bukele used a gathering of Bitcoin enthusiasts Saturday night to launch his latest idea, much as he used a an earlier Bitcoin conference in Miami to announce in a video message that El Salvador would be the first country to make the cryptocurrency legal tender,
CORVALLIS, Ore. (KOIN) — Researchers with Oregon State University have discovered seeds sprouting from an amber-encased pinecone.
The phenomenon is caused by a rare botanical condition called precocious germination in which seeds sprout before leaving the fruit, according to the university.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pop star Justin Bieber is facing growing calls to cancel his concert in Saudi Arabia next month as the fiancee of slain Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi joined a chorus of voices on Sunday urging him not to perform at the kingdom’s Formula One race.
In an open letter published by The Washington Post, Hatice Cengiz urged the Canadian megastar to cancel his Dec. 5 performance in the Red Sea city of Jiddah to “send a powerful message to the world that your name and talent will not be used to restore the reputation of a regime that kills its critics.”