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China’s Big Tech Faces New Scrutiny From The Finance Regulator

 |  June 6, 2021

Meituan, Didi Chuxing, and six other sharing economy platforms were summoned by China’s pricing watchdog last week, reported South China Morning Post.

The bureau told on-demand service giant Meituan, Didi Chuxing’s bike-sharing service Didi Bike, Hellobike, and five power bank sharing companies including Nasdaq-listed Energy Monster to increase compliance and make their pricing rules more transparent to build a “sound market price order,” according to a statement on the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR)’s website.

SAMR stated that problems including irregular pricing continue in the sharing economy and gave the companies 30 days to rectify and submit reports on how they’ve addressed pricing issues. While the pricing bureau gave “administrative guidance,” no firm was punished outright.

The lecture marks a rare case of the Price Supervision and Anti-Unfair Competition Bureau, also known as the Office for Regulating Direct Selling and Cracking Down on Pyramid Schemes, summoning China’s Big Tech, according to work logs published on its website which reveal it rarely leads regulatory summons of Big Tech.

The Anti-Monopoly Bureau and the Department of Online Transaction Regulation, two other departments within SAMR, also joined the lecture session.

As one of the 29 departments within SAMR, the price supervision bureau is responsible for monitoring and correcting irregular pricing and unfair competition. Last month, the bureau, along with Beijing’s local market regulator, slapped education technology giants Zuoyebang and Yuanfudao with the maximum penalty of 2.5 million yuan (US$388,591) each for false advertising and misleading marketing.

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