The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has announced the appointment of Anna Wu Hung-yuk as the first chairperson of Hong Kong’s newly formed Competition Commission.

Ms Wu’s appointment will commence from 1 May 2013 and will continue for a period of 3 years.  She is currently a non-official member of the executive council of Hong Kong, chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission and has previously held the positions of chairperson of the Hong Kong Consumer Council and vice chairperson of the council’s Competition Policy Committee.

The establishment of Hong Kong’s first market-wide competition law regime has gained momentum following the approval of the Competition Ordinance in June 2012, as outlined in our previous post.  The Competition Commission was established in January this year and its 14 members, including Ms Wu, were appointed to the Competition Commission during the course of last week.  The other members include:

  • Chan Kwok-wai, M.H;
  • Chan Sui-kuen, Agnes;
  • Cheng Kin-hon, Thomas;
  • Professor Cheng Kwok-hon, Leonard;
  • Hui Wah-kit, Michael;
  • Kwok Kwok-chuen;
  • Kwok Lam-kwong, Larry (a partner of King & Wood Mallesons);
  • Kwok Pui-fong, Miranda;
  • Honourable Leung Kwan-yuen, Andrew;
  • Anthony William Seeto Yiu-wai;
  • Professor Tsang Shu-ki;
  • Wong Fung-han, Gilly; and
  • Wong Kit-lung, Simon

Commission’s initial priorities

We expect the Commission’s initial priorities will be to:

  1. build public awareness of the market-wide competition regime, including through a dedicated website and public appearances by the chairperson and members;
  2. set its enforcement priorities;
  3. build relationships with other competition law agencies, including in Asia, the Americas and Europe, with a view to sharing expertise with those agencies and co-operating with them on enforcement initiatives;
  4. issue draft guidelines on the administration and operation of the Competition Ordinance for public consultation; and
  5. issue orders for block exemptions, no doubt after consultation with key stakeholders.

Enforcement priories

The Commission is expected to vigorously enforce the Competition Ordinance.  While it’s difficult to predict the content of the Commission’s initial enforcement priorities, if the Commission takes a similar approach to other competition law agencies, its initial enforcement priorities are likely to include hard core conduct, including collusive practices, which result in significant detriment to competition and consumers.