China widens antitrust rules
The State Administration for Market Regulation recently unveiled proposals that include guidelines on how anti-monopoly measures should be applied to internet companies.
The authority is seeking reviews and feedback on the proposals from the public through Nov 30.
Dong Yizhi, a lawyer at Shanghai Joint Win Law Firm, said the draft rules reiterate that internet platform companies, including e-commerce marketplaces, must not abuse their dominant position to force merchants to "choose one platform over others" and block fair competition.
The antitrust regulations are aimed at promoting fair and free competition in the market and promoting innovation, he said. The regulations target unfair pricing, below-cost and tie-in sales, restricted transactions and other unreasonable trading conditions. It would also consider whether a transaction treats different customers differently based on big data, payment ability, consumption preferences and usage habits, Dong said.