by Pei Li and Julie Zhu
(Reuters) – China is preparing to impose a substantial fine on Tencent as part of its massive antitrust crackdown on the country’s internet giants, but it will likely be less than the record penalty of 2.75 billion dollars imposed on Alibaba earlier this month, two people familiar with the matter said.
Tencent should expect a fine of at least 10 billion yuan (1.27 billion euros), large enough for the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) to make an example. the sources said.
Tencent faces penalties for not properly reporting its past acquisitions and investments to antitrust authorities, an offense punishable by a fine capped at 500,000 yuan per case, and for anti-competitive practices in some of its businesses, particularly in the area of streaming music, the sources said.
Neither SAMR nor Tencent immediately responded to requests for comment.
In recent months, China has sought to limit the economic and social power of its once poorly regulated internet giants as part of a crackdown backed by President Xi Jinping.
Tencent and Alibaba are China’s two largest tech conglomerates, with respective stock values of $ 776 billion and $ 642 billion (around $ 640 billion and $ 530 billion).
(French version Camille Raynaud)