A group of 12 Chinese internet companies including online giants Baidu, JD.com and ByteDance published commitment letters that they will carry out business in accordance with rules and regulations, after China's market regulators issued a one-month ultimatum to all online platforms to troubleshoot their breaches of market competition orders or face severe penalties.
A total of 34 major online platform firms including the BAT (Baidu,Alibaba, Tencent) have been summoned to attend a meeting on Tuesday held by the State Administration for Market Regulation as well as other market regulators. All of them have signed the aforementioned commitment letters which will be revealed to the public in batches.
Baidu said in the letter that it will obey all laws and regulations, as well as maintain a correctly functioning online environment.
It also promised that the company is opposed to monopoly and unsustainable capital expansion. The company will report certain concentrations of undertakings to the market regulators when such concentrations touch the reporting threshold. It also promised not to ink monopoly agreements with other platforms.
JD.com also wrote in a letter that it would never force merchants to choose one of two platforms, never abuse its market dominance rules, never implement monopoly agreements and would boycott malicious competition as well as unlawful monopoly.
It also said it would fulfil responsibilities to protect intellectual property rights, while refraining from collecting individual information illegally.
Chinese anti-virus software firm Qihu also said it would carry out an internal review according to the monopoly law to rule out any unlawful competition or improper pricing.
Chinese tech giant ByteDance, the parent company of Douyin and TikTok, made similar commitments of not implementing monopoly agreements or abusing market dominance status. It also said it wouldn't publish illegal advertisements or collect personal information in an illegal way.
The commitments were made after Chinese regulators announced a record $2.8 billion antitrust fine on Alibaba for breaching China's Anti-monopoly Law, which experts said had sent a warning to leading Internet companies about the regulators' determination to toughen management on the online sector.
Alibaba's commitment letter has not been revealed to the public so far.