China's unprecedented crackdown on its internet sector

China is clamping down on its internet sector.

Not even the likes of e-commerce giant Alibaba are safe, with it receiving a record-breaking fine in April.

Beijing's competition regulator is dishing out fines and investigating some of the biggest names in the "platform economy", after issuing anti-monopoly guidelines that target internet platforms.

Let's look at five of Beijing's highest-profile targets.

Firstly, there's the antitrust probe into Didi, just as the ride-hailing giant gears up for America's potentially largest IPO of the year.

The investigation will see if it's guilty of uncompetitive practices that squeezed out smaller rivals, and whether the pricing mechanism used by Didi's core ride-hailing business is transparent enough, sources told Reuters.

Alibaba got hit with a record $2.78 billion fine in April, after it was found guilty of abusing its dominant market position since 2015, by preventing merchants from using other online e-commerce platforms.

The fine was about 4% of Alibaba's 2019 domestic revenue.

China torpedoed the $37 billion listing of Alibaba fintech affiliate Ant Group in November.

That came after company founder Jack Ma said the country's financial and regulatory system stifled innovation.

Chinese regulators imposed a sweeping restructuring on the fintech giant, Forcing it to turn itself into a financial holding firm.

Tencent could face a penalty of at least $1.5 billion for anti-competitive practices and not properly reporting past acquisitions and investments for antitrust reviews.

It's also been told it may have to give up exclusive music streaming rights, and may even be forced to sell its acquired music apps.

Regulators also launched an antitrust investigation into food delivery giant Meituan.

It had an estimated 68.2% of China's food delivery market in the second quarter of 2020, according to Trustdata.

So why is all of this happening now?

Some analysts say the government fears they'll grow too powerful if left unchecked.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting