Alibaba and Tencent have been told by China’s industry ministry to stop blocking each other’s website links from their platforms.
The ministry warned it may have to resort to ‘other measures’ if the firms did not comply, according to China’s 21st Century Business Herald, as Beijing continues its regulatory crackdown of its tech, entertainment and gaming companies.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology reportedly spoke to the companies on Friday about their instant messaging services, giving them a deadline to unblock their platforms.
China’s internet is dominated by a handful of technology giants who have historically blocked links and services by rivals on their platforms creating, what analysts have described as, “walled gardens.”
Regulators in recent months have cracked down though, accusing companies of building monopolies and restricting consumers’ choices.
In July, the Wall Street Journal reported that Alibaba and Tencent were gradually considering opening up their services to each other, by introducing Tencent’s WeChat Pay to Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall e-commerce marketplaces.
- Reuters and Sean O’Meara