Technology Nov 13

Tencent downplays impact of new Chinese anti-monopoly rules

Tencent president Martin Lau pledges to cooperate with China over new anti-monopoly rules and downplays the likely impact after a share slump 

Tencent downplays impact of new Chinese anti-monopoly rules
Tencent's strong earnings growth could be threatened by new Chinese anti-monopoly rules. File photo: Reuters.

(ATF) Tencent executives led by its president Martin Lau said on a quarterly earnings call with analysts on November 12 that the firm would talk with Chinese regulators to understand what they hope to achieve with their recent release of the "Antitrust Guidelines on the Platform Economy (Draft for Comment)”.

Tencent said the Chinese government still supports the internet technology industry strongly and that the firm is working with regulators to ensure compliance with its requirements.

Tencent shared its views on the document and antitrust (anti-monopoly) supervision on a call after it announced a 89% rise in quarterly revenue. 

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The document emphasizes a fair market environment, the promotion of innovation, and the balance of interests of all stakeholders, a report on paper.cn said.

Tencent believes that such laws and regulations are not new or unique to China. As the company grows larger and its contribution to the economy increases, an increase in supervision reflects this situation.

The government still supports the Internet technology industry, especially innovation “with the goal of avoiding improper behaviour and ensuring the long-term healthy development of the industry.”

Tencent said its philosophy is in line with the spirit of supervision. “Our platform is naturally open. We cooperate with many partners. We focus on providing users with good products... as competition becomes stronger there will be a good competitive mechanism within the company."

Tencent said it is working with regulators to ensure compliance.

Greater focus on trading platforms 

Executives said that it may focus more on trading platforms in the future, with less emphasis on digital entertainment content, such as games and videos.

On November 10, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation announced the "Guidelines for Anti-Monopoly in the Field of Platform Economy (Draft for Comment)" and publicly solicited opinions from the public. 

The General Administration of Market Supervision stated that this is to prevent and stop monopolistic activities in the Internet platform economy, and guide operators in the platform economy to operate in compliance with laws and regulations, and promote the sustainable and healthy development of the online economy.

After the release of the document, the stock prices of internet companies including Tencent, Alibaba, JD, and Meituan fell sharply.

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