China urges Alibaba, Tencent to unblock each other’s platforms; Report

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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China’s industry ministry has mandated the technology companies in the country including Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings to stop blocking each other’s website links from their platforms, according to reports.

The media reports citing unnamed sources stated that, last day, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology put forward certain standards for the companies for instant messaging services, asking the service providers that all platforms must be unblocked by a certain time. 

Further, the ministry stated that it may have to resort to other measures if the firms did not comply, the report noted. The current move comes in line with a wide-ranging crackdown by the government on the country’s internet sector, which has seen authorities target and punishes companies on issues ranging from monopolistic behavior to consumer privacy.

Companies that attended the meeting included Chinese technology giants such as Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, Baidu Inc, Huawei Technologies Co and Xiaomi Corp, the report added. The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Chinese internet sector is dominated by a number of technology companies who have blocked links and services by rivals on their platforms for a long time, creating what analysts have described as “walled gardens”.

Regulators in recent months have cracked down, accusing companies of building monopolies and restricting consumers’ choices. Last month the country issued new draft guidelines on regulating the algorithms used by internet service providers to make recommendations to users, as part of its efforts to protect the privacy and data security of people.

Earlier it was reported that Alibaba and Tencent were gradually considering opening up their services to each other, such as by introducing Tencent’s WeChat Pay to Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall eCommerce marketplaces.

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