With already more than 3 years of practice experience concerning antitrust review to concentrations, the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China in recent publicly announced its first set of guideline thereof on August 29, 2011, namely, “Provisional Regulation on the Assessment on the Competitive Effects of Concentration of Undertakings ( it would be abbreviated as “the Regulation” hereinafter)

It should be recognized that the Regulation reflects great significance in many facets without doubt. For one thing, the substantive process of reviewing and assessing concentrations by the Ministry of Commerce is tranparentized in a large degree. As a result, relevant competitors, consumers and other stakeholders of interest could obtain much more convenience for the purpose of supervising antitrust enforcement.

In the second place, the Ministry took this opportunity to standardize in the Regulation, which factors that they will take the most account into in principle, which interests they will consider principally when balancing the pro-competitive and anti-competitive effects of concentration concerned. In this connection, the Regulation would possess the function of conducting, standardizing as well as facilitating the work of antitrust control to concentrations of the Ministry. Continue Reading The First Guideline For Reviewing Concentrations in China Was Freshly Baked

On 22nd March 2011, the CIRC released a draft of the new Rules on Administration of Representative Offices of Foreign Insurance Related Institutions(“New Draft Rule”). This New Draft Rule shall replace the Rules on Administration of Representative Offices of Foreign Insurance Institutions (Baojianhuiling [2006]No.6) published on 1st September 2006 (“Rule of Baojianfa [2006] No.6”) and the Interpretations of the CIRC on Rules on Administration of Representative Offices of Foreign Insurance Institutions (Baojianfa [2008]No.101) published on 25th November 2008. Foreign insurance institutions should pay attention to this New Draft Rule because it significantly raised the threshold for foreign insurance institutions entering into Chinese insurance market.

Continue Reading Draft of the New Rules on Administration of Representative Offices of Foreign Insurance Institutions is Inviting Public Comments

On November 29 2010 the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) promulgated one substantive regulation and one procedural regulation regarding pricerelated monopolies (for further details please see "NDRC issues new anti-monopoly pricing regulations"). To accompany these regulations, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) issued the Regulation on Prohibiting Monopoly Agreements, the Regulation on Prohibiting Abuse of Market Dominance and the Regulation on Prohibiting Abuse of Executive Authority to Exclude and Limit Competition on December 1 2010.

Continue Reading SAIC regulations signal greater anti-monopoly enforcement

 The end of 2010 leaves China’s anti-monopoly regulators with several matters to consider, resolve or improve. The anti-monopoly framework is still not well established and consumer rights issues have been badly neglected. End consumers remain at risk of manipulation by collusion between large enterprises, especially on price. Recently, an instant noodle company stopped providing its products because a supermarket chain objected to a price increase and a mobile telecommunications company, facing claims of unreasonable tariffs, refused to reveal the basis of its pricing structure.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is in charge of price related monopoly agreements (ie, cartels), abuse of dominance and administrative monopoly issues. In comparison with the other two regulatory bodies – the Ministry of Commerce and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC) – it remains severely understaffed. Moreover, price regulation is invariably a sensitive issue in China and often attracts criticism. The SAIC issued regulations on non-pricing-related monopoly agreements, abuse of dominance and administrative monopoly in May 2010 (for further details please see "New draft rules on monopoly agreements and abuse of dominant position"), but the NDRC has been slow to follow suit. As the world economy has started to emerge from the financial crisis, many Chinese and foreign economists have criticised distorted market prices and price mismatching in China, making the NDRC even more wary of taking action on anti-monopoly pricing issues.Continue Reading NDRC issues new anti-monopoly pricing regulations

Baixiang Food Group and other instant noodle manufacturers have brought a complaint against their competitor Kangshifu, claiming that it unfairly dominates the instant noodle market in China. Kangshifu has also been accused of engaging in price dumping through its subsidiary brand Fumanduo. Kangshifu contests both assertions.

Continue Reading No quick answers in instant noodle dispute

On May 27, State Administration of Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”) published new draft regulations on monopoly agreements, abuse of dominant position and administrative monopoly for public comments. These sets of unveiled draft rules are resulted from pubic opinions and comments which SAIC has collected since June 2010, this is when SAIC first published the draft regulations. Within China’s antitrust law enforcement system, SAIC has the mandate to condemn non-price-related monopoly agreements, non-price-related abuse of dominant position and administrative monopoly. Furthermore, it has mandate to fashion implementing rules for the Anti-Monopoly Law of PRC (“AML”) too.

 Continue Reading SAIC Published New Draft Rules on Cartels, Abuse of Dominant Position and Administrative Monopoly