China steps up tech scrutiny with new rules

China on Tuesday made moves to tighten its grip on the tech sector.

It published detailed rules aimed at tackling unfair competition and the handling of critical data.

Beijing has been seeking more control on internet platforms in recent months.

It says they have been abusing market power to stifle competition.

And misusing consumer information.

Regulators have issued hefty fines to companies including e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and social media company Tencent as part of the widening crackdown

Shares in Hong Kong-listed internet stocks slid after the rules were published.

They state that internet operators "must not assist in the implementation of unfair competition on the Internet, disrupt the order of market competition, or affect fair transactions in the market".

Specifically, the regulator stated, business operators should not use data or algorithms to hijack traffic or influence users' choices.

Companies would also be barred from fabricating or spreading misleading information to damage the reputation of competitors.

The draft rules are open to public feedback before a September 15th deadline.

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