China’s financial regulators led by PBOC have summoned 13 of the largest online financial companies including Tencent, Baidu’s Du Xiaoman Financial and JD.com’s JD Finance an aim to curb “infringements of the lawful rights and interests of consumers”. The regulators are concerned about the unfair practices by the country’s big tech firms that use their dominant market position and big data to underpin competition. The regulators said, “The online platform companies being summoned this time all run large-scale and comprehensive businesses, are influential in the sector and have seen common problems come to light. These problems must be corrected in a serious manner,”. Earlier the Chinese Cyberspace and tax authorities had hauled 34 big tech companies ordering them to follow the country’s regulations and rectify anti-competitive practices through an in-house audit. The companies will now be required to cover 30% of the loans they jointly offer with the banks. Ant Group had been imposed with a fine of $2.8bn for anti-competitive practices and was ordered to restructure its business in line with the guidelines issued for the fintech sector.
The companies called for the meeting included Tencent, Baidu’s fintech arm Du Xiaoman Financial, JD.com’s JD Finance, ByteDance, Meituan Finance, Didi Finance, Lufax Holdings, Xiaomi’s fintech arm Airstar, 360 Digitech, Sina Finance, Suning Financial Services, Gome Fintech and Trip.com’s fintech arm. Ant Group was not left out by the regulators.
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