China’s market regulator has opened an investigation into Alibaba’s “suspected monopolistic conduct.” The State Administration for Market Regulation has posted a short statement on its website announcing the anti—monopoly probe. The regulator seems to have taken issue with Alibaba’s “choosing one from two” policy, in particular. According to TechCrunch, that policy forces merchants to sell on Alibaba’s platforms exclusively and prevents them from selling on rival e-commerce websites, such as JD.com and Pinduoduo.
This is just one of the regulator’s latest steps to curb anti-competitive behavior among local tech companies. Back in November, it introduced new draft laws that would restrict companies’ data collecting activities, along with other rules it says are meant to protect consumers. South China Morning Post also reports that the regulator has summoned Alibaba, JD.com, Tencent, Meituan, Pinduoduo and Didi Chuxing for a meeting on Tuesday to discuss a set of nine rules they need to follow. These tech giants will be “strictly prohibited to sell products below cost with the purpose of squeezing out competitors or seeking monopoly positions,” the regulator reportedly said.