Legislation

The Supreme People’s Court: Timely Introduction of Judicial Interpretation of Anti-monopoly Civil Litigation and Introduction of Typical Cases to Promote the Development of a Unified National Market

On July 25, 2022, in order to support and guarantee the development of a unified national market in accordance with the law, the Supreme People’s Court officially released the Opinions of the Supreme People’s Court on Providing Judicial Services and Guarantee for Accelerating the Development of a Unified National Market (“Opinions”). The Opinions consist of 7 parts of 30 articles, which in a nutshell include 3 main aspects: putting forward general requirements, clarifying work initiatives, and improving work mechanisms. Among them, the typical cases supporting the Anti-monopoly Law include the “joint venture of driving school” horizontal monopoly agreement dispute. 

National Anti-monopoly Bureau: China Ranked Among Top Three Global Antitrust Jurisdictions with US and EU

On July 28, 2022, Gan Lin, deputy director of the State Administration for Market Regulation (“SAMR”) and director of the National Anti-monopoly Bureau, pointed out that since the 18th Party Congress, China has taken new steps to participate in global competition governance, including signing cooperation documents with 35 countries and regions, such as the United States, European Union, Russia and Japan, establishing a special chapter on competition policy in ten FTAs, such as RCEP and China-Korea, and holding the 7th BRICS International Competition Conference successfully last year. Now China has been ranked as one of the top three anti-monopoly jurisdictions in the world along with the US and EU. 

Guangxi Deploys Fair Competition Review of Consumer Voucher Issuance

In July, the Office of Inter-departmental Joint Conference on Anti-monopoly and Fair Competition of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region issued a notice to deploy the work of fair competition review for the issuance of consumer vouchers in Guangxi to strengthen the fairness of the choice of platform for issuing consumer vouchers. 

Shaanxi AMR Organizes and Carries Out Anti-monopoly Inspection in the Special Governance of Water-related Fields

In July, Shaanxi Administration for Market Regulation (“Shaanxi AMR”) issued the Notice on Accomplishing the Anti-monopoly Inspection in the Special Governance of Water-related Fields and the Guidelines on Anti-monopoly Inspection in the Special Governance of Water-related Fields to clarify the focus and content of Market Regulation departments in cities and counties (districts) involved in anti-monopoly regulation in the special governance of water-related market order and provide clear guidance for grassroots law enforcement personnel. 

SAMR Releases the Announcement on the Pilot Implementation of the Commissioning of Antitrust Review of Some Concentration of Undertakings Cases

On July 15, SAMR issued the Announcement on the Pilot Implementation of the Commissioning of Antitrust Review of Some Concentration of Undertakings Cases, which intends to commission the Market Regulation Administrations of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Chongqing and Shaanxi to conduct the antitrust review of some cases to which the simplified procedure of merger filing is applicable on a pilot basis from August 1, 2022.

Anti-monopoly Bureau of SAMR to Hire 17 Civil Servants

On July 14, SAMR released the public announcement (the first batch) of the proposed hiring of civil servants for the year 2022, of which 17 civil servants were proposed to be hired by the Anti-monopoly Bureau of SAMR. 

Zhejiang AMR Releases First Provincial Local Standard for Competition Compliance of Internet Platform Enterprises in China

On July 5, Zhejiang Administration for Market Regulation (“Zhejiang AMR”) approved the release of provincial local standard of DB33/T 2511-2022 Competition Compliance Management Specification for Internet Platform Enterprises. The standard defines the classification of Internet platforms and stipulates the requirements for the organization and management, risk management, safeguard measures, evaluation and improvement of competition compliance of platform enterprises. 

Zhejiang Becomes First Province to Implement Reform of Provincial Fair Competition Policy on an Early and Pilot Basis

In July, after the adoption of the new Anti-monopoly Law, Zhejiang Province became the first province to implement the early and pilot reform of provincial fair competition policy and released the Implementation Plan for the Early and Pilot Reform of Provincial Fair Competition Policy in Zhejiang Province. There are many highlights of Zhejiang’s early and pilot reform work, including: targeting the coordination of competition policy and industrial policy, requiring the fair competition review as a necessary procedure for the formulation and adjustment of industrial policy; conducting a pilot fair competition review and a pilot list system of business-related preferential policies, establishing a rigid restraint mechanism for fair competition review, etc. 

Heilongjiang AMR Releases “Four Tips” on Fair Competition Review of Consumer Voucher Issuance

In July, the Heilongjiang Administration for Market Regulation (“Heilongjiang AMR”) released “Four Tips” on fair competition review of consumer voucher issuance policies and measures: strictly fulfil the fair competition review procedures; accurately grasp the focus of fair competition review; strengthen the fairness of the choice of the platform for issuing consumer vouchers; and effectively strengthen supervision and guidance.

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region AMR Releases First Antitrust Compliance Guidelines for Public Enterprises Nationwide

On June 21, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Administration for Market Regulation(“Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region AMR”) issued the first antitrust compliance guidelines for public enterprises in the country, in the context of the active promotion of marketization of public utilities in recent years with still irregularities in business practices and even violations of the Anti-monopoly Law.

Public Enforcement

SAMR Fines Beijing CollegePre Education Technology Co., Ltd RMB 942,386.47 for RPM

On July 27, 2022, SAMR released an announcement of the decision on administrative punishment in the monopoly agreement case to Beijing CollegePre Education Technology Co., Ltd. In February 2021, the Beijing Administration for Market Regulation (“Beijing AMR”)started an investigation into the suspected monopolistic behavior of Beijing CollegePre Education Technology Co., Ltd. On July 12, 2022, Beijing AMR found that Beijing CollegePre Education Technology Co., Ltd. had entered into and implemented a monopoly agreement with fixed resale price and imposed a fine of RMB 942,386.47 on it. 

SAMR Fines Hainan Yishun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. RMB 200,000 for Monopoly Agreement

On July 22, SAMR released an announcement of the decision on administrative punishment in the monopoly agreement case to Hainan Yishun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Hainan Yishun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. was found by the Hainan Administration for Market Regulation (“Hainan AMR”) to have entered into but not yet implemented a monopoly agreement with some trading counterparties to set the minimum resale price, and was fined RMB 200,000. 

SAMR Fines Wuhu Wanzhi Zhongran City Gas Development Co., Ltd. RMB 8,890,720.58 for Abuse of Market Dominance

On July 19, SAMR released an announcement of the decision on administrative punishment in the abuse of dominant market position case to Wuhu Wanzhi Zhongran City Gas Development Co., Ltd. The Anhui Administration for Market Regulation (“Anhui AMR”) found that Wuhu Wanzhi Zhongran City Gas Development Co., Ltd. constituted an abuse of dominant market position and fined it a total of RMB 8,890,720.58. 

SAMR Fines Guizhou Water Investment and Utility Group Weining Co., Ltd. RMB 2,305,962.71 for Abuse of Market Dominance

On July 18, SAMR released an announcement of the decision on administrative punishment in the abuse of dominant market position case to Guizhou Water Investment and Utility Group Weining Co., Ltd. The Guizhou Administration for Market Regulation (“Guizhou AMR”)found that Guizhou Water Investment and Utility Group Weining Co., Ltd. constituted an abuse of dominant market position and fined it a total amount of RMB 2,305,962.71. 

Henan AMR Fines 31 Credit Assessment Agencies Totalling RMB 526,102.48 for Monopoly Agreements

On July 13, the Henan Administration for Market Regulation (“Henan AMR”) released a series of administrative punishment decisions, finding that the act of 31 credit assessment agencies signing an industrial self-regulatory convention and unifying their fees constituted a monopoly agreement of “fixing or changing prices of products”, and fined the 31 agencies a total of RMB 526,102.48. 

Shaanxi AMR Fines Shaanxi Cement Association and 13 Cement Enterprises Totalling RMB 451 Million with Administrative Guidance Letter for Hub-and-Spoke Cartel

On July 9, SAMR released an announcement of the decision on administrative punishment in the case of Shaanxi Cement Association organizing thirteen cement enterprises to reach and implement monopoly agreements. Under the guidance of SAMR, Shaanxi AMR imposed a total fine of about RMB 451 million and issued an Administrative Guidance Letter to the parties concerned, setting a new record of anti-monopoly law enforcement in the cement industry. 

SAMR Releases 28 Cases of Administrative Penalties for Gun-jumping

On July 10, in order to speed up the completion of the stock of cases in accordance with law, SAMR published administrative punishment decisions on twenty-eight cases of illegal implementation of concentration of undertakings without notification in accordance with law. 

SAMR Fines Seven Concrete Companies in Fujian Province RMB 15,829,038.8 for Monopoly Agreements

On July 6, 2022, the SAMR released decisions on administrative punishment issued by the Market Regulation Administration of Fujian Province against seven concrete companies for monopolistic practices, with fines totalling RMB 15,829,038.8. 

Courts Litigation

Beijing High People’s Court Rejects Xidian Jietong’s Appeal for Joinder of the Complaint and Counterclaim in Abuse of Dominant Market Position Case Against Apple Inc.

In July 2022, the Beijing Superior People’s Court released a civil ruling, rejecting Xi’an Xidian Jietong Wireless Network Communication Co., Ltd.’s appeal for joinder of the complaint and counterclaim in the abuse of dominant market position case against Apple Inc.