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Chinese on-demand shopping platform Meituan has been fined 3.44bn yuan (US$533m) by China for its anti-competitive “pick one from two” practice.

The platform has an exclusivity arrangement with merchants called “er xuan yi”, which means “choose one out of two“. The policy prevents small businesses from using its platform at the same time as any other retail site.

Why was Meituan fined?

  • Meituan was fined by China’s antitrust watchdog, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), for preventing businesses from selling their goods on rivals’ platforms like Alibaba’s Ele.me.

  • The SAMR also ordered Meituan to refund exclusive cooperation deposits paid by merchants, totaling 1.29bn yuan.

  • “We accept the penalty with sincerity and are determined to ensure our compliance with the decision and its terms,” Meituan said in a statement.

  • Meituan will now need to submit a self-examination compliance report to SAMR for three consecutive years.

Why is this important?