Taiwan says won't let China firms 'pull a fast one' to get into market

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan will not allow Chinese companies to “pull a fast one” by using indirect methods to bypass rules and regulations to operate in the island’s market, Premier Su Tseng-chang said on Tuesday.

Taiwan already has tough regulations restricting Chinese companies, and has in recent weeks ramped up actions to investigate those it suspects of operating on the island indirectly, via middlemen or overseas investment vehicles.

Taiwan plans to stop local sales of Chinese internet television streaming services, and this week gave e-commerce site Taobao Taiwan six months to re-register as Chinese-backed rather than foreign or leave the island.

Speaking to reporters, Premier Su said the government supported the moves to uphold regulations in laws governing Taiwan’s relations with China, which claims the democratic island as its own sovereign territory.

Taiwan will “not allow Chinese investment to pull a fast one, making turns at every point, like the government has no control and can’t control it”, Su said.

“We have a government, and we won’t do it like this.”

Taobao Taiwan has complained it is a totally different company from Taobao China, which is owned by China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N, and does not fall under the Alibaba group.

Taiwan’s government says Taobao Taiwan’s British-registered operator is in effect controlled by Alibaba.

Taiwan has long been suspicious of Chinese attempts to sway its population, including by use of fake news spread online and efforts to influence Taiwan media.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore