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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


APAC Antitrust Quarterly Update - Q3 2021

18 October 2021


The past quarter has witnessed China's unflinching efforts to step up antitrust scrutiny over the country's overall economy, with a particular focus on the platform economy President Xi Jinping said in a state decision making meeting in August that China has seen initial progress in reining in internet platforms to obey antitrust rules This is also echoed in the Chinese antitrust authority (SAMR)'s 2020 annual report on antitrust enforcement (which was released in September) As part of the progress made, there were two more landmark antitrust decisions in the platform sector The proposed merger of Huya and DouYu (the two largest videogame live streaming players, both controlled by Tencent) was blocked by SAMR due to potential elimination of competition in the relevant market This is the third blocked merger in China and the first time where a transaction between purely Chinese companies has been interrupted on antitrust grounds In addition, the unreported acquisition of a majority stake in CMC by Tencent was fined for Tencent's failure to file, with remedies and extensive obligations also imposed by SAMR to restore competition This marks the first case in China where the antitrust authority found anti competitive effects in a failure to file investigation and took restorative measures Apart from Tencent/CMC, another 22 transactions, made by affiliates of internet platforms such as Didi, Alibaba, Suning com and Meituan were also fined for failure to file by SAMR in the last quarter.

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