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China prohibits blocking the links to competitor sites

Wild East comes to an end thanks to regulator actions

14.Sep.21 10:53 AM
By Abigail Richards
Photo CPC


China prohibits blocking the links to competitor sites
Chinese tech companies must stop blocking links to their competitors ' sites. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ruled on Monday.

Many Chinese tech companies, including Tencent, Alibaba and ByteDance, have for a long time made it impossible for consumers to link to the competition's sites. For example, it is not possible to post on WeChat (Tencent)  a video of Douyin, a TikTok-like app's parent company ByteDance. Alibaba also does not allow users to pay with WeChat Pay on Taobao and T-mall (Tencent) shopping sites.

According to a spokesperson Zhao Zhiguo, such actions are bad for the user experience on the platforms, harm users ' rights and endanger market balance. Several users are said to have complained to the ministry about similar practices after it opened an investigation in July into the conduct of the tech companies.

Both Tencent and Alibaba said they supported the actions of the ministry. What exactly the companies need to change and by when has not been disclosed. What the ministry does when companies do not comply with the new rules is also unknown.

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