Authored by Michael Gu  ( ) at Anjie Law Firm


Just a week before the Chinese New Year, the National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC)announced the long-awaited penalty decision against Qualcomm with respect to its abuse of standard essential patents (SEPs) in the wireless telecommunication industry. The NDRC imposed a penalty ofRMB 6.088 billion (about USD 1 billion) onQualcomm, equivalent to 8% of Qualcomm’s China sales in 2013, for itsabuse of dominance in China, in addition to an order to cease illegal conduct.This milestone decision demonstrates NDRC’s determination to take a stringent stance against any monopoly activities in China and its ambition to become one of the most powerful antitrust enforcement agencies in the world. The NDRC initiated an antitrust investigation of Qualcommas early as November 2013 based on a complaint filed with the NDRC. On 10 February 2015, the NDRCmade its final decision after a one-and-a-half-year investigation, numerous consultations with external experts and multiple meetings and discussions with senior officers of Qualcomm. The fine imposed on Qualcomm sets the record as the highest antitrust penalty ever issued in China’s anti-monopoly enforcement history which accounts for more than three times the total amount of fines rendered by the NDRC in 2014 which is nearly RMB 1.8 billion.

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