China regulator bars Tencent from exclusive rights in online music

The Chinese government has been stepping up antitrust actions in recent months against the country's large tech companies, including a record $2.75 billion fine on e-commerce giant Alibaba for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour.

July 26, 2021 12:41 pm | Updated 12:41 pm IST

China regulator bars Tencent from exclusive rights in online music.

China regulator bars Tencent from exclusive rights in online music.

China's market regulator on Saturday said it would bar Tencent Holdings Ltd from exclusive music copyright agreements and fined the company for unfair market practices in the online music market after its acquisition of China Music Corporation.

(Subscribe to our Today's Cache newsletter for a quick snapshot of top 5 tech stories. Click here to subscribe for free.)

The Chinese government has been stepping up antitrust actions in recent months against the country's large tech companies, including a record $2.75 billion fine on e-commerce giant Alibaba for engaging in anti-competitive behaviour.

Tencent and Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the unit created from the acquisition, said they would abide by the decision and comply with all regulatory requirements.

The State Administration Of Market Regulation (SAMR) said it had investigated Tencent's activities in the online music broadcasting platform market in China, in which music copyright is the core asset, in a notice posted on its official website.

Also Read: China tech crackdown wipes out billions from Didi, other U.S.-listed firms

Reuters reported in mid-July that t he antitrust regulator would order Tencent's music streaming arm to give up exclusive rights to music labels that it has used to compete with smaller rivals, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Tencent held more than 80% of exclusive music library resources after its acquisitions, the regulator said, increasing its leverage over upstream copyright parties and allowing it to restrict new entrants, the regulator said.

SAMR said Tencent and its affiliated companies must not engage in exclusive copyright agreements with upstream owners of such rights, while existing agreements must be terminated within 30 days of the regulatory notice.

The regulator also ordered Tencent to pay a fine of 500,000 yuan ($77,150).

Earlier this month, the regulator said it would block Tencent's plan to merge the country's top two videogame streaming sites, Huya and DouYu , on antitrust grounds.

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.