JD.com has become the latest Chinese tech giant to be fined for violating antitrust laws as it was slapped with a 300,000 yuan ($46,663) fine by Chinese market regulators.
According to the Global Times, JD was fined for distributing false promotional information in promoting its food products.
The fine was issued by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), one of the top market regulators, on Beijing Jingdong Century Information Technology Co, a subsidiary owned by JD.
The company has been fined repeatedly by market regulators for market monopoly acts as well as false advertising.
JD.com has been fined seven times from the SAMR this year, each ranging from 60,000 yuan ($9,333) to 400,000 yuan ($62,220).
It’s worth mentioning that the latest fine is a drop in the ocean for one of China’s biggest ecommerce brand, which saw net revenues jump 39 per cent to 203.2 billion yuan (£22.3 billion) in the three months to March 31.
The fine is also considerably lower than the record $2.8 billion penalty that was issued to JD’s main rival Alibaba for violating similar antitrust laws in April.
The two fines signify that the Chinese government’s crackdown on big tech doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down.
One of the key focuses of the Alibaba’s anti-trust investigation was its practice of requiring merchants to list exclusively on its platform.
Beijing ordered an end to this practice, which was brushed off by its chief executive Daniel Zhang who said: “We don’t need exclusivity arrangements to retain our merchants”.
The Chinese ecommerce giant has been accused of flouting monopoly rules by antitrust regulators, who have been targeting the company after founder Jack Ma’s fiercely critical speech about China’s regulatory system in October.
The debacle culminated in market regulators ordering Alibaba to disassociate itself from Ma or face staggering fines.