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Business Articles Awards > Asian Antitrust

Antitrust in China: 2016 highlights and an outlook on 2017

Charles Pommiès, Franҫois Renard, Allen & Overy publication, March 2017

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The three Chinese antitrust authorities – Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) – overall remained very active in 2016. Besides enforcing the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML), they have been busy consulting with stakeholders on proposed guidelines aimed to improve both processes and the efficiency of their work. They have also been reliably vocal in advocating the merits of a competition-driven economy.

Thanks in part to these efforts, a culture of competition is emerging in China. This conversion is expected to be boosted by the Fair Competition Review System promulgated by China’s State Council in June 2016. Under the Fair Competition Review System, government and administrative bodies at all levels are required to consult with stakeholders and assess whether any proposed rule or policy could have anti-competitive effects, such as limiting market access, interfering with the pricing process or favouring local players over non-local ones. While this self-assessment is mandatory, there is no sanction for failing to do so and, to date, limited guidance on how it ought to be conducted. MOFCOM, the NDRC and the SAIC have been designated by the State Council to adopt implementing rules and put in place effective measures to promote competition in administrative actions. It is expected that the impact of the Fair Competition Review System will progressively increase as implementing rules are issued and a more systematic monitoring system is put in place.

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