China Fines Meituan $533.6 Million for Antimonopoly Violation

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The regulator found that Meituan effectively forced merchants to sell exclusively on its platform

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SAMR fined Meituan 3.44 billion yuan, or about $533.6 million, and ordered the Beijing-headquartered company to return a total of 1.29 billion yuan “specific deposits” to merchants such as restaurants and supermarkets selling food and other goods on its platform. ordered. It said the company would need to improve operations and roll out compliance reports for the next three years.

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Meituan said in a statement that it accepted the punishment “with sincerity” and that Er Xuan Yi would forbid the practice to proceed. “Meituan will take this lesson to heart,” it said.

Er Xuan Yi’s practice has been at the center of Beijing’s recent regulatory actions against tech companies. In April, authorities fined Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd a record $2.8 billion for the practice and launched an investigation into Meituan.

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With a market capitalization of approximately $201 billion, Meituan has raised billions of dollars from global investors and is China’s third most valuable publicly listed Internet company after Tencent Holdings. Ltd.

and Alibaba. The company is the nation’s largest provider of food-delivery and related services, and provides hotel booking and sells groceries online.

Shares of the company have tumbled nearly 43% from a record high in February, with cuts to increasing regulatory scrutiny from a pandemic-fueled boom for online products and services in China.

[email protected]sshala.com . on Yifan Wang

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