China steps up pressure on Alibaba with anti-monopoly probe

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BEIJING (AP) – Chinese regulators on Thursday announced an anti-monopoly investigation of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, stepping up official efforts to tighten control over China’s fast-growing tech industries.

The market regulator said it was looking into Alibaba’s policy of “choose one of two,” which requires its business partners to avoid dealing with competitors. The one-sentence statement gave no details of possible penalties or a timeline to announce a result.

Chinese leaders said earlier an economic priority in the coming year will be to step up anti-monopoly enforcement.

Regulators earlier forced the suspension of the stock market debut of Ant Group, an online finance platform spun off from Alibaba.

Alibaba Group is the world’s biggest e-commerce company by total sales volume.

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