China Fines Meituan $530 Million in Second Tech Antitrust Case
China fined the food-delivery giant Meituan $530 million for antitrust violations on Friday, the second major penalty this year in Beijing’s efforts to bring the country’s big internet companies to heel.
The government’s campaign has been blessed by the highest levels of the Communist Party leadership. It has involved a wide cast of regulatory agencies and policymaking bodies. And it has wiped out hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth for shareholders of some of China’s — and the world’s — most successful tech businesses.
Like regulators and politicians in the United States and Europe, China’s leaders have watched with alarm as internet companies have gained ever-greater influence over commerce, society and everyday life. They want to ensure that these companies do not use their power to gain unfair advantages over rivals or exploit captive consumers.
But Beijing can…