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China Probes Food Delivery Giant Meituan

 |  April 26, 2021

China launched an antitrust investigation into food delivery giant Meituan, the market regulator announced on Monday, April 26, the latest target in a crackdown on the country’s sprawling internet platform economy, reported Reuters.

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) said in a statement that its investigation was focused on the practice whereby a company forces vendors to use their platform exclusively, known as “choose one from two.”

Tencent-backed Meituan, which this month raised US$10 billion in a stock and convertible bonds sale, said in a statement it would cooperate with the investigation and that its business was operating normally.

This month, SAMR imposed a record US$2.75 billion fine on e-commerce giant Alibaba over the same practice and summoned 34 internet firms including Meituan to tell them to learn from Alibaba’s penalty and not use banned practices.

China has in recent months taken measures to rein in its once loosely-regulated internet economy in a clampdown backed by President Xi Jinping that has rattled the industry.