China says will probe corrupt behaviour behind internet platform monopolies

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China's Minister of Supervision, and Chief of the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention, Yang Xiaodu (C) attends a news conference during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing, China October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

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SHANGHAI, Jan 21 (Reuters) - China's top anti-graft watchdog said it would focus on "new challenges and new situations" in its corruption crackdown, pledging for instance to investigate and punish any corrupt behaviour found behind internet platform monopolies.

Beijing has since last year reasserted control over its once-freewheeling internet sector, punishing big-name operators for engaging in what were previously considered regular market practices, and drafting new rules to change how they compete and engage users.

The latest probe comments came in a statement published on Thursday on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

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"Efforts will be made to investigate and punish the corrupt behaviour behind the disorderly expansion of capital and platform monopolies, and cut off the link between power and capital," it said

It added that ensuring the practice of strict financial discipline, dealing with corruption in infrastructure construction and public resource transactions, as well as corruption governance in the financial sector, were also focuses for action going forward.

Since last year China has fined companies including Alibaba Group (9988.HK) and Meituan (3690.HK) for monopolistic behaviour and has detailed new guidelines on how it expects its internet platforms to conduct themselves. read more

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Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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