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China to Slap New Curbs on Tech Giants’ Deals, Reuters Says

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(Bloomberg) -- China’s internet overseer will require the country’s tech giants to seek approval before making investments or raising funds, Reuters reported, citing unidentified sources.

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The Cyberspace Administration of China is drafting new guidelines that will require any company with more than 100 million users or over 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in revenue to seek the watchdog’s approval before such deals, Reuters reported Wednesday. Any internet firm in sectors named on a “negative list” issued last year will also require approval, the news agency said.

The Chinese government agency later said in a statement that the reports were “untrue.” The Cyberspace Administration of China “has never issued such a document,” according to a statement posted on its WeChat page late Wednesday.

Chinese regulators are increasingly scrutinizing the flurry of deals executed annually by Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which Beijing regards as instrumental to shoring up dominance over their respective spheres.

Since 2021, regulators have levied fines on scores of deals cut during the go-go era of the past decade, chilling investment across much of the internet sector.

(Adds denial from Cyberspace Administration in third paragraph)

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