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Tencent and Baidu Fined by Antitrust Regulator For Previous Deals

  • Regulator handed out penalties in review of 10 previous deals
  • Didi, ByteDance units also censured for earlier joint ventures
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China’s antitrust regulator fined some of its largest tech giants including Tencent Holdings Ltd., Baidu Inc., ByteDance Ltd. and Didi Chuxing for past acquisitions and investments as it stepped up its crackdown on the sector.

Pony Ma’s Tencent is being fined 500,000 yuan ($77,000) for its 2018 investment in online education app Yuanfudao, according to a statement by the State Administration for Market Regulation on Friday. Baidu was fined the same amount for its 2014 takeover of Ainemo Inc., a maker of consumer electronics including voice-controlled speakers. The firms are being censured for not seeking prior approvals for the deals -- a violation of country’s anti-monopoly laws -- though the regulator had determined the deals themselves aren’t anti-competitive.