China reignited regulatory moves at its tech giants, pushing to end a long-standing practice of blocking each other’s links on their sites, according to a report by Reuters on Monday.

  • The statements, made by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), mark the latest move in China’s broad regulatory crackdown that has entangled sectors from technology to education and property and wiped billions of dollars off the market value.
  • China’s internet is largely dominated by few technology companies, which have historically blocked links and services by rivals on their platforms.
  • MIIT Spokesman Zhao Zhiguo stated that the restrictions of normal access to internet links without proper reason “affects the user experience, hurts the rights of users and disrupts market order.”
  • Zhiguo further added that the ministry had received numerous complaints from users since it launched an investigation of industry practices in July.

Shares of Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings dropped on Monday by more than 6% and 3% respectively against a 3% decrease in the Hang Seng Tech Index. The practice targeted by the MIIT is common among technology companies. Alibaba down -4.23%, Tencent Holdings Ltd down -2.45%, Hang Seng Index down -1.50%