Chinese competition authorities held talks with Tencent founder and CEO Pony Ma earlier this month, prompting speculation the company’s vast operations were next in line for closer scrutiny, Reuters reported.
Sources told the news agency Ma discussed compliance issues during a meeting with officials from the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR).
The chief of SAMR’s anti-monopoly bureau discussed concerns with Ma regarding the company’s business practices and requested it comply with regulations, Reuters wrote.
Tencent has come under the spotlight for its expanding range of financial services and investments in hundreds of start-ups, with pressure for it to restructure its fintech unit, which the government considers a risk to the country’s financial system.
In recent months Ma has been a vocal proponent for closer monitoring of China’s internet companies, filing a number of proposals with the National People’s Congress, South China Morning Post reported.
A suspension of a planned dual listing on the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges of Alibaba’s financial arm Ant Group in late 2020 appears to have sparked closer scrutiny of Chinese tech giants by competition authorities.
In November 2020, authorities reportedly called on the companies to provide feedback on proposed anti-monopoly rules.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma already agreed to bundle the operations of Ant Group into a holding company, with the government recently also ordering the e-commerce giant to sell off media assets including South China Morning Post.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back