BEIJING, May 13 (TMTPOST) — China's State Administration for Market Regulation said on Friday that it has launched an antitrust investigation into CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure) for suspected monopolistic practices.
The State Administration for Market Regulation published the announcement on its website. It did not provide further details about the investigation.
CNKI said in a statement on WeChat that it would cooperate fully with the investigation and take it as an opportunity to carry out a self-examination. CNKI also said that it would comply with relevant laws and regulations and bear social responsibilities as a knowledge infrastructure in China. The site pledged to build itself a world class academic database with Chinese features and promote academic exchange and technological innovations. In the announcement, CNKI also vowed to provide better services for scholars and the general public.
CNKI received heavy criticism for high service fee last month after the Chinese Academy of Sciences said it would suspend its use of the database because it is too expensive.
Launched in 1999, CNKI is an academic database owned by Tsinghua Tongfang, a Chinese state-owned software company linked to China’s top institution Tsinghua University. As of late 2017, CNKI had the world’s largest readership with more than 20 million individual users and an average daily retrieval volume of over 10 million, according to CNKI.
Tsinghua Tongfang told investors on Monday that both it and CNKI were aware of the public opinion and that CNKI was looking to improve and make rectifications to its business model.
As of January 2022, CNKI has over 480,000 doctoral theses. The academic database has established exclusive partnership with 241 education institutions, including 16 Chinese universities with the First-Class University status and 63 Chinese universities with First-Class Disciplines. CNKI has doctoral theses from 507 institutions with PhD programs, covering 99% of such institutions.