2021-11-24 15:14


Why does digital economy need regulation


[Beijing Direct News Network November 24th] (Guangming Daily)It can be seen that correctly handling the relationship between standardization and development has become one of the core issues to guide the healthy development of digital economy.

At present, antitrust is the main way to regulate the digital economy, and positive results have been achieved. Some new forms of business organizations have emerged in the digital economy. Some "non-standard" business arrangements (such as "one out of two", "big data killing" and so on) deviated from the market rules of fair competition and impacted the market order. Through phased special rectification, the anti-monopoly effect of digital economy is remarkable, which effectively curbs the disorderly expansion of capital, strengthens the awareness of norms and rules of platforms and enterprises, and successfully turns the digital economy onto the track of long-term and healthy development.

The unification of digital economy norms and development requires more comprehensive system design. On the one hand, we should continue to give play to the effect of anti-monopoly policy. At the same time, it is necessary to appropriately cater to the development law and trend of digital economy and avoid attacking the innovation and investment enthusiasm of digital enterprises due to antitrust. On October 19, the draft amendment to the anti-monopoly law was submitted to the 31st meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress for initial deliberation. This amendment also stressed that both standardization and development should be emphasized.

On the other hand, we need to optimize the system design from a broader perspective of the business environment. Generally speaking, the scope of application of antitrust is relatively narrow, mainly investigating and sanctioning monopoly or anti competitive behaviors in the market (such as excessive concentration, price collusion, etc.). In other words, antitrust is an ex post remedy for major problems in the market. In recent years, China's relatively mild and normalized supervision over the whole life cycle of enterprises and market activities is mainly to optimize the business environment.

Optimizing the online business environment is the best meeting point for coordinating the standardization and development of the digital economy. The standardization of online business rules is to optimize the business environment, which naturally promotes the long-term development of digital economy. Of course, standardizing the digital economy is not to re-establish new regulatory norms, but to make optimization and adjustment on the basis of existing regulatory norms and in combination with the development law and trend of the digital economy, so as to extend the construction of the business environment from offline to online.

Large digital platforms are the central hub of the online market. In the era of digital economy, not only technology is changing, the business model of enterprises is brand-new, but also the mode of market operation is different and the boundary is blurred. We need to make an all-round review of these changes. If they do not comply with the principle of fair competition in the market, we should strengthen regulatory norms. Among them, the digital platform dominated by large Internet enterprises is at the center of change. To standardize the development of digital economy, we must first standardize the digital platform.

From the perspective of institutional economics theory, the platform is a "Trisection" outside the "dichotomy" of market and enterprise, which integrates some market functions and some enterprise functions. In the past, under the "dichotomy" pattern, the government's market supervision was mainly to maintain the market order, and the business activities of enterprises were entrusted to enterprises. However, under the "Trisection method", the platform is both an enterprise and a market, and can control the buyers and sellers on both sides of the platform or the upstream and downstream industrial chain to a certain extent, which makes some previous regulatory methods no longer so effective.

In this regard, it is necessary to fully understand and distinguish whether each behavior of platform enterprises is performing market responsibilities or implementing enterprise self-interest actions. For those behaviors that originally belong to the market but are more efficient after being handed over to the platform (such as public R & D), they are supervised according to the market-oriented principle, and the platform is allowed to charge service fees, but they are not allowed to use their monopoly position to collect excess profits, let alone take exclusive actions that hinder competition.

For those behaviors that originally belong to the enterprise but are obviously unfair on the platform (such as preferential sales of self operated products on the platform), the enterprise shall either spin off independently, or adopt the neutral principle to compete fairly with other settled enterprises on the platform. For the daily operation of platform enterprises (such as investment), as long as it does not involve major issues such as monopoly, economic security and privacy protection, the government should minimize micro intervention.