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China Faces Challenge of Keeping its Big Tech in Check

Chinas technology giants are firmly in the crosshairs of the countrys regulators who are trying to figure out how to create a set of antitrust rules that can keep these firms in check. Experts say Beijing will need to ensure that its drive for new regulations balances its push to become a global technological leader. Like in the U.S., Chinas tech sector has expanded via a largely unencumbered path. In some areas, regulators have already stepped in and are now stepping up those efforts.

Earlier this week, Chinas bureau for regulating monopolies released draft rules that define, for the first time, what constitutes anticompetitive behavior. The draft regulation by the State Administration for Market Regulation covers areas including pricing, payment methods, and use of data to target shoppers. Its the most widesweeping attempt to regulate what Beijing sees as monopolistic behavior by the countrys tech giants that have grown significantly in the last few years. The agency is seeking public feedback on the draft rules until Nov. 30.

Late last month, Alibaba founder Jack Ma made some comments that appeared critical of Chinas financial regulator. That was seen as something that stoked regulators into suspending Ant Groups IPO. And some observers say it could also be a factor behind the latest antitrust rules.

Huawei is another example. Before U.S. sanctions were placed on the smartphone maker, Huawei had a thriving international smartphone and network gear business….

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