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China Orders Alibaba And Tencent To Open Up Platforms To Each Other

Beijing threatened ‘other measures’ will be used if the tech giants don’t share links to their rival’s sites after they were summoned by industry officials along with ByteDance, Baidu, Huawei and Xiaomi

Visitors to an Alibaba Group stand at an exhibition during this year's China Internet Conference, in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

 

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.

 

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Summoned to the meeting were Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, Baidu Inc, Huawei Technologies Co and Xiaomi Corp, the Business Herald said.

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

 

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Sean OMeara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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