China’s top technology regulator warned internet firms on Monday against blocking links to rival services, reaffirming Beijing’s order for online giants from Tencent Holdings to ByteDance to dismantle walls around their platforms.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has summoned executives from the country’s online platforms to emphasise the need to stop shutting out each other’s services, ministry spokesman Zhao Zhiguo told reporters in Beijing. Companies fail to realise that’s a problem for users, he said without naming specific firms. Regulators have ordered the country’s tech companies to prise open their so-called walled gardens or closed ecosystems, as part of a campaign to curb their growing power.
The government has accused a handful of companies of employing blocking and other methods to protect their respective spheres: Tencent in social media via WeChat, Alibaba Group in e-commerce with Taobao and Tmall and, more recently, ByteDance in video via TikTok-cousin Douyin.
All three block links from within their services to rivals’ content. It’s unclear however what actions regulators want the big tech firms to take, and by when.
China urges US to repair ties as Biden weighs fresh trade probe
China urged the US to take steps to repair damaged ties between the two countries, as the Biden administration weighs a new investigation into Chinese industrial subsidies.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian called on the US to uphold the spirit of the telephone conversation last week between President Joe Biden and Xi Jinping. Zhao was responding to a question about a Bloomberg News report Friday regarding a meeting on a potential investigation into Chinese subsidies and their economic impact.
Top Biden economic advisers, including US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, met Friday to discuss the probe, people familiar with the matter said, as the administration considers reinstating an exclusion process for certain tariffs levied under former US President Donald Trump.