Recently, the Puge County Office of the Joint Conference on Fair Competition Review received complaints from 10 hydropower stations, which communicated that the cost of lightning protection testing is too high. This excessive pricing caused the Puge County Office to suspect a monopoly operation. The Puge County Office considered the investigation to be of high importance, and immediately organised the members of the county joint meeting units to carry out the investigation.

After investigating the documents which set out the costs of lightning testing, the Puge County Meteorological Bureau and Puge County Emergency Management Bureau jointly issued the Notice on Further Strengthening the County's Lightning Safety Work,(1) which stated: "After receiving this notice, all relevant units should promptly contact and coordinate with the Puge branch of the Liangshan Prefecture ** Technology Co." The lightning protection testing organisation qualified to test the units lightning protection devices are suspected of violating article 39 of the Anti-Monopoly Law of the People's Republic of China. The article states:

Administrative organs and organizations authorized by laws and regulations with the function of managing public affairs shall not abuse administrative power to limit or disguise the unit or individual to operate, purchase, or use the services provided by their designated operators. (b) No franchise shall be granted to an operator without fair competition.

The testing organisation is also suspected of violating article 13 of the Rules for the Implementation of the Fair Competition Review System ("Market Entry and Exit Criteria").

For further information on this topic please contact Hao Zhan or Ying Song at AnJie Law Firm by telephone (+86 10 8567 5988) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The AnJie Law Firm website can be accessed at www.anjielaw.com.

Endnotes

(1) Puge [2022] No. 7.