China’s antitrust authorities have ordered Tencent to give up its exclusive music licensing rights and fined the company for anti-competitive behavior as Beijing continues to crack down on its internet giants at home.
The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) fined the company 500,000 yuan (US $ 77,141) on Saturday, citing violations in its 2016 acquisition of China Music.
After this acquisition, Tencent owns more than 80% of the exclusive music library resources, giving the company an edge over its competitors as it is able to do more exclusive deals with copyright owners complete, SAMR said in a statement.
The competition watchdog has ordered Tencent and its affiliates to give up its exclusive music rights within 30 days and end requirements for copyright holders to treat the company better than its competitors – such as high upfront payments.
Tencent is required to report to the SAMR on its progress every year for three years, and the antitrust authorities will implement the implementation according to the Strictly monitor laws.
In response, Tencent said it “will meet all regulatory requirements, meet our social responsibility and contribute to healthy competition in the market.”
China’s influence on internet giants
The latest regulatory crackdown comes as Beijing further restricts the power of its domestic tech companies, some of the most valuable Companies in the world.
Tencent’s business is China’s most popular messaging service WeChat, online and mobile games, and music. Tencent, which is listed in Hong Kong, has a market value of nearly $ 656 billion.
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anti-competitive practices at data security and increased control of Chinese companies with foreign listings in the US
Just this month, Chinese regulators have a cybersecurity investigation of the Chinese ridesharing service Didi days after his massive US IPO . Last year Beijing also had a $ 2.8 billion antitrust fine imposed on Alibaba and Ant Group’s $ 34.5 billion initial public offering .
In April, SAMR called 34 companies to including Tencent and ByteDance, and ordered self-inspections to be carried out in order to comply with the antimonopoly rules.